No, I am not engaged. I’m not even dating someone, although with the last time I got engaged (the only time) that’s about how fast it happened. But I have recently come across three posts about engagement rings that I found very interesting (here, here and here…be sure to read the comments, as well) and that got me thinking about the whole “proposal” thing. Having been there and done that once, I feel like I’ve got a little bit of experience. And actually, if you include the instant message proposal, then I’ve been there twice, so that gives me even more clout. Just don’t look to me for any advice on an actual marriage.
I do have some opinions on rings. I had a diamond and I liked it. I don’t know that I want one again. We’ll see. But this post is not about the “bling”. This post is about the actual proposal.
When “the boy” and I decided to get married, it was a decision we made together, over the phone. I wasn’t going to be seeing him for a while and so that’s how it was discussed. He wanted to propose to me at the airport when I picked him up, with all of my friends and family there. He told me this later, at which point I should have known things were not going to work. While I am all about disclosing the details of my life, I do not like that type of limelight. It’s just not my thing. I have an extremely loving family, a family that would walk to the end of the earth for me. We all know we love each other, but we are not overtly affectionate or over-the-top about it. Having a guy propose to me in front of anyone is not my idea of a good time. Of course, to the boy’s credit, I did not share any of this with him. I don’t know that I had yet realized just how much I don’t like public affection. Not regular old PDA…I’m all for making out at the movies*…but declarations of love in public.
Well, the boy’s plan didn’t work out, mainly because my family did not like him and the weekend he came out was just too busy for all of them. So, no family. But he still wanted it to be some grandiose gesture. It would be a proposal by loud speaker, in the airport. That didn’t work out because in the Phoenix Airport they no longer make actual announcements when paging people, they just say your name and that you have a message waiting. So, I heard my name, went to the little paging station, picked up the phone and heard a little message telling me where the would-be-fiance was located and that he was going to ask me to marry him.
I found him, he got down on his knee, asked me to marry him and I said “yes”.
Really, it was sweet. And quiet. A little more public than I would have liked, but it was in the presence of strangers, so it was all right.
So, why am I writing this?
Because, after I got engaged, people would ask me over and over and over again how he asked me. The question in my head was always “Why does it matter?” Not that it’s not an exciting thing, but really, does it matter how he proposed? Is a “bad” proposal indication of less love? What is the person going to say when he/she thinks the way he proposed just wasn’t that great? “Well, at least you got a nice ring”? I just felt awkward. Even sharing it now feels awkward. Not because I didn’t like the proposal, but because you cannot recreate that moment for someone else. It never comes out sounding right.
Now, I’m guessing not everyone agrees with me. I’m guessing some of you out there would love a proposal on the screen at seventh game of the World Series. And I’m guessing some of you who are married loved sharing how he proposed…or for those of you doing the proposing, how you proposed. I, however, am not one of those people. I don’t like big and I don’t like sharing a moment that, to me anyway, is a rather intimate and personal moment, with anyone who decides to ask me. It goes right to my whole issue with, “Oooh, you’re engaged. Let’s see the ring.”
I don’t need some huge ring and I don’t need a screen with flashing lights or a proposal written in the sky. Not only do I not need them, but I don’t want them. What I do want is a ring that a great guy picked out and thought, “Wow, I think Chloe will love this.” What I do want is a sweet, quiet declaration of love with an invitation to spend the rest of forever with him. What I do want is for people, someday (should “someday” happen) to ask me what it was about this man that I fell in love with and why I am so excited to spend my life with him, not how he asked me and what the ring looks like.
*While I do enjoy a good make out, my days (there were only about three…which I realize is three too many) of movie make-outs is over.