As a woman, I can't think of anything so humiliating as to bend down on one knee. I just couldn't bring myself to do it; it goes against every bone in my body, against the one lasting tradition that has stood the test of time, a tradition I believe in. Woman like to be wooed, courted and chased after. A man on his knees asking a woman for her hand in marriage is just about as romantic as it gets. I will never understand why some women reverse the tradition and revert to a superstitious folk law just because it's a leap year. Saying that, I don't know what's worse: pressuring a man into proposing to you or or actually doing it yourself.
Aside from being humiliating, the whole idea of asking a man to marry me is utterly terrifying. The whole process of asking his parents for their blessing, choosing his ring, and executing a proposal so glorious the man would have no other option but to say yes makes me quiver- it's so untraditional, so overly asserted,so completely dissolute. I've never really thought too much about it up until now...
On the other hand, I've thought profusely about how I'd like to be proposed to. I guess it's only natural that a woman who harbours an indomitable curiosity about her future, should also think about the man she will marry and how the proposition will come about. I have vivid fantasies about the moment: 1000ft in the air, gliding over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon at sunrise with a magnificent rock being placed on my finger. An exorbitant pipe-dream perhaps, but a woman's imagination has the tendancy to run wild in these circumstances and more often than not imagination is better than reality- or is it that reality fails to live up to expectation?
This is precisly the reason why I feel for men- female expectation. On top of the anxiety, pressure and fear of rejection they must feel when committing to one woman, they have to propose with panache and make sure the gesture is not lacking in originality. If the man I wanted to marry was down on one knee but did it down the local cafe I'd say no, if he rolled over in bed one morning and said "Marry me", I'd say no, if the proposal lacked any thought, I'd say no. Why? Because a marriage proposal (in my eyes) is one of the key
moments of a woman's life- if it were the case that the proposal fell far short of the romance I'd hoped for, I wouldn't want to debase myself and betray the moment in acquiescence.
Earlier this week, whilst out to dinner, I asked a married male friend of mine how he'd proposed to his wife. He stammered and blushed before telling me that she'd needed a new car for ages. Instead of buying her any Range, Merc or Audi, he went to a BMW warehouse, brought her a Z4 and put a note on the windscreen saying: "B.M.W: Be My Wife?" I was gushing at the sentimentality of it, but concurrently found myself feeling a tad embarrased for earlier expressing my selfishly indulgent fantasy of a proposal in a hot air balloon.
This lucid fanasty probably stems from the fact that I am a die hard romantic at heart. I love hearing of proposal stories and about the lengths men go to - from divinely enchanting to subliminally absurd. Here are some of my favourites:
1. Propose in public- she can't possibly be callous enough to say no.
2. Make the proposal so unbelieving that she has to ask "Was that a proposal?" It takes the pressure off.
3. Shock her beyond belief by leaping to your fake death so she realises what she could of lost.
Clearly these proposals are proposterously over the top, but it's their effort and origionality that tugs at my heart strings. Even though the success of each proposal is subjective to the two people involved, I hope as most women do, that if there's a man out there crazy enough to marry me, his proposal will be amorously sensational.