(I wrote this originally for my column on iEatGrass!)
Even though it’s still a tit nipply here on the East Coast, Wednesday was the first day of Spring. Fittingly enough, it was also “National Proposal Day.” I think popping the question, or getting it popped, on the first day of Spring is awesome. Spring is such a glorious season and naturally signifies new beginnings. What better day to embark on an exciting new journey in your relationship?
With this in mind, it’s unfortunate that someone (who? Who names these things? My bet is on Hallmark…) chose the first day of Spring as National Proposal Day, because I think actually proposing on National Proposal Day is a little drippy.
It’s one thing to eat pancakes on National Pancake Day because Haha! You guys, it’s national pancake day and iHop is giving away stacks on stacks! But professing your love and hopefully kickstarting the next stage of your life? Not as trivial pancakes.
Plus who wants to be proposed to on a day of the year that gobs of other girls are sliding baubles on their fingers? You will call up your college roomie and be like “Hey, dudeface proposed!” and she will be like “Oh, awesome, my doodle did too….Ugh I am so pissed about the season finale of the Bachelor.” Or whatever.
It would REALLY suck if you had this sweet proposal planned for the first day of spring without even realizing it was NPD. That would be a bummer. I guess I am just being a grouch…isn’t it more important that you’re getting married at all than on which day you propose? And with that in mind, let’s talk about gender roles when it comes to wedding proposals.
It’s 2013. Women are kicking ass at work AND balancing happy homes, along with the help of supportive partners. While we are currently struggling to NOT have our reproductive rights kicked back a handful of decades, in general I think we’re doing much better for ourselves as far as independence. So why do the majority of men and women still believe that the man should always do the proposing?
I polled my lady friends in an extremely scientific study, and nearly all of them said they would never consider proposing. Their main reason? They would feel that a special moment had been taken away from them. That, in taking matrimony matters into their own hands, they would be “gipped.” They would be “stripped of their own final rose ceremony.” (One of them actually said that. Bitches LOVE the Bachelor.)
Would a man feel equally as gipped if he didn’t get to watch the face of the woman he loves as she says “yes!”? (Ugh, what if she says no? There’s just no coming back from that…)
A decent amount of my friends are married, and they all have adorable proposal stories. But my favorite of them all is my friend Nick’s story, because his kick-ass wife proposed to HIM. He was planning on asking her to marry him, she found out about it (ninja stealth mode) and she asked him first.
I asked my friend Nick if he felt gipped of the moment he was planning for his now wifey.
“Honestly, I think the whole build-up to a proposal is so overrated and blown out of proportion…So I was totally cool with not having to do it, and just jumping into engagement without much hype or hassle….and since she was fine with ‘not being proposed to,’ I was totally cool with it too.”
I asked him if he felt less pressure.
“There’s less pressure. But yeah – it also reasserts what I already know about her – that she’s a no bullshit lady who doesn’t care about stuff like that, and that’s pretty cool I think. I did think about what other people would think for a hot second, but quickly arrived at the conclusion of: Fuck ’em.”
Awwww. I hope if I ever get married, and my partner has nosy friends eagerly prying into their relationship, that they say I am a “no bullshit lady.”
Awwws aside, I think if you know you want to marry someone, and you think your relationship is ready for a heady commitment like the joining of your souls forever and ever, whether you’re male or female, you should probably just ask them.
I think that as society moves forward, this male-on-female standard for marriage proposal will begin to stale. Why? Because marriage is changing—for the good, and for the bad. On the upside, more and more states (Fuck yeah, Connecticut!) are allowing same sex marriages, which obviously negates any expectation of who “should” be doing the proposal.
Additionally, we’re getting married later, and so maybe many of us will care less about waiting for that perfect proposal and will just hike up our big girl britches and romance the fuck out of our men.
On the opposite side of proposal you have divorce, which is occurring at a rampant rate. We seem to be viewing marriage less as a commitment, and more as an expendable commodity, and that’s pretty sad.
Marriage in general isn’t for every couple. And for those that do want to get married, well there is no standard format for what makes a marriage work. So why should their be a standard proposal format?
I hope to see a trend of untraditional women feeling ballsy enough to propose to their guys. Not to say that there aren’t strong, confident women who still want to be proposed to. What could make you feel more powerful than some dude on his knee asking you to officially pair your genitals with his genitals for all of eternity? Also, love and stuff.
Proposals aside, what’s more important than how we decide to GET married, is how we decide to treat our marriage once we’re in them. I am not married, so I can’t give advice on that yet, but I can say that all relationships take a whole lot of work, and male, female, woman or man, we shouldn’t propose or commit to a marriage we’re not ready to take on.
OKAY, so can people tell me their awesome proposal stories so I can geek out over the adorableness? Thanks. Ladies, would you propose to your men? Men, would you be happy or weirded out if your girl proposed?