I’m so over over-the-top marriage proposals
By Natalie Serafini, Opinions Editor
Not to be a party pooper, but I’m getting really sick of all these great big, elaborate marriage proposals that are produced, performed, and posted online. You know, the videos that you stumble across every once in a while that advertise “Best Marriage Proposal Ever!” or “Barbershop Quartet Proposal!” You click on them out of morbid curiosity and a faint hope that she’ll say ‘no’ just for entertainment value. In these videos, everyone always cries, they say yes, and they present what seems to be the new thing in marriage proposals: extravagance.
[quote]It becomes a story about you—as in singular, you who planned the proposal—rather than a joint experience that led to your joint life together. [/quote]
I’ll grant that these proposals aren’t as objectionable as the disturbing trend of faking your own death before proposing. One Russian man set up a dramatic car crash scene where he posed dead before popping the question to his hysterical girlfriend. The man behind the plan, Alexey Bykov, stated that “I wanted her to realize how empty her life would be without me and how life would have no meaning without me.”
Obviously the extravagant proposals are preferable to the psychotic ones, but does anyone else think they’re equally manipulative? Even if the happy couple has discussed their plans to get hitched, it’s possible that one of them could be pretending, or unaware of their feelings until the proposal comes blaring down the tracks. Then, if you say no after your possible fiancé-to-be has proposed via barbershop quartet, flashmob, or extreme-choreographed-lip-sync, you look like the biggest bitch on the planet because he obviously loves you and you can’t put aside your reservations for just one lifetime and say yes.
Truly, you’re stuck. Especially with all these smiling, out-of-breath friends, family, and professional performers staring at you expectantly. Everyone will think this elaborate performance is somehow demonstrative of love and affection. It seems like proposals have gotten to be a competition: who can make their loved one cry the soonest, who can put together the biggest, most bamboozling proposal. After a certain point, it’s not even a demonstration of love. It’s not personal, endearing, or heartfelt.
I recently watched a video of this guy proposing, and the whole thing felt so insincere. As if he had studied other mega-proposals to ensure that his was the best one. I know everyone plans the proposal, but with him it felt really contrived. I think that feeling of artifice is what puts me off of the whole extravagant proposal thing. You have to plan it all out and get the right people at the right place at the right time and force everything to go well. It becomes a story about you—as in singular, you who planned the proposal—rather than a joint experience that led to your joint life together. God forbid any part of the performance should go wrong, lest the reviews be less than stellar.
True, you decide that you want to propose, and you plan when and how to do it, but after a certain point the sincerity is lost and all you’re left with is a circus.