It’s June. Wedding season. Only a few days left to dig out that embossed invitation, navigate your buddy’s online bridal registry, and take a Sharpie to the scuffs on your party shoes.
During the reception, the deejay will spin “Single Ladies,” and you’ll want to hit the dance floor and show off your mad self-spanking skills. But the groom’s gabby Aunt Joan and sozzled Uncle Ted will stop you to tell The Story. The treasured “How He (or She) Proposed” anecdote. It’s told and retold at these events, laying the foundation for the couple’s mutual mythology, the oral history of their romance.
Our culture loves a good “Will you marry me?” narrative. It’s the dragon-slaying folktale of our modern world. How’d he do it? How’d he fell the beast? Did he use wit, or brawn? Did he bury the ring in bean dip or convince the philharmonic to bust out Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything,” falling to one knee and wailing, “Marry me, marry me, marry me …”?
Outrageous proposals abound in recent news. A San Diego tattoo artist inked “Rachel, will you marry me?” onto his own leg. (I’d marry him for his perfect punctuation, but that’s my freak-ness weakness.) A New Jersey valedictorian popped the question by calling her beau and fellow grad to the stage after her speech. A New York fella edited himself into Back to the Future, rented a movie theater, and took his girlfriend to see the flick — in which he shows up on screen, looks into the camera, and asks her to be his wife. They all said yes. Aww.