Ask Him: Popping the Big, Creative Question

Ask Him: Popping the Big, Creative Question

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Q: I think my boyfriend is getting ready to propose because we've been talking about it for a long time and I've recently picked up on hints that he might have made a big purchase. But, unfortunately, I don't think he'll propose to me in a really cool way. How can I drop a few subtle hints to help him in the creativity department?
-Katy, Florence

A: Maybe this is a question that’s better suited for an “Ask HER” columnist. But as someone who recently grappled with how to “pop the question,” I’m curious as to when and where it became a competition to have the “coolest” wedding proposal ever. Seriously. Do women not understand the anxiety and sleeplessness this whole ordeal subjects us to? I mean, deciding whether or not you actually want to (or even could) spend the rest of your life someone is stress enough. But apparently, for many women, just being asked isn’t enough any more. Now it takes some grandiose gesture of love, creativity and major brass cojones to get from a “maybe” to a definitive “yes!” Why is that?

Just the other day, my fiancée’s grandmother was reminiscing about her wedding proposal. She and her beau had talked about it, knew they wanted to get married, and one day, visited the local jewelry store. He plunked down the $199 for a ring (which was a major amount of cash in those days) and they headed out the door, where he asked for her hand in marriage – right there in the jewelry store parking lot. Nothing fancy. No planes flying overhead, banner in tow. No flashing billboard at a major league baseball game. Just two crazy kids looking to get hitched. And that’s all they needed.

Now I admit this might seem a bit contrite coming from someone who proposed to his fiancée on television (and thanks to YouTube, we’re still getting all sorts of well-wishes from folks all over the place). But trust me, my heart (and head) were in the right place. First of all, with my fiancée living out of town for the past year, time was at a premium. Secondly, everyone I work with at my “day job” is like family to me. They all knew it was coming, it was just a question of when. And for us, “when” turned out to be the morning a certain publisher of a well-known online women’s magazine came on our show to talk about her awesome publication. And I’d say it worked out rather well. But hey, that’s just me. I’m one of those weird people who feels more at home in front of a crowd than I do talking to one or two people. Does that make sense?

Honestly, to me, how you propose isn’t nearly as important as knowing in your hearts that you’re ready to make that commitment to one another. I’ve always been a ham (and have the t-shirt from an old guitarist buddy to prove it) so I proposed in a way that was, well, me. My fiancée’s brother (and his wife-to-be) are huge Bengals fans, so he popped the question on the 50-yard line at Paul Brown Stadium. My best friend was the most old-fashioned of us all, kneeling down in a crowded restaurant, wearing his heart on his sleeve (and hoping for a free dessert).

Just about all of my friends are getting married, or have been for at least a few years now. They’re starting families of their own. And if you ask any one of their wives, I’m sure they can remember the day their husbands proposed, no matter how fancy-schmanzy it was. All that matters is that, somehow, he stuttered and stammered his way through the one of the single most important questions of his life, and she took pity on the poor bastard and said "yes." Just know that if he has the guts to ask you at all, that’s what really matters. And speaking of what really matters, DeBeers be damned, if I could just do something about this whole obsession with outrageously expensive diamond engagement rings. I mean, aluminum shines up nicely, too, doesn’t it? Guys? Anyone…?


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