In the last few years, the Internet has propagated a marriage proposal arms race. Video after video of elaborate proposals go viral on social networks, from homemade movies shown in a theater to choreographed dances to the awesome guy who faked his own death. So what am I going to do to one-up everyone else? Crash a zeppelin and have the resulting inferno spell out, “Will you marry me, [unlucky woman]?” Rent out Fox Plaza, recreate the plot of “Die Hard,” and get on one knee at the end after I push Alan Rickman out the window? Take the “fake your own death” prank a step further and pop out of my coffin at the funeral with a ring?
No. I’m not going to do any of those things. You know what I’m doing? I’m giving up. That’s right. I’m tired of the responsibility, so I’m announcing to all girls out in the world that, if you stupidly decide you want to get hitched to me, you have to be the person who gets on one knee. Here’s why.
1. Show Off How “Evolved” I Am
You might think I’m doing this to get out of my responsibility, but what I’m really doing is showing how modern my thinking is. I believe in the equality of women. I believe in it so much that I’m willing to relinquish my traditional marriage plea and gift it to the woman I’m with. Not only does that make me look like a 21st century man, but it also gives her ammo to make her girlfriends jealous. They’ll all be sitting on their hands, waiting for their guys to wise up and pop the question–but meanwhile, she gets to pick the why, when, and where of it all. And if there’s anything I know girls love more than making their friends jealous, it’s getting to control the logistics of everything they do.
2. Change The Power Dynamic
Okay, so now that my bullshit, altruistic justification is out of the way, let’s get to the real reasons. The act of the marriage proposal causes a lot of stress for guys. Even the guys who have decided with their girlfriends that they want to get engaged still wring their hands about the physical execution of the proposal. Girls have found a way to take a thing (marriage) that was typically tilted against them in terms of power and shifted it the other direction. I commend them for it. I actually find it hilarious that some people view women as desperate to find a husband, when in practice, it always seems like it’s the guy who is more worried through the whole process. So, well done, ladies, but I’m shifting the emotional seesaw back to your side. Now you have to worry if your proposal is up to MY standards. You also get to live with the delicious fear that maybe, just maybe, I’ll turn you down in front of everyone. Enjoy it.
3. Not Having To Buy A Ring
This is simple. I’m not a rich man, but even if I was, a third of a year’s salary?! Get the fuck out of my life, crazy person. I’ll even make my future bride a deal: don’t buy me a ring. Buy me a nice “engagement watch,” then buy yourself the ring of your dreams. It’s a win-win. Guys can pour over jewelry magazines and websites and talk to a girl’s friends all he wants, but he’s never going to get it perfect. Sure, it can be close to perfect. She’ll tell everyone she loves it and that you got her the exact ring she always wanted. But the truth is, inside her brain, she’ll always think about how that slightly different setting would have really made the ring, which is fine! I wouldn’t expect my girlfriend to get every detail right if she had to blindly pick me out a perfect classic car (black 1970 Chevelle SS with the 454) or hunting rifle (Remington 700 BDL chambered for 7mm Mag). So why put that kind of pressure on me?
4. Pure Laziness
Here’s what it all comes down to. A proposal is a lot of effort. I avoid effort whenever I can. I acknowledge that this might actually be a character flaw, but I haven’t decided definitively. I’m not going to go as far as saying that the whole proposal thing has gotten out of control, but you know what? Fuck it. You people are out of control! These big, elaborate proposals are good for no one. The people who get popular with them inspire others to one-up them. When they do get surpassed, the previous “best proposal” holders don’t feel as special as they once did. And simultaneously, a whole generation of girls watch these things only to someday be underwhelmed because their boyfriends didn’t spring for Tom Cruise to do an actual fly-by in an F-16. It’s too much. Just figure out a special, small-scale way to tell your girlfriend you love her and you want to spend the rest of your life with her. And then, just for the hell of it, actually spend the rest of your life with her.
The point is, I’m probably never going to actually do this. However, if a girl was to suggest off the cuff that she would actually enjoy being the proposer, I’d jump on that plan faster than I change the channel as soon as Nancy Grace’s stupid face pops up.