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Monday, 16 December 2013

Marriage Proposals - Ideals or ideas?

Since early twenties, we hear about friends being proposed to, or proposing to friends. We hear about the boring, conventional methods; we hear about ridiculous methods being generated (may not have been implemented though); we also hear about the romantic ones.

Traditionally, a proposal takes the female by surprise. and in that split second she is supposed to to decide whether the man proposing to her is the Right Man, the One she would love to spend the rest of her life with. When she accepts, then the couple start planning for their future together - getting their own apartment / house, opening a joint savings account, planning the kind of wedding they want, and the honeymoon.

The Typical Singaporean Proposal
Yes, the joke about a typical and most commonly-used Singaporean method of proposal is to pop The Question : "Shall we apply for a (HDB) flat together?"

Don't be surprised. The girls have learned to take the cue, to accept this as a form of proposal.

But the funnier thing is, a few couples applied for their flat together already, in fact even opened joint savings account, booked their wedding packages (inclusive of photography, banquet details, gowns and makeup etc) and even window-shopped for the proposal ring together - yet, the female still expects the male to rake his brains to come up with a "surprising" and "romantic" proposal.

Riiigghhtt. Don't laugh. So, does that mean that if the proposal is not "surprising" or "romantic" enough, the female is going to say no, then the man should do it again? Or should they then proceed to cancel their flat application, wedding packages and joint savings account?

Never mind, as long they're happy, I guess that should be the most important thing, right?

The Lovely Proposals
Let me share a few lovely ideas some couples have used for their proposals.

Ashley* remembers her proposal as being a pleasant surprise indeed. "We were flying to UK together for our annual holiday trip. After the in-flight meal, the flight attendant brought over a bottle of champagne. When she popped the cork open, there was a ring inside. My boyfriend (now husband) took it, knelt down and proposed to me."

She recalls with a dreamy smile on her face. "I said yes, then there was an announcement that came over the plane announcing this happy occasion; and the entire plane clapped for us."

That is one happy couple with a flight they would remember for life - a story that would no doubt be repeated to their children, and grandchildren in time to come.

Tracy* was being proposed to in a riverboat on Boat Quay. "I thought it was a normal dinner date. It was still early, after our movie, so he suggested taking the boat ride for fun. I agreed, since I've always wanted to try it (silly, I know)," she finishes with a smile.

"So we got into a riverboat," she gushes on. "It didnt occur to me at that point in time that there were two of us in the boat. There was nice music in lieu of the usual historical-chatter recordings onboard the riverboat. The boat stopped in the midst of the river; he took out the ring to propose to me, and the boatman helped us to take photos!" She recalls with a blissful smile.

Another well-thought out proposal that enabled the lucky man to snag himself a lovely wife. Talk about shipboard romance!

Finally, we now have another couple who did a semi-famous style of proposal. Glen* arranged for some friends to get ready banners with the words "Celia* will you marry me?". He paid for everyone's tickets to a concert by a female singer in Singapore, because Celia* liked this particular singer. Shortly before the singer herself entered the stadium, Glen* and Celia* walked in.

The banners went up, held by Glen's* dependable and spontaneous buddies. He then turned to Celia*, handed her a bouquet of flowers and knelt down with the ring. Well, needless to say, she accepted the proposal. The star of the concert - the unnamed singer - learned of this when she got onstage, and offered a hearty congratulations to the newly-engaged couple as well.

Now, what is better than having your favorite celebrity wishing you nuptial bliss? A rather thoughtful idea by Glen*, though not all celebrities may like this "overshadowing" or "attention diversion"  at their concert.

The Awkward / Ludicrous Proposals
Camilla*, a very pretty Financial Consultant, had only been dating her then-boyfriend, Steven* for a few months when he startled her with a public proposal during a family dinner with his family. It was at a posh Chinese restaurant, celebrating his father's sixtieth birthday. At the end of the dinner, when desserts were being served, the waitresses brought over a small slice of Red Bean Pancake and presented it at the table.

Steven* took the dessert, extracted the lone diamond ring that was stuck in the pancake, knelt down in front of Camilla* and began his moving "Will you marry me?" speech.

Camilla* was stunned as she had not expected this. She had not even begun to consider if Steven* might be the Right One. But, looking at the expectant and sweet faces of his family members around the dinner table, and the entire restaurant was looking on, she agreed to it. "I didn't want to embarrass him in public, but I regret proceeding with the wedding," she concedes later, about three years into the marriage. "And now that I am pregnant, I no longer have the courage to leave."

So... well, Gentlemen, if you intend to do a very public proposal, do ensure that she feels the same way about you. It certainly does not bid well if she agrees to marry you for the sake of agreeing, or to save you from embarrassment.

Another case - neither embarrassing nor endangering, but just wholly... practical? Yes, no fuss, no muss, easy peasy style. It actually worked as well.

"Hector* and I went shopping for an engagement ring together, because he wanted to ensure that the ring could fit my ring finger. So I thought, why not?" Charliez* began. "Then, after choosing the ring, trying it for fit, and making payment, he just turned to me and say, 'Since you've already seen and worn the ring, no need a surprise proposal right? Here, for you!' Oh my god, and I actually listened to him and just slipped it on!"

Next, we take a read at the ludicrous tryst of Neil*, an Engineer, who wanted to try something "very innovative and moving".

His idea was to book a table at Equinox, level 72 of Swiss'otel (used to be Westin Stamford), and the table must be at the window. Then he would find some excuse to get out, take a ride in one of those extremely dangerous and unstable-looking lifts the building painters rode in to paint the building, and "appear" beside her at the window, surprising her with the ring.

"I wanted to let her know that I am willing to risk my life for her," he confided.

No doubt, the building's Management did not allow it, for it was too risky a stunt. He eventually settled for a more conventional proposal by the beach with the help of some mutual friends.

Well, Dude, there are other better, more practical ways to prove your love. I am sure that your partner would not like this method of proposal as well... Moving? Well, hardly.

A good proposal should be romantic, sincere, a memory to be remembered for years to come; there is not need to come up with a proposal to die for (pun intended).

Good luck, for those of you planning to propose, and those who have already been proposed to.

Er... ladies, anyone planning to be unconventional and propose to your men instead?

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