Modest Proposals

The first time I asked my mom how my dad proposed to her, she lied. Not actually, but kind of.

Mom: There were these big columns in the middle of a quad at our school, so he proposed in front of those.

A few years later…

Mom: Well actually, he proposed in the car. He was dropping me off somewhere and we were both in a hurry but he wanted to do it before he went to meet his parents, who were visiting. So he was just kind of talking, and then he asked me to marry him. And I said yes and got out of the car. But then he realized that it wasn’t the best story, so he re-did it. And ever since, I tell the column story if people ask.

I thought my mom was alone in her proposal re-do, but I’ve come to find out that there are other couples who experienced the same thing. When I realized that my own proposal was imminent I made sure to tell J my mom’s story so he would know that putting some effort into the proposal was necessary. (Side note. J’s dad proposed after his mom asked when they would be getting married… he pulled out a calendar and said “I don’t know, let’s figure it out”).

I don’t know if this happens much anymore. Maybe it does and I’m just not aware, but I feel like there is more and more a push for guys to find creative adorable, romantic, or over-the-top ways to “pop the question.” And if you’re like me, and many of my friends, there’s a LOT of talk about getting married long before the proposal, so he can easily risk doing something huge… he knows she’ll say yes. J was more nervous to say “I love you” than to ask to marry me, because I’d already started some minor wedding planning, so there was no way I was saying no.

So why the emphasis on how he asks the question, if, really the question is just a formality? It’s different for everyone, but we (the ladies) definitely need to see that we’re important enough for him to spend the time planning. I mean, if he can’t think through the proposal, then has he really seriously thought about getting married? We also need a good story to accompany that beautiful ring he bought. And also seeing him execute a planned proposal really gives us the go-ahead to start the insanity of wedding planning. Seeing him down on one knee tells us “see that I’m willing to take a silly posture for you? The fact that I will go to these lengths to say ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you’ should show you that I will always love you, even when you begin badgering me about my opinions on things (like colors of flowers, dress silhouettes, and the invitation font) that I could care less about. “

Us girls just need some reassurance…


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