Friday, January 24, 2014

Proposals

I'm getting married! Hah! I can't wait for you all to read this rather extensive discussion on how it all happened. It’s weird and abrupt and totally something I would just make up. No. I’m just kidding. I’m not getting married (not yet, at least). But you have to admit, I caught your attention, right? J

Picture from here

There has been an onslaught of creative video proposals lately, and it’s been filling cyberspace to the rim. We see people singing and dancing, lip syncing and dancing, lip syncing and trying to dance, doing short films, renting out theaters and cafes and ice skating rinks and offices, all for that special event—that one moment when the future groom asks his future bride, “Will you marry me?” (Or for the truly romantic, “It would be an enormous privilege for me to spend the rest of my life loving you. Would you grant me the honor of being your husband? Will you marry me?)

So I’m just going to lay this out here and now. I have nothing against all these proposals. Inside, I really enjoy watching these men do whatever it takes to get their girl to say yes. I salute their creativity and courage to do so. These proposals will certainly be something to talk about with their children and grandchildren. They begin the beginning of the rest of their lives with such a bang that there’s the assumption that nothing could go wrong. So this I write for the purpose of just writing it. (And I particularly dedicate this to the people who are brave enough to make a scene in public, in front of lots of strangers, like, in a train station or a movie house.)

What if she says no?

This really is just the question. The optimistic side of me thinks that the man has already thought about this, made a plan B (like run fast and never look back), and is still willing to risk it because, indeed, asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you is a great risk. So maybe the man has the confidence in the relationship, in their love for each other, and the approval of God and everyone to marry the woman he has fallen deeply in love with. Maybe he knows in advance that she’s just waiting for him to ask and the answer has been at the tip of her tongue for a while now. Maybe he knows that even if he just asks during a cup of coffee, with no singing or dancing or fireworks, she’d say yes. He just wants to make it special because he believes that the girl is special. I commend that man. There should be more men who think their love is special and do whatever it takes to keep it special.
I just lost my train of thought here.

As I was typing the slightly long paragraph above, I realize that there really is no reason for her to say no. If the man has had the confidence enough to be willing to make a fool of himself (which rarely happens, by the way) just to ask her to be his wife, then the woman must already know that it was inevitable. That in whatever way the man would ask, the man would ask. And she would say yes. (Because obviously they love each other.)

Then again, what if (1) she doesn’t love him enough to marry him (which would lead us all to hate the person, but hate is such a strong word so we’d rather say we dislike her), (2) she doesn’t want the proposal to be as public as a theme park displaying their newest rides, (3) he doesn’t understand why number (2) exists when women are “supposed to be” romantic in every way, or (4) he has seen too many proposal videos and how popular the videos of these proposals have become and, in an effort to become famous for at least five minutes, decides to join the bandwagon (which is really selfish if that’s his only reason . . . or if that’s one of his reasons, really)?

She doesn’t love him enough to marry him

Why in the world are they still in a relationship then? Why does she go out with him? Why did he even have the inkling of wanting to marry her if she doesn’t love him enough to marry him (unless he’s just dense and couldn’t see the signs in which case she could have saved him a lot of trouble by being brutally blunt)?

I think this is an issue in today’s generation (that statement just made me feel really old). So many relationships revolve around what media defines as “love.” Being in a relationship, the girlfriend–boyfriend kind, just seems to them as part of growing up. Being in a relationship is just how it’s supposed to be (which is true, actually). You meet a person, you get to know each other, you date, and you fall in love. Where this goes wrong is when the falling in love part doesn’t lead them to thinking that they’d actually get married. I mean, seriously, I’ve heard people say things like “It’s not like we’re getting married!” when they’ve been with each other for quite a while already. I’d like to throw them a rock with a note that says, “Duh!” Duh because where in the world did they think their relationship was leading to? Just being in that kind of relationship forever, the girlfriend–boyfriend kind? Duh because anyone who thinks this should be avoided because wasting emotional investments should be a serious offense in the common sense of life. Duh because, seriously, it’s the stupidest thing to say. You might as well tell each other that you’re just using each other as a pastime and really have no intention of staying if life comes to that point—you know, that point.

What I’m saying is that when you commit to a relationship, it’s saying that you hope to walk down the aisle toward the altar someday (wedding, not a funeral). There’s the hope that the relationship would never really end or, rather, the girlfriend–boyfriend relationship would end and a wife–husband relationship would take over. (I just realized that I keep using the “girls first” rule. Sorry.) At the very beginning of the relationship, during the courtship perhaps, the man and the woman have already seriously thought about the possibility of marriage. Because, really, what’s the point of going into a relationship if you know it won’t last?

So this, by virtue of ignorance or sheer stubbornness, becomes cause to panic for any man who wants to propose to a woman he hasn’t had the chance to talk seriously with about the rest of their lives. She doesn’t love him enough to marry him, so she’s probably just using him. (Sorry, girls, I know there could be other legitimate reasons for loving but not marrying your man, but bear with me on this one.)

She doesn’t want the proposal to be as public as a theme park

This, I think, can be because of two reasons: (a) she is not the outgoing type and prefers to not make a spectacle of herself or (b) she’s going to say no (which I have already discussed above but will discuss more below).

Some girls would like the whole shebang—fireworks, loud music, elaborate choreography, hair-raising stunts, death-defying feats, lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). And that would be awesome. She would enjoy watching the proposal video over and over and would be one of the many people sharing it on Facebook for all the world to see. She’s probably prepared how to dramatically say yes, prepared her heart for how it would feel like to watch her husband-to-be kneel before her, take her hand, look into her eyes, and ask her to be his forever. Or she probably would have no idea what was coming but decided to be in the moment when the moment finally comes. That’s the best part, when the moment finally comes.

But then there are girls who would panic at such events (I know of no such person as this is all hypothetical and comes from the probably slushy and mushy and gooey stuff that is my brain). Just the thought of facing so many strangers frightens them, and they’d actually freeze when the marriage question comes up. It’s like being in a classroom and the teacher suddenly calls out your name and asks you some complicated question that you know would probably require some complicated answer of which you know nothing of. It’s like being caught off guard, in a good way, but self-defense takes control—a deer in the headlights, a goat stiff as a (I’m still thinking of something clever to describe the goat’s freezing defense mechanism). Being in a pressured environment makes jelly of their usually rational brains. They panic.

And then there are girls who are too self-conscious. She doesn’t want the whole world to know how she said yes with a throaty, hoarse voice, tears dripping and some other liquid sliding down her nose. Nobody wants to let the world see them crying, whether it be of joy or sadness (unless you cry really beautifully, like Charlize Theron). And there may be a time when she looks at that video and think, Eww, the whole world saw this? What was I thinking? Then again, be in the moment.

And for the sake of just writing this down, there are the KJs. The ones who think, With the money he used to pay for all this, we could have given a down payment for a house. Well, there go the fireworks. Burn, money, burn. I’m sorry, I don’t want to be mean, but the logical part of my brain might wish for a day when it could control all my bodily functions and decision making, and the proposal day might be the day. Every effort the man gives, the woman can shoot it down (which doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t love him, just that she’s very “practical” at that moment).

If any of the above is a description of the woman who is about to be asked for marriage, there is a slight increase in the risk of going all out in the proposal video (better cancel the fire dancers, darling). The man can still go ahead with it if he wishes. I’m just saying this because I keep it to myself most of the time and some other people might be thinking the same thing.

Now, again, maybe she’s just going to say no. She can be slightly cold about this.

Scene 1 Ext. shopping mall parking lot
All the dancers have come out, the party poppers are popped, the neon lights are flashing, the music has climaxed, and then the man kneels before her and opens a tiny velvet box, revealing a tiny ring.
Man: Will you marry me?
Woman: No. (Walks away)
Sounds like Grumpy Cat.

Or she could be really, really cold.

Scene 2 Ext. shopping mall parking lot
The man leads the woman to their car, then music starts playing through the parking lot speakers and people slowly start to sing, including the man.
Woman: (walks away)

This would be a really, really bad video to share.

But of course, there are those decent women who really value people’s dignity. She’s a keeper if she can be kept.

Scene 3 Ext. shopping mall parking lot.
All the dancers have come out, the party poppers are popped, the neon lights are flashing, the music has climaxed, and then the man kneels before her and opens a tiny velvet box, revealing a tiny ring.
Man: Will you marry me?
Woman: (whispering) Can we talk in the car? You know, away from all these strangers.

Personally, I have a feeling I might do this if the conditions are just right. I really wouldn’t want to humiliate anyone (but then this just means I’m one of those “she doesn’t love him enough to marry him” girls! Que horror!).

He doesn’t understand why number (2) exists when women are “supposed to be” romantic

Why exactly does number (2) exist? I hadn’t really thought this through. Maybe he doesn’t understand that women are different. Maybe he never asked about things like this. Maybe he assumed the woman he was proposing to loves attention since she loved it when he gave her attention. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

I guess this boils down to really knowing each other. I cannot express elaborately enough the importance of getting to know each other. It’s a daily process, continuous learning. You find out that the person exists. You find out the person’s name. You find out the person’s schedule. You get to know the way the person walks. You memorize the back of the person’s head. You realize that the person’s eyes are colored brown, not “dreamy” as they say. You get to know the person’s inability to use commas when talking. You get to know the person’s extensive vocabulary list. You get to know the person. Even when people get married, they’re still finding things out about each other. And this, the getting to know if the person is a number (2) or not, to sum up this third point (because I realize this post is becoming rather long and boring), can and should be done before the actual proposal. It’s a minor thing, really, albeit dragging a rather scary consequence if you get it wrong.

He has seen too many proposal videos

So maybe he is just creative. Maybe he expresses himself this way. Maybe he expresses himself best in videos and dancing. There’s nothing wrong with that. He loves it. She loves it. It works.
What’s wrong is when he does it for the likes and the shares. When there is no need for extravagant setups, hiring actors, and tying the moon on a string but he still convinces her to just go along because the video will surely go viral, that’s when warning bells should start making her deaf. I do hope nobody has done this because of the abovementioned reason.

What I’m really concerned of for now is how this trend is affecting every other couple in the world. Since everybody seems to be doing it, should the next man to propose also capture it on camera? I’m thinking of the man who can’t afford any of those magical proposals we see so often. I’m thinking of the woman who cries every time she sees a proposal video as she wishes her man would do such things to her when he does propose. I’m thinking of the man who starts to think it’s a requirement, an essential part of life (birth, school, work, proposal video, marriage, death). I’m thinking of the woman who already said yes but still dreams of having her own video to share. I’m thinking of the man who wishes these proposal videos never existed so that he wouldn’t be compared with other people and when people would ask them how he proposed, they could just say he asked her to marry him and she said yes.

I don’t know. I obviously am just making a big deal out of this. But every once in a while, we do appreciate the existence of proposal videos. It gives us the feeling that humanity does know how to love, humanity does know how to upgrade culture, and that there’s still hope for humanity after all. We appreciate the creativity of showing love. We appreciate the effort. We appreciate the people who worked to make it happen just to hear the woman say yes.

I guess it’s just nice to think back on when these videos didn’t exist, when people had to tell people how it happened because of the lack of technology. When people didn’t propose just for show.
How did our parents get engaged? Does the lack of confetti diminish the fact that they had loved each other enough to marry each other? No. So I’m just curious. How did it happen before the proposal video trend? How did men propose?







PS Also, since you can reply anonymously, you can also share failed attempts at proposals if you’re feeling up to it. You know, just to rant or to laugh about it. Nobody’s going to know it’s you anyway. J

2 comments:

  1. if ako... di ko nahan in public.. im a loner and i don't like show

    ReplyDelete
  2. id rather do it private... kana bitaw na dili sya happy dili sad sya sad on that Day... if she say yes then i must be ready for a weeding but if she says no. i can still wait.... pero wedding dili nasad pwedi na kami ra duha... it must be in the presence of her parents and my mother.. and many more.

    ReplyDelete

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