Thursday, 17 June 2010

just a proposal?

I have been thinking about this post for a while. Please do not think me a grump.

Why the drama?

(My pretty engagement flowers and my first attempt of blog prettiness!)

I spoke about the proposal I so thrilling received some time ago.  

I shan't dwell upon it here but it was intimate and heartfelt albeit something of a formality.

So I guess my first problem is why it is necessary at all? I would say I am a feminist.  I want to believe we are equal to men (although I do realise this has not come quite yet.)  Therefore is a proposal required?  I knew I wanted to marry Bean and I was pretty much certain that Bean wanted to marry me.  However, for me, there was always the tiny niggling doubt that maybe it was all an elaborately hideous long game for some other purpose.  Not entirely sure what I thought.  Although I shall admit I/we may have been one of those super secret pre-engagement couples who may or may not have investigated the concept of "wedding" at different times during our relationship so why was having a ring any different?

"Society" views the ring as the promise of life together, yet I do not believe I am swayed by societal beliefs.  Why do I need a ring?  Simple answer is I don't, but is it a public symbol of a private passion. Does it matter what the ring is worth?*  Absolutely not.  The value is bestowed by the relationship and what the gift represents.  To me (and I hope to you) it represents, forever.  Yet why a ring and not some other piece of prettiness?  I guess it is a step up from being kidnapped as in days of yore? The ring and thus the ring finger is traditionally chosen as there was classically thought to be a vein reaching the heart straight from this finger.   I guess whilst the traditional roles within society still exist I would fear that I would slightly emasculate my poor little Bean if I were to do the asking. (Also monetary constraints ease the burden of me providing him with a ring?) Although, why is there such drama in a girl needing a boy to give her a ring?

Admittedly I am a consummate introvert and so the idea of a public proposal does send chills down my spine.     I dabbled with the thought that it would be fabulous to be proposed to within the confines of one of my favourite museums, by the poorly stuffed walrus. However, one, I would have no control for the fear of emasculation and two, it is not all about me and so why should I get to choose a location anyway?  Bean was right to make it a very intimate moment as it highlighted such an important change in our relationship which no-one else needed to know about.

However, in recent times there has been an obvious shift (well in the blog world - is that real life?) of proposals moving away from intimate secluded moments to big choreographed numbers.  Why is there such a need for theatrics? The wedding is the opportunity to make a public declaration.  Indeed in the UK I believe they must be public services (in a church anyway).  So surely this is the opportunity for intimacy?

A private moment. A moment which leads to a public declaration which should last a lifetime.  Why is there any need to document or involve others in such a moment?  Videographers and photographers are for  the public moments.  Personally the idea of someone stalking me to catch that moment screams paparazzo.  Although is that the point?  Do we all feel we deserve our fifteen minutes of fame? Yet is this all about the recipient of the ring or is the profferer the one who wants the attention or thinks their intended wants the limelight?

If I am honest I do have one regret from our/my proposal.  I wish we had kept it secret for longer than one day.  I wish I could have skipped down the King's Road knowing there was just one other person who understood the reason for my smile.  So if you are just about to propose or have just been proposed to, please keep it secret for at least 24 hours.  It is worth it.

I shall not finish with doom and gloom.  Whilst I love the idea of spontaneous proposal there is something so sweet about these next ideas.

This could be a rather sweet an intimate proposal?  
Imagine walking into a darkened room, with your love (man or woman**) there with their heart open in front of you and asking to marry you.  (Goosebumps for me!)

How cute would this be as a proposal with a super secret message?
Just like the classical cartoon idea.  Ting the light bulb moment.

Were you proposed to? Was it a spur of the moment thing?  

Did you propose? Or was it more of a romantic agreement?

What is your take on the whole shebang that is a proposal?

*One of my favourite ramblings through "this" process
**I hope you get by now I love love from wherever it comes.  Gay, Straight or whatever.  


  1. I was proposed to and it was perfect. We were alone and he surprised me (I was worried he wouldn't be able to).

    However, he admitted that his first proposal plan was to pop the question in a restaurant in Barcelona. I would have hated that, I wouldn't want to share the moment with people I know, never mind strangers. I guess everyone's different though - as long as your proposal suits you as a couple then it's perfect.

    I also wish we had kept it a secret a little longer. We told everyone by phone straightaway, and I wish we'd waited so we could see people's reactions.

  2. I just wrote about this very thing on my blog as well. Public proposals freak me out, I don't understand them. I too struggled with the "what's the point of all this nonsense? Why is it necessary?" when the boy wanted to go ask my dad for my hand. I absolutely did not want him to do it, my feeling was I am a strong woman and I make my own decisions and no one is going to decide who's right for me, especially my dad. But then i realized it wasn't about asking permission for my hand it was something the boy wanted to do because it's tradition and he's traditional. SO I went ahead with it because it meant something to him, it was the same with the ring, it meant something to me so he went ahead with it. When he did propose it was outside but still just between the 2 of us and it was really sweet and a surprise (which I have to hand it to him would have been really hard to surprise me but he pulled it off).

    Great blog, keep it up :)

  3. I was proposed to.

    I think it is probably one of the only big decisions the guy gets to make, and I wouldn't have wanted to take that away from him. Does that make sense?

    I get the whole feminist debate, but for me it is irrelevant in our relationship. If something is important to him, I let him go for it, and vice versa. For instance, when (if) we have a baby, he'll be the one who goes to part time work (after the initial maternity leave).

    But when it comes to some things, I'm a big believer in letting the man be the man... like taking out the rubbish.

  4. I think you heard about my proposal? I wasn't one for a large public thing. Even though it was on the Ponte des Artes, it still felt private(and there weren't many people there though an older French lady gave disapproving looks to my roommate taking pictures-she didn't know my roommate knew us).

    My husband was VERY proud of the proposal - it was unequivocally his design and the moment he wanted. We all deserve to own our moments and given the time and due place for them...whether it is a proposal or a private time between loved ones.

  5. My proposal was a nightmare - I had always hoped it would be a conversation (or series of conversations) leading to a decision and not a proposal from the boy to me, and I was so in shock when the boy poured his heart out to me that I picked a fight about something stupid. I still feel awful about it.

    Anyway, I always love your insights and posts like these really make me think (and help reaffirm my feminist beliefs). Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

  6. Like Chic 'n Cheap's husband, Mr. Beagle is very proud of the proposal he came up with. And it was photographed professionally, but by him. It was so "him" that it created to perfect moment for us.

    Proposals and rings are loaded issues. I think the best way to deal with them is to be open and talk about things. If things didn't go exactly the way you wish, it's ok to tell the other person.

    But doing something traditional, like waiting for the guy to propose is fine, even if you aren't the traditional types and are very egalitarian. I think it's all about figuring out what works best for the two of you. And sometimes that's actually the traditional thing!

  7. Good post. We'd gone away for an anniversary weekend and I thought he might propose then but decided not to think about it and enjoy the weekend. I then opened the scrabble board to Will you marry me (so I love your blog prettiness). I like that the immediate timing was a surprise but the concept wasn't. We spent some time just us knowing the news and then shared it - which was so special. I think it's also about knowing the man you love and whether he will want to/thinks it important to propose to you. As you write 'it is not all about me and so why should I get to choose a location anyway?'

  8. I've been proposed to four times - am in love with life and love. I adore the history behind the proposal but I find public proposals rather indiscreet.

  9. I loved our private, had a beach all to ourselves, proposal. I knew it was coming but it was kick-ass amazing when it arrived.
    Apparently this was our second attempt, it was going to happen during our holiday in France but I was a miserable cow that day!

    A public proposal wouldn't have worked for us but there is something magical about seeing a person shout from the roof tops I love this person and want to be with them forever.

  10. I'm still not 100% I want to be proposed too - I dont really want a ring as I never wear them and it would be a waste of his money - I'd rather we just decided a date and just did it. I'm so unromantic lol

  11. Oh God. I was publically proposed to (by my now husband). We had had all the conversations, but he was very clear that he wanted to propose to me formally. He is way more traditional than I am about lots of things. So he chose a celebration we were holding, in front of about 60 family & friends, to get down on one knee. Lots of my friends have subsequently asked me why he did it like that. I think the public declaration was very important to him, particularly to prove things to his family of origin, for reasons I won't go in to here. I honestly find it bizarre, because he is otherwise a very private person.

  12. ryan's proposal was pretty damn good. took me to paris for my birthday. explored lots then took me to the sacre coeur... got down on one knee and everything. he was so nervous and cute. it was awesome. then going back down the stairs...i tripped and nearly killed myself as we were at the very top. he caught me and saved my life! so gay for him.

  13. Mr B proposed while we were on holidays. And we kept it our own secret for five wonderful days and then told our parents in person. Telling my Mum & Dad is one of my most treasured memories.

  14. proposed to. seemed spur of the moment (later found out it was long in the making). I love the idea of turning on the light and seeing a message like on that sweet lamp. I don't know if I regret telling people right away or not. I think if I happened all over, I would spill the beans again, too excietd to hold it all in

  15. A lovely post. How ucky we all are!

    I was proposed to. And I had a feeling it was coming, but it blew me away when it did. Just us, with legs in a hot tub on a beach. Was funny and sweet and perfect.

    I'm shy so the idea of a public proposal freaks me out. But for others it's their idea of perfection. Horses for courses I guess.

    Btw, your photo? BEAUTIFUL. They look a lot like the flowers we had at our wedding.

  16. I'm glad you wrote about this! I am one of those people without a proposal, and I'm 100% fine with that! I wasn't going to get a ring initially, but for some reason we broke down and got one (I really like it, but don't wear it because I can't stand wearing rings) It's like people don't believe you are engaged unless you have a ring... Or a real proposal story. People would ask very often- almost to the point where I just wanted to make up a story so they would quit bugging me. (and feeling sorry for me....which I don't need OBVIOUSLY I'm HAPPY!!!)

    I even went to a bridal expo without my ring, and all the vendors ignored me. big loss, really ;)

  17. I wouldnt have liked someone there to document it; much better just the 2 of you!

    G always knew I would hate it if he decided in the middle of a restaurant etc but he did propose at the top of the empire state building; which is evidently a public place but there were only 2 other couples there at the opposite side who didnt see him get down on one knee!


So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.


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