Rating The 10 Best New York Times Proposals From 2017

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Breaking Down The 10 Best New York Times Proposals From 2017

Wedding season is in the distant past. Now, we’re just all clutching our wallets trying to prepare for Wedding Season 2018 where we’ll all inevitably have to spend thousands of dollars traveling to see two of our friends mutter, “I do.”

Except for the poor saps who are proposing this Christmas. That’s right – it’s engagement season. And with engagement season comes what I’ve been waiting for: The New York Times list of their ten favorite proposals from the last year.

Time to break these down.

Let’s begin with Steven and Sophia, an innocent couple made somewhat more complicated by the presence of Sophia’s daughter, Wilhelmina.

Exactly a year after his first date with Ms. Tang at Bemelmans Bar in Manhattan, the couple returned there — same corner table, same pianist — and Mr. DeLuca got down on one knee and proposed to Ms. Tang — but he still had some proposing to do.

Two days later, Ms. Tang shared the good news with Wilhelmina, and Mr. DeLuca followed by promptly dropping to one knee, again, this time to explain to Wilhelmina the significance of an engagement ring, “and how it is really about a commitment to one another,” as he said to her. He then surprised Wilhelmina with a tiny ring of her own, made of hearts and diamonds.

Not only is calling your daughter “Wilhelmina” enough to warrant an immediate breakup, but getting down on one knee to your now-fiancé’s 7-year-old daughter is a little… uh, creepy? Okay, okay, I get it. It’s somewhat sweet and her inclusion to them as a couple is essential. But still. Just get her a Tickle-Me-Elmo or something.

Actually, don’t. That’s even more creepy.

Aww Rating: 7.8/10

* * *

Now onto Uzezi and Jacob, a New York City couple that had some issues with the engagement ring.

Unbeknown to him, Ms. Abugo’s ring finger was a size 8½. The ring he gave her was a 6½.

A few minutes later, Ms. Abugo realized that the blood had stopped flowing to her finger, which was turning a dark shade of purple, and after trying and failing to remove the ring, they jumped into a cab and headed for the emergency room at Montefiore Medical Center.

“I told him, ‘If you don’t get this ring off soon, I’m going to lose my entire finger,’” Ms. Abugo said, laughing as she recalled the incident. “I told him, ‘I can’t marry you without a ring finger.’”

When they arrived at the hospital, “everyone thought it was hilarious,” Ms. Abugo said.

Though the ring needed to be cut off — leaving her with a scar now hidden by a resized ring — Ms. Abugo’s finger was saved, as was the painfully amusing memory of the day she got engaged.

Um, hey dumbass, maybe just grab an old ring from her bedroom and take it to the jeweler rather than try to get your fiancé’s fingers amputated. Call me crazy but I think a little petty theft is allowed and warranted in this case.

Also, how about everyone at the hospital finding it hilarious? Shouldn’t this couple be drinking Dom Perignon while sucking down oysters rather than be getting laughed at in the emergency room?

Aww Rating: 2.1/10

* * *

Did someone ask for an Ethiopian Prince accidentally scaring the shit out of his girlfriend? Thought so.

Mr. Makonnen, an actual prince who happens to be the great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, and Ms. Austin, who is of Guyanese descent and is the maternal granddaughter of a Lord Mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, were engaged on Valentine’s Day 2014.

Their marriage had been more than a decade in the making when Mr. Makonnen bought a princess-cut diamond ring and showed up at the home of Ms. Austin’s parents with the bauble in one hand and balloons in another.

Perhaps a bit nervous, he knocked too loudly, leading Ms. Austin to think the house was being burglarized. She called her parents, who were returning home from a dinner party.

“She thought somebody was trying to break in,” said Bobby Austin, Ms. Austin’s father. “And it was just the poor guy trying to propose to her.”

Ms. Austin eventually opened the door, letting in her future husband.

You never want to be described as the “poor guy trying to propose to her,” but sadly, we find ourselves here again.

And don’t think the whole “princess cut diamond” was lost on me. Despite it being a little cute because he’s an actual fucking prince, princess cut is trash and should be avoided at all costs. Unless it was inherited and you saved a few thousand dollars.

Aww Rating: 3.9/10

* * *

And now, a little equality.

Ms. Prichard and Ms. Rubenstein were engaged to each other twice, in a span of 17 days.

Ms. Rubenstein proposed first, on Dec. 10, 2016, sweeping Ms. Prichard off her feet with a surprise proposal on the beach in Laguna, Calif., complete with a gallery of pictures of their travels together and a guitar player singing their favorite songs. After returning from a trip to Bali on Dec. 27, Ms. Prichard “counter-proposed” as she put it, surprising Ms. Rubenstein with a treasure hunt around their Corona del Mar home that ended with an engagement ring served on a plate with freshly baked cookies.

Love this.

Oh, you’re going to propose to me? Cool. I’m going to propose to you too. Now each of them gets to go through the social media ringer of having to post their rings and cringe to see if the masses approve.

Sure, the guitar player is a little cheesy but we’ve got double-barrel proposals.

Aww Rating: 8.9/10

* * *

Let’s hear it for Lisa and Gilad, who almost made me puke.

Ms. Bridge was sitting at her desk in Seattle one Saturday when she received a card from Mr. Berenstein that featured a pair of matchsticks hugging along with the words “A perfect match.”

The card read: “Hey babe, change of plans for today. Please Uber to the Fairmont Hotel’s Georgian Room for a surprise. Enjoy! Love, G. Please arrive at 2 p.m.”

First off, gross. Second off, eww. Third off, “a perfect match”? Pretty sure my girlfriend’s nieces could come up with something better and they’re, like, six. And he made her Uber herself? She best be sending him a Venmo request for that. Arriving exactly at 2 o’clock in an Uber to pretty much anywhere is nearly impossible. You’re already getting shelled on the engagement ring price – just call her a car yourself.

Her heart racing, she got into the Uber and told the driver, “I think I’m getting engaged.” She arrived at the Fairmont, “shaking slightly,” she said, and “expecting to see Gilad.” Instead, she saw her two closest friends waving her over to join them for tea.

She was soon handed another card, this one adorned with an image of a fluffy white cat in between chocolate and graham crackers that read “I want s’more of you!” Inside was another note: “Hi babe, I hope you enjoyed the tea and stories. I can’t wait for our next tea adventure! Your next surprise awaits you at 1427 5th Ave. You’ll know it when you see it. Love, G.”

Goddammit, G. Please just stop with the puns.

She was probably already going to pee herself a little bit when she sees the ring came out, but giving her a surplus of tea and an extended wait time beforehand only guarantees it.

She made her way to that address, which turned out to be her favorite nail salon, and there she saw two more friends who had flown in from Dallas. As they chatted, Ms. Bridge was Facetimed by yet another close friend who shared a few memories. As tears streamed down her cheeks, she was given yet another card: “Congratulations for being sexy and intelligent at the same time.”

Dude, what? Ubers? FaceTimes? Stop telling me about the labor and just show me the damn baby already. And stop calling your girlfriend “sexy” in front of everyone. It’s weird.

That card also recalled the night Ms. Bridge helped Mr. Berenstein celebrate his 30th birthday at a nearby favorite restaurant, where she found two more girlfriends, who had flown in from Los Angeles.

Ms. Bridge was soon handed a final card that read: “You are my bucket list.”

Stupid bucket list card aside, this dude needs to chill on importing her friends from all over the country. Such a diva.

The card instructed her to return to the bar where she and Mr. Berenstein had their first date. Once there, she found him holding two glasses of Champagne. He escorted her to a private room with Frank Sinatra songs playing in the background and red roses set on a table for two.

“He looked at me with tears in his eyes,” Ms. Bridge said. “He told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to spend his life with me.”

With no more instructions needed, Mr. Berenstein dropped to one knee and proposed.

This guy definitely cries to Hallmark Christmas movies. Just laying it on way too thick.

Aww Rating: 1.3/10

* * *

Okay, need a chaser after that last one. Let’s see what two doctors, Danielle and Michael, have to offer. He invited her to a screening of an independent film which was (obviously) a false front.

Unbeknown to her, he had actually rented the theater just for the two of them to show a 30-minute video he had created of friends and family talking about their relationship.

Oh no.

The owner of the theater, who pretended to be an usher, said to the couple: “Business is really tough, it’s hard being an independent theater, but we actually have two other people coming, so you guys go ahead.”

Just before the movie started, Dr. Flaherty excused himself, but Dr. Saly was still alone when it began. She knew something was in the works when an R rating — “for romance” — appeared on the screen. Then came the movie’s title, “The Making of the Flalys,” a combination of their surnames, and soon after came a parade of family and friends onscreen, including a cameo by her grandparents, who live in Israel.

“I was completely overcome with emotion, laughing one minute, crying the next,” Dr. Saly said. “It was unreal.”

As the final credits rolled, Dr. Flaherty was back in the picture, dropping to one knee to propose.

There’s being “extra” and then there’s making a full-length feature film about your relationship ahead of getting down on one knee.

Honest question: how much spare time do these people have? They all live in large cities with brutal commutes, but they also all seem to have trust funds that pay for these extravagances. I guess I just answered my own question. I wish I was born in The Lucky Sperm Club and had time to do dumb bullshit like this on a whim.

Aww Rating: 5.1/10

* * *

Now onto another double-proposal between Leah and Rachel, two Hamilton fans.

Ms. Michalos, a theater director, decided to make her pitch on the stage of “Hamilton,” because Ms. Pitkin, a history teacher, had a special affinity for the musical.

Ms. Michalos enlisted the help of a colleague who worked with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” and when the time came for the event, Mr. Miranda led Ms. Michalos and Ms. Pitkin through the backstage of the set. Then, Ms. Pitkin recalled, Mr. Miranda discreetly left them alone on center stage after giving a brief description of Alexander Hamilton’s marriage proposal to Eliza Schuyler.

Okay, still extra, but a little cuter than making her sit through a film or sending her on a scavenger hunt with punchable note cards everywhere.

This is where things get fishy, though. This double proposal happened all in one night, which just wreaks of “let’s go viral” or “we’re definitely going to get in The New York Times with this one.”

After the couple left the Richard Rodgers Theater, they had a glass of Champagne in a Times Square boîte, and then Ms. Pitkin, rather than going to the restaurant that Ms. Michalos had reserved for their engagement dinner, insisted that the two set off on a different route.

As they neared the Walter Kerr Theater, Ms. Michalos turned to Ms. Pitkin and said: “I don’t know if you know this, but the Walter Kerr, that is the night I first realized I loved you.”

They proceeded about 20 feet farther down the sidewalk and there, in chalk that had only partly been obliterated by rain, Ms. Pitkin had inscribed almost exactly the same words Ms. Michalos had just uttered: “This is where I knew I loved you.”

And, having not known that Ms. Michalos’s proposal would precede it, she’d added her own: “Will you marry me?”

There aren’t enough hand-on-chin emojis to explain how suspicious I am of these two. Cute, yes. A little too cute? Maybe.

Aww Rating: 6.5/10

* * *

Alright, now for Charles and Drake, two dudes who got their dog in the mix. Hard to hate on this move, but I’ll give it my best.

When Mr. Bentley proposed to Mr. Carden in May 2016, he brought along a 3-year-old named Al who carried the ring, which was attached to his bow tie. Al was neither a family member nor family friend. He was, in fact, a terrier mix, the couple’s dog.

“Yes, our dog was wearing a bow tie,” Mr. Bentley said. “Yes, this is ridiculous.”

Honestly, now that ridiculous, Charles. You’re following up a dude who hired a camera crew to record grandparents in Israel. Tossing a bow tie on a dog looks pretttttttty pretty lame right now.

Aww Rating: 5.7/10, but only because of the terrier, Al.

* * *

So we’ve had proposals of all sorts thus far, but not a reverse proposal. Yes, read this correctly. She proposed to him.

In September 2017, Mr. Schwerin, who was the director of speechwriting for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, finished helping Mrs. Clinton with her new memoir, “What Happened.” The day after the book was published, he and Ms. Fischer left for a vacation in Italy.

Not usually an avid social planner, Ms. Fischer insisted on choreographing their first full day in Rome. She decided to string together several romantic events — a picnic in the Villa Borghese gardens, a Rossini concert in an old church and dinner in a charming neighborhood trattoria in Trastevere — so there would be a few opportunities to propose.

When I read this first bit, I knew this dude was in for it. Honestly, he’s a total dumbass for not knowing this was coming. If you’ve been dating for a while and you’re heading to Italy alone, it’s pretty much expected that you better come back with a ring on her finger.

No moment seemed quite right until the end of the night. After a full day and a delicious dinner, she pulled Mr. Schwerin into a narrow cobblestone side street in Trastevere and got down on one knee. “Will you marry me?” she asked in a bit of a role reversal, rendering the speechwriter momentarily speechless. It took him a minute to realize what was going on, but then he laughed and said yes.

I would’ve paid my girlfriend off to let us tell people a different story of how this went down. It’s like telling people you met at the library when you actually meant while drunkenly swiping on Tinder at 2 a.m. Bad looks all around, but good for her for establishing herself as the forever-alpha in the relationship. I almost respect it.

Aww Rating: 4.9/10

* * *

And, of course, another double proposal to cap things off. Double proposals are the new wave, I guess. More popular than vacationing in Tulum or doing Boomerangs, both of which are so passé now.

In December 2015, the couple visited Central Park and stopped at a bench behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art that Mr. Atmakuri’s family had donated in honor of his grandparents — and by virtue of what they both called “a double proposal,” they became engaged there.

A small crowd gathered when Mr. Atmakuri, a gold wedding band in hand, went to one knee to pop the question, but the crowd grew considerably larger, and noisier, when Ms. Kothari, also holding a gold wedding band, took a knee of her own and returned the favor.

“At that point, people started coming over wondering what was going on,” Mr. Atmakuri said. “We are firm believers in gender equality, and I really feel that there is a gender imbalance when it comes to traditional wedding proposals, where the guy also asks the girl if she wants to marry him.

“But I have so much respect for Mansi, I felt she had the right to ask me the same question. Fortunately, we both had the same answer.”

As a gender equality guy myself, I’ll say this: this dude got played. Denzel Washington famously said, “You can’t bullfight a bullfighter,” (that was the quote, right?) and in this case, you can’t propose to the proposer.

Sure, I think she was probably just carrying around a wedding band for the last three months waiting for him to do it so she could one-up him which shows she’s most definitely going to be one step ahead of him for the rest of his life.

There’s no equality in this relationship, bud. She’s got you by the balls until death do you part.

Aww Rating: 3.0/10

[via The New York Times]

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Editor at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram).

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