Marriage and Popping the Question

By C. M., September 2016.

Last month I got married. Of all the long term relationships you can get into, marriage is the big one.

Thus popping the question about the big one should likewise be important.

My bride and I had discussed getting married and having kids multiple times prior to the rings, the preparations, the vows, etc. So when we finally decided to get married I never actually got down on one knee. Nor was I nervous about whether she would say yes. Having discussed the matter as a couple many times I was 100% certain this is what she wanted.

We discussed what kind of ring she wanted in a store, and I went there one Friday and made the order for a ring in her size.

We also discussed what kind of ring I wanted, and she later ordered it in my size online from a shop on Etsy. (I was rather peculiar about the kind of ring I wanted and I had to search online before finding one made of wood/titanium.)

Once the rings were on we started making preparations, choosing a wedding date, deciding where to get married, where to have a meal afterwards, the reception, how to decorate for the event, where to have our Honeymoon (Montreal), what to do about the cat while we are gone on our Honeymoon, etc.

I should note however that this was not my first rodeo. Nor my 2nd.

I was first engaged to get married when I was 20. Got the ring. Proposed on one knee under a blossoming apple tree. Cancelled the whole thing when I found out she was a psychopathic liar. Yada yada yada, she is crazy and I want nothing to do with her.

The second time I was 26. I was more cautious about getting engaged that time around. Never got the ring. Never got down on one knee. Discussed getting married many times, made plans to get married while we were traveling overseas together (we wanted a traditional Korean wedding with the Hanbok et al, which is unusual because neither one of us was Korean), and we had discussed getting remarried in different traditional weddings for each country we traveled to...

Which is a fun idea I still like. It would be like visiting Vegas and renewing our vows there with an Elvis impersonator.

But alas that second time was not to be. While I was cautious about that relationship, I think I was wise to be cautious. She had no career goals and as time went by we drifted apart. I had no interest in marrying someone who didn't have aspirations to do something for a career, and she had developed a horrible gaming addiction. As far as I know she is probably living in her parents basement by now, playing video games all the time. That relationship also lasted seven years, to the point that we were practically married anyway and the final breakup was more like a divorce but without all the lawyers.

So when it finally came time to try again (3rd time is the charm) I was 37.

Took my sweet time finding the right one.

And yet never popped the question. Not really. Just discussed it a lot and then got the ring.

I should note that she did not tell her mother or anyone else we were getting married until she had the ring to prove it. So I guess me coming home from the store with the ring (and the warranty) was "the moment" it all became real.

I know other people have done it different ways.

  1. My cousin proposed to his wife while rollerblading. He wore kneepads while rollerblading, so he didn't hurt his knees when kneeling.
  2. A friend of mine proposed on Valentines Day. Rented a fancy hotel room. Sprinkled it with rose petals, bought champagne, spelled Marry Me using rose petals, the whole deal.
  3. Another friend proposed at his then-girlfriend's birthday party, in front of her parents. Prior to that she had adamantly declared that she would never get married and said she did not believe in marriage. Apparently his plan worked, they are now married.
So there are a variety of ways to go about the whole process of "popping the question".

  • Outdoors Vs Indoors.
  • Private Proposal Vs Large Event (eg. Family Event)
  • Romantic or Somewhat Silly

And then there are those idiots who propose at baseball games in front of a large crowd and a television audience of millions. (I wonder what percentage of those proposals end in her saying yes on television and changing her mind later on...)

There should definitely be some places you never propose...

#1. Never propose at a funeral.

#2. Never propose at someone else's wedding or birthday, etc. (Someone other than your intended bride.) Why? Because you are taking the spotlight away from the people who are actually getting married or from their birthday, you dolt!

#3. Never propose while one or both of you are drunk, high, heavily medicated, super tired (prone to suggestion), etc.



No seriously. It is not a real tradition that the man has to do the proposing. Women have been proposing marriage since the dawn of marriage. Heck, it is probably women who came up with the whole idea of marriage - which is essentially a social contract to ensure the man doesn't ignore his parental responsibilities to his wife and kids.

Modern marriage also allow for same-sex marriages, so that when they get married they have parental custody and responsibility of their kids, whether they use sperm donors to get pregnant or adopt a kid, marriage is ultimately the cornerstone of having children and making sure they are provided for.

Now while some people do have childless marriages, the core principle and purpose of marriage is to try and form a "family unit", which can take a variety of shapes and have many types. Some childless marriages could simply mean they are trying to adopt. Or perhaps they are hoping to live vicariously through their nieces and nephews. Who knows.

Thoughts on any of the above? The comments section is below.