Loving you is a like a song I replay
Every three minutes and thirty seconds of every day
And every chorus was written for us to recite
Every beautiful melody of devotion every night
This potion might, this ocean might carry me
In a wave of emotion to ask you to marry me
— Lauryn Hill “Turn Your Lights Down Low”
I don’t know why I was surprised.
I turned on my bedroom TV Saturday night and the channel was on the WE Network. WE would be the home of shows like Amazing Wedding Cakes, Bridezillas, My Fair Wedding, Platinum Weddings, Rich Bride Poor Bride, Wedding Central, and Funniest Wedding Outtakes—see a theme here? So they’ve added a new show, a special really, called Surprise Wedding.
The premise of the show is as follows:
Five men who are in long-term relationships and just haven’t committed to marriage are given a big surprise—[in front of a live audience]— when their girlfriends propose to them on national television. Given a chance to marry their fiances, the potential grooms discuss their choice with friends and family. The program ends with the wedding ceremonies of the couples who have chosen to marry.
I’ve always had an issue with proposals. It’s supposed to be this hugely romantic moment and the guy—typically—springs a ring on you and right there in the moment you have to decide “yes” or ”no” to a decision that will affect the rest of your life. So often it’s done in public that it just seems wrong to say the practical answer, which is something like “Can I think about it for a week?”, and embarrass the man you (likely) love in front of friends and family or possibly hundreds or thousands of strangers. I mean. he’s not asking you to spend tomorrow with him. He’s asking for forever. That’s a mighty long time. You need to think on that. I guess you can always break it off later if you say yes, but that just seems like bad communication all the way around.
I’m slightly mortified by the premise of the show … and I keep watching to see what a train wreck it’s going to become.
The announcer makes it sound even worse than it initially seemed. All the women were “tired of waiting” on proposals from boyfriends who said, “I’d rather be buried than married” (ie, I don’t want o get married) or “I want to live together but not as husband and wife” (ie, I don’t want a real commitment.) Bottomline: their men would either “marry them tonight on this stage or leave them at the altar.” (Why any woman would possibly subject herself to being left at the altar baffles me.) He spoke of the women “forc[ing] their boyfriends to make a commitment” and “lur[ing]” them to the show. (BTW: the guys all thought they were there to witness their girlfriends’ makeover.) The host ended his opening monologue describing the premise of the show as a man’s “worst nightmare” since he would have to chose on the spot whether to make a lifelong commitment”. “On the spot” and “lifelong commitment” should never be in the same sentence.
By then I was appalled. All I could think was “these women have lost their minds!”
I’d say call me “old-fashioned” because there’s no way in hell I would ask a man to marry me. But after a little research, I discovered women popping the question isn’t new at all. There’s actually an old English tradition of women asking a man for forever-ever that dates back to 5th Century Ireland. According to legend, St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. St. Patrick’s solution was that women could propose on Feb. 29th during the Leap Year. Ever since, Feb. 29th has been known as Leap Day and tons of women have asked their boo to jump the broom.
The whole thing sounds desperate to me. I mean, if he wanted to marry, he would ask, right? And are women really supporting this idea en masse?
Turns out, I’m narrow-minded. Gawker.com did a poll last in 2011 with the query asking, “Would You Ask A Man to Marry You?”
Already Did: 11%
I read through the comments and found some interesting POVs from the female respondents:
*I think, in my opinion that most men would not know how to handle it. On the other hand, many men may feel like the pressure is released if their girlfriend initiated the proposal of marriage.
*If he doesn’t bring it up then he isn’t thinking about it and more than likely isn’t ready.
*The days when a man had to ask a woman were when the man had to be able to independently provide for his wife/family for the rest of his/their life. So he got to decide when that time was. Now that women don’t need a provider, it should be a decision based on mutual readiness and desire. Why should the dude get to decide?
I wondered if Black men would go for this. You know how so many of them can be when it comes to women emasculating them and I could see being proposed to as a quick way to send them bailing. So I asked a bunch of them. Turns out, the surprise angle of the show threw everyone off, but the general idea of a woman proposing? No one objected or felt robbed of their masculinity. In fact, if it was asked by a woman they loved, the answer might just be yes. (Though one said he’d have to initially decline, citing a need to ask her father for permission first (FTR: that was B.) Just because the couple are new school does not mean her parents are.)
I watched Surprise Wedding all the way through. 5 out of 5 men said yes and by the end of the show all of those single ladies had more than just a ring on it, they had a huzzz-band.
Hmmm. Maybe more women should just go ahead and ask him already?
What say you, Cammies?