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.
Abbie – that’s an interesting story about your sister. I can’t imagine that much money.Cristin – I bet the proposal was just perfect for you, though. And that’s kind of my point.Anonymous – I agree with you that people probably aren’t asking to be jerks. But I don’t know if the fact that they are asking is an indication that they care (for the most part, I think it is, but not always). I was talking to Lucy about this last night. It’s more when people I barely know ask and it just feels a bit like they want to be privy to the info more than they care about my life. But, I tend to be one who likes to share information on my terms, so it’s just my opinion. And I don’t get upset when people ask, I just kind of think they’re a bit nosy. In any case, I’m sure, should it happen again, I will just post about it and tell people to read the blog. That way I get to share it on my terms.Part of it is that, if I’m going to share, I would want people to be able to really get it/feel the moment.
I am pretty sure people don’t ask these annoying questions to be annoying jerks. No, it doesn’t matter and sure it may bother you but hey, people are only interested, right? so give them a watered down version or completely make it up. At least they care to ask.
I think I’m with Lucy on this one. I think it’s a fun way of getting to know people by hearing their story. I like to see what details they include. If they light up when they talk about it or what. But I’m just nosy :)I hear you on your argument though.
Good post. Erik proposed to me in my backyard while we were talking. So when people asked me how he proposed and I was like, “Um, he asked me during a conversation.” They are just like, “Oh.” Like disappointed. I would be super embarrassed from something huge. Your proposal story is actually really funny. I can’t believe he paged you on that little screen in the airport.
Chloe, so that’s where you’ve been, in that special lab where you have me connected to a brain reading machine-reading my thoughts.ITA with this post. The ring even stopped mattering to me even more when my brother -in-law spend a whooping $10K on my sister’s ring but they still live in a one bedroom apartment. Now I just have an adverse reaction to excessiveness when it comes to engagement rings.
I have loved all of these comments. Lisa – I know we’ve had this discussion. And I will probably still be guilty of asking people, but I think I’m going to try and reword my questions to focus on the relationship rather than the events.Amy – How do people react when you keep it vague? I find they just keep prying sometimes.Lucy – I love the “how did you meet?”, but not the other stuff.Collette – It sounds like you have some feelings and/or stories. I’m excited.Katie – I also have feelings on weddings. Now that I’m older, I just want a nice dinner with family and close friends (you know, the ones I actually talk to). I’m sure I’ll offend people, but whatever. Of course, it won’t be all about me, so…we’ll see. Or a destination. “Hey, we’re getting married in Hawaii on this day…come if you can.” Amie – I get little butterflies of excitement whenever someone says their spouse/fiance picked out their ring with no help (other than knowing you). I think that’s so romantic.Hillary – a proposal on a couch watching family feud sounds just fine to me. It’s the moment that you decide to get married that I think is special. And, if you are surprised by the big, grandiose event, then that would be that moment and it would be special. Annalisa – I’m glad you like your ring, even if you might not have done a diamond.
The good news is after you get married, people stop asking you that. They start asking “how’s married life?” which is a think-veiled question. You just can’t put too much trust in the superficial nature of people. But I’m with you about it being horrifying if a big deal. I don’t like that question either, but I am not a romantic (plus my experience wasn’t that great, but at least it was private). And if I had to do it all over again, I doubt I’d pick a diamond even though I really do like my ring.
Yeah – a good make out at the movies was fun – we went to the movies last night for our anniversary. 15 yrs later – we were lucky to stay awake, let alone bumo hands in the popcorn. We can’t even kiss at home without creeping out the kids! We just tell them that their lucky that their parents still love each other. By the way, my proposal was on the couch watching family fued! How’s that for romance. It’s not always about the delivery!
Proposal stories are always embarrassing to me. I do like to hear about dating and relationships though. I would have been so bugged with a public proposal, so not my thing!I completely agree about the ring. I love that Jimmy picked mine with no help. I also hate all of the ring upgrading going on… very sentimental!
oh! chloe! we share a brain!!!we’ll see how it all really rolls out for me but here’s the thing…the conversation where a you and boy decide you want to get married is a proposal as far as i’m concerne. and while a romantic evening where he get down on a knee and really asks does sound delightful…i’m far more attached to the moment where you both know this is forever. I remember the episode of Friends where Ross and Emily got engaged and it this totally spontaneous, romantic moment between just the two of them. The real moment of “i just want to be with you forever” seems like it ought to be just that. if he wants to do a more formal “icing” proposal then great. and sweet. but personal and intimate and about US is just way more appealing than a grand gesture that seems sort of about everyone else is way more appealing to me. i guess as i get older so much of the wedding stuff seems SO contrived. I want authenticity baby.
I am a first timer on your blog. Oh, we will have much to discuss at lunch next week. Looking forward to it!
I guess I’ll be the first counterpoint. I love the “how did you meet” and “how did you guys get engaged” (because you never know who did the asking) and specific questions because they say so much about the individuals inside the couple. Plus I’m nosy!:) Well, not nosy…but I love details and I love knowing the history about people I’m interested in. I enjoyed your story. I hope your forever fella knows you like you want to be known.
I’m with you all the way on this one. I completely dislike attention, and thank goodness my husband knew that when he proposed. But when people ask me how he proposed (which, btw, has always bothered me)I keep it vague because yes, it’s personal and intimate. Love this post!
What a great post…I completely agree with you. Everybody’s different, and that’s fine, but I’m all about it being more of a special moment and experience for the two of you. Though, I admit I have asked people, and have answered when people ask me. It’s just like you said though–the moment is special to the two of you for your own reasons, and nobody else but you can really appreciate that. Good post.–Lisa