Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

DW Rant: I’m Tired of the Pornification of Marriage Proposals

The following DW Rant is a guest post from Dennis Hong.

Have you seen this heartwarming marriage proposal that made its rounds over the internet last week? In case you didn’t watch the video — because you’re at work… or have something better to do… or are an emotionless robot — basically, the boyfriend of a Chicago Bulls cheerleader wanted to propose to her, so he got all the other cheerleaders and the team mascot in on the plan. They stopped in the middle of a performance during the game, danced around her at center court, he jumped out of a mascot costume, and she broke down in tears of joy. Crazy-romantic, right?

Well, here’s my take on the whole thing:


Marriage proposals should not be done like this. Proposals are meant to be private. Sure, you might ask a few buddies to help you out… plant the ring for you… hide behind the bushes… capture the big moment on video… take you out to a local bar and get you shit-faced when she knees you in the groin and runs away. I get that. But when you turn your proposal into a public spectacle in front of tens of thousands of people, then you’re really just broadcasting your own ego and shamelessly congratulating yourself.

Did 20,000 basketball fans go to a game to watch some random dude propose to his girlfriend? No, damn it, they didn’t. They went to a game to watch a dozen scantily-clad women grind to the latest techno remixes of popular songs. And yet, some random dude thought it would be appropriate to subject 20,000 basketball fans to his private moment.

And look, before anyone calls me out, this has nothing to do with any impending thoughts of marriage that I may or may not have. Nor does it stem from some deep-seated fear that proposals like these make normal, everyday guys without access to an entire NBA arena look bad. No, I just don’t believe in public proposals. To me, proposals are kind of like sex. Both are intimate expressions of the love, lust, or sweat-drenched anxiety that two people have for one another. And they should stay intimate like that.

Do you know what happens when you take sex and make it public? You get porn – stuff that people who aren’t getting enough sex drool over, and stuff that people who are sexually fulfilled smirk at, because they know how unrealistic it is.

Similarly, do you know what happens when you take a proposal and make it public? You get engagement porn – stuff that people who aren’t happy with their own relationships drool over, and stuff that people in fulfilling relationships smirk at, because they know how unrealistic it is. Not that there’s anything wrong with porn. If you know it’s just a fantasy, if “Debbie Does Dallas” and viral public proposals give you the quick — ahem — “fix” that you need, good for you. Enjoy yourself. Bathe in that fleeting glow. Just don’t start thinking it’s reality in any way, though. You’ll never find a satisfying relationship if you expect your partner to perform like a porn star, whether down on one knee… or both.

Dennis Hong Headshot - SmallBy day, Dennis engineers happiness at WordPress.com. By night, he is a relationships and comedy writer, a statement that can be either redundant or an oxymoron, depending on your perspective. Dennis is the creator of the group blog Musings on Life and Love and the group dating advice site LemonVibe. You also can find him on Twitter (he is not the creator of Twitter).

If you would like to submit a rant or personal essay to be considered for publication on DearWendy.com, please email me at wendy@dearwendy.com.

164 comments… add one
  • iseeshiny December 17, 2013, 1:05 pm

    WDS. The exhibitionism of these public proposals gross me out.

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  • kerrycontrary December 17, 2013, 1:05 pm

    I totally love this. I would’ve been so embarassed of a big public proposal. My fiance picked a spot in a garden on our college campus (we’re not still in college) and no one could see. It was perfect.

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  • landygirl December 17, 2013, 1:07 pm

    I couldn’t agree more.

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  • Holly December 17, 2013, 1:07 pm

    YAY more guest posts! Also, I totally agree with this. I used to kind of think they were cute, but now I just roll my eyes. Plus, it’s starting to feel like an informal competition… one person sees a proposal involving a home-made video game and they think “well, I can do better than that..”

    Asking someone to be with you for life should be more about your love/care/devotion/happiness/whatever with each other, not about impressing the hell out of everyone – including tons of strangers, in person and on the internet.

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  • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 1:11 pm

    “Proposals are meant to be private.”

    I guess I’m not sure when that was made a rule. I personally would hate having a big proposal like this, but I LOVE watching them. I think they are adorable and not ego-ish mostly. Some people just like big displays or planning super surprises. Shit, the only reason I’ve considered proposing to my partner is to make some huge ass super surprise out of it.

    Everyone tell your proposal stories! I can’t get enough of it.

    ps Realizing a super cool surprise to give my daughter a cell phone is half the reason I finally decided to get her one, so maybe I have issues.

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    • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 1:15 pm

      pps Sorry you all hate love!

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      • CatsMeow December 17, 2013, 1:37 pm

        PPPS – don’t forget my proposal idea for YOU! See? I don’t hate love!

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 1:45 pm

        CatsMeow loves love.
        And it is an awesome idea. And literally no one has asked about the surprise cell phone idea. 🙁

      • theattack December 17, 2013, 1:51 pm

        A surprise cell phone is an awesome idea, LBH! My parents surprised me with a phone when I was a teenager. They said they were going to run some errands and pay their phone bill, but they came back with one of those old Motorola phones that looked like a cordless house phone. It was the happiest day of my life. I then proceeded to stay up on the phone with boys my parents didn’t want me to talk to for like 7 hours every night, but I’m sure Lil’ won’t ever do that. 🙂

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 1:58 pm

        I remember getting a pager and being up all night looking at it hoping someone would page me. haha.

        So the plan is I’m putting it in her stocking and we usually do stockings last, so I’m going to call it while its in there! So exciting! Thankfully, they have some hardcore parental controls so she won’t have a choice of staying up all night on it.

    • KKZ December 17, 2013, 4:47 pm

      Ours was in public, but no one noticed. So I’m not sure where I fall on the spectrum, lol.

      Bear got down on one knee in front of the Old Water Tower in Chicago on a cold evening in March. We’d been sight-seeing all day and had just had dinner at Bistro 110 (which I just Googled to make sure I got the name right, and I guess it’s now closed?? Bummer!) and I just wanted to go back to the hotel already, and he kept walking slower, and slower, and slower, until he finally got down to “get a pebble out of his shoe.” Except, NOT!

      I do kind of remember wishing someone had noticed, though. The rest of the people in that plaza just went about their lives. A little cheer or smile would have been nice. But who am I to gripe?

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  • CatsMeow December 17, 2013, 1:14 pm

    They squick me out too. BUUUT… I think it depends on what you know your partner would want? I’m willing to bet that most of us here on DW would NOT want a public proposal, so hopefully our partners know that, and HOPEFULLY they don’t see these elaborate spectacles and feel pressured to mimic them. For the folks who DO want them, well… start looking for a professional flash mob or something because that seems to be the trend.

    Of course, I’m not a big fan of traditional proposals in the first place, so these elaborate INSANELY-public displays are extra icky to me.

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    • Miel December 17, 2013, 1:26 pm

      I’m just thinking of someone who would like the attention so much that she would instagramm herself #proposal #live #Isaidyes instead of actually looking at her boyfriend on one knee… I guess those people see the camera and know they don’t have to take their own pictures to show them to all their follower, because they will have the video !

      I guess this is not me, and it’s not something I would ever do or want to be done to me, but… those people exist. They like attention.

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    • iseeshiny December 17, 2013, 1:29 pm

      All I can say is, he better be really sure she’ll say yes.

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      • MissDre December 17, 2013, 1:36 pm

        I heard this was just a prank/publicity stunt put on by the staff.

      • iseeshiny December 17, 2013, 4:35 pm

        Thank goodness. I cringed watching it. I felt so bad for that guy, but I felt just as bad for the girl. Knowing it was fake makes it a little better.

  • MissDre December 17, 2013, 1:20 pm

    I completely agree with Dennis. I just don’t understand these big public proposals and I would never, ever want one. And that’s not to say that you can’t propose in a public place, or maybe in front of a group of very close friends/family, but putting yourself on display for a whole bunch of strangers to see? Not my thing at all.

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    • shanshantastic December 18, 2013, 11:06 am

      Totally agreed, and I love Dennis’ last sentence:

      “You’ll never find a satisfying relationship if you expect your partner to perform like a porn star, whether down on one knee… or both.”

      Ha! Quote of the day.

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  • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 1:21 pm

    I could not agree more. There is something just so off to me about these HUGE, over the top, song and dance productions. I can’t really articulate why it annoys me, but it seems like a huge “look at me, look at me!! I did this!!” stunt.

    Our proposal was just the two of us, just a simple question. There where no balloons, no singing, no furry costumes, and it was absolutely perfect. (there was candy though!)

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    • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 1:23 pm

      See, I think its more like “look at all the crazy shit I planned trying to show you how much I love you.”

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      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 1:26 pm

        Why don’t you tell me you love me and show me everyday? That’s what I would prefer. But I’m not saying people who do want the big elaborate ones are terrible.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 1:29 pm

        Well obviously that too. haha. I just think they are so cute and fun.

      • Miel December 17, 2013, 1:32 pm

        I just don’t want to see the bill.

        “Darling, I’m sorry but I can’t afford going out for sushi tonight.”
        “Why is that ?”
        “Because this month I had to pay for your ring + the surprise trip to Italy + the fireworks + the surprise symphonic orchestra + the 200 dancers + the professional camera crew. Now I’m pretty much drowning in dept so I don’t have money for sushi anymore.”
        “Ok. Well, I still want to go. I’m going to call my friend Mandy instead of going with you.”

        That’s how I see the “show you how much I love you”.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 1:35 pm

        haha, ok, fine. 🙁

      • Jill December 17, 2013, 1:53 pm

        That reminds me of this story I saw awhile ago. http://nypost.com/2013/03/19/i-spent-45000-on-my-proposal/ $45000 on a proposal?! How much is the wedding going to cost? And when people start hiring proposal planners, I think it’s clearly gotten out of hand.

      • katie December 17, 2013, 1:55 pm

        oh god proposal planners. i hate the world.

        although i will say, props to the actual proposal planners for taking rich people’s money.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 1:57 pm

        They did that on Cake Boss once and it was really disturbing. This woman completely planned it and the guy had basically nothing to do with it. And then when he finally proposed, she kinda jumped in and was like how did you like it? it was all my idea!

      • katie December 17, 2013, 1:57 pm

        those guys got served by daniel boulud after the proposal!! geeeez.

        ok i have changed my mind, im on board with it all.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 2:01 pm

        In their defense (which is hard to do haha), it says the ring along was $21K (absurd) and then they went on a 2 week vacation in France, so at least it wasn’t JUST the proposal that cost that much. I want a 2 week vacation in France!

      • Jill December 17, 2013, 2:08 pm

        I agree the vacation sounds cool, but all I can imagine is how hard it’d be to top that for a honeymoon! (And the wedding in general.)

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 2:09 pm

        Good call. Seriously, every birthday after that is going to be a major disappointment.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 2:20 pm

        I can’t imagine walking around with a $21k ring on my hand. I can’t even wrap my mind about it. Also, those huge rocks are so bulky and in the way. haha. I’m very happy GGuy and I had the same expectations re the ring, proposal and wedding.

      • kerrycontrary December 17, 2013, 2:46 pm

        My ring is….pricier than we discussed it would be. I don’t know the number, but after shopping for rings I can get a rough estimate. It is a little scary, but that’s also what good property insurance is for.

      • spaceysteph December 30, 2013, 9:10 pm

        My wedding band is much more than I wanted to spend. I envisioned getting a plain band, but my engagement ring was oddly shaped such that a regular band didn’t really fit comfortably.
        Then next thing you know I’m getting a custom designed diamond encrusted thing and my husband is like “well aren’t you going to wear it forever?”
        I’m still a little petrified about losing it. I think if I did I would get a plain white gold band and call it a day.

        I was so afraid of losing them that I bought a fake engagement/wedding ring set from Claire’s for $8 for the honeymoon and wore those instead. Honestly, I don’t think anyone even knew the difference.. although it did turn my finger green.

      • kerrycontrary December 17, 2013, 2:06 pm

        Meh, I think if you can afford to do something then it really doesn’t affect people if you do it. I think huge overdone proposals are garish, but I’m not going to bust on someone for the amount they spent on the proposal and the ring. That’s their business.

      • Banana December 17, 2013, 2:18 pm

        This! I can’t wrap my head around dropping that much cash on something like this, but if they have the cash, why not, I guess. What I can’t stand, though, are people who go into lots of debt for their weddings. Sheesh.

      • Jill December 17, 2013, 2:29 pm

        No, I agree, I think I’m just used to hearing about all these people that go into debt for weddings, that that is kind of what I assume when I see stories like this. If they have the money for it, I guess that’s up to them. It just seems like a big setup for disappointment later though starting out with such high expectations.

      • katie December 17, 2013, 2:56 pm

        well the problem is though, as this becomes the norm more and more, people who do not have the money will feel like they have to do it, just as the wedding industry is right now…

    • MissDre December 17, 2013, 1:24 pm

      I really really hope my boyfriend does not propose in a public place. I don’t think he would so I probably don’t need to worry… but yours sounds wonderful.

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      • kerrycontrary December 17, 2013, 1:27 pm

        Yeh if you don’t think he would, he probably won’t. I was the same way and I had the private proposal with just a “will you marry me?”.

      • MissDre December 17, 2013, 1:34 pm

        That’s all I want. I told him he didn’t even have to propose. We can just decide to get married and then go look at rings together, but he thinks a guy should propose and that it should be a surprise. So…. here I am waiting around for my surprise.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 2:07 pm

        My husband insisted on proposing as a surprise even though I’d told him a million times I just wanted to decide to get married and do it. But the proposal came and it was awesome, complete with sobbing tears of joy in a candy store. So, it was worth the wait.

      • theattack December 17, 2013, 2:10 pm

        Was your proposal inside that awesome candy store by the river? That candy shop is in my top 3 favorite places in the world, so if so, I’m completely jelly (beans).

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 2:35 pm

        in the little outdoor plaza next to the candy store!

      • kerrycontrary December 17, 2013, 2:48 pm

        I was the same way, I was really like “can’t we just get married!?” but he wanted the proposal. I did not cry (I thought I would’ve), but I think I was in shock cause I convinced myself he wasn’t proposing that day. Like I actually had an internal conversation in the car ride there haha.

      • MissDre December 17, 2013, 5:05 pm

        I have absolutely no idea when he’s going to propose. When I got mad at him last month I asked him straight up if he’s planning to marry me and he said yes. And I asked if we’re going to be engaged in the next 6 months and he says “I’m fine with that.” And I’m like, “Sooo… by June?” and he says “Sure.” How romantic eh? So in the beginning of December I sent him pictures of the style of ring I like and my ring size. It was in a previous conversation that he said he thinks a guy should propose and it should be a surprise. So I’m clueless as to his plans. He’s not very spontaneous (at all).

      • kerrycontrary December 17, 2013, 5:10 pm

        Yeh I had a timeline, and then he suggested ring shopping. I would actually highly suggest going to a store to look at rings. I thought I wanted something completely different then I ended up with, plus its hard to know what cut of diamond will look good on your hand until you try it on. We had a lot of fun ring shopping and I’m so glad he picked out the ring he did.

      • MissDre December 17, 2013, 5:18 pm

        Haha I’ve already gone to the store to try on rings by myself. My SIL thinks I’m nuts, but in my defense I had like 5 hours to kill so I just went to the mall and wandered into the ring store. Also, there are a lot of rings that I think are ugly so I wanted to see what they are like in persons.

    • iwannatalktosampson December 17, 2013, 2:32 pm

      Plus I don’t know – I’m just not impressed with proposals – it’s like the wedding – it’s only neat for the people getting engaged/married. No one else cares, and I find it really narcissistic to assume that anyone else does care. They do not. Fine I do not.

      I think for me it bugs me because to me making such a big spectacle out of it is proves that everyone assumes getting engaged is an accomplishment – like you just achieved a goal. Like marriage is a prize you win for being the most virtuous, and now your life is complete. Gross.

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      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 2:42 pm

        I CARE!
        (good point about the accomplishment thing though)

      • kerrycontrary December 17, 2013, 3:44 pm

        I care about weddings! I love to witness people committing to spending their lives together and join families and all that marriage stuff. I mean its pretty cool. I also think that getting engaged/married can be something you’re proud of. Not like its an accomplishment because anyone can get married, but I’m happy that my fiance and I worked hard to establish our careers and create lives that are suitable for a successful marriage and family (in our mind). I don’t know if that makes sense.

      • SasLinna December 17, 2013, 3:47 pm

        I believe it makes sense. It’s not like people are only allowed to be proud of actual accomplishments. For me that’s far too narrow. How about being proud of something your child is doing, for example? It’s not like it’s the parent’s accomplishment, but it’s still fine to feel proud. So I think it’s perfectly fine for someone to feel pride about an engagement (within reason, of course).

  • muchachaenlaventana December 17, 2013, 1:24 pm

    I hate these but if its your thing, fine my real problem is if this is all about your love what is with the need to plaster them all over the GD internet. It just reeks of superficiality. At the end of the day its whatever, I don’t have to and rarely ever do give them the page views and youtube clicks they want. Its like those people who post all the sick Facebook status updates about their perfect special love and perfect special family and husband and farmer’s market trip and life. I just unsubscribe from this stuff because its so fake to me and people have stopped appreciating how incredibly lovely it is to live a private life. But I am also a cynical curmudgeonly 85 year old man trapped in a millennial female’s body.

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    • CatsMeow December 17, 2013, 1:31 pm

      Yeah, if you’re both on board with a public proposal, then sure. Do your thing. I’ve seen some public proposals that I thought were cute – like when John Cheese proposed to his fiance via a Cracked article. I also like some of the song and dance numbers, and if I were to propose to someone I might try and do something flashy or creative… but it wouldn’t be in front of an entire stadium, and it wouldn’t be for the purpose of becoming an internet sensation. You know? You can be flashy and creative while STILL keeping it mostly private, or only in front of friends and family. But they’re getting too generic and over-the-top.

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      • Dennis Hong (@DennisHHong) December 17, 2013, 1:42 pm

        I would like to go on record and state that I thought John Cheese’s proposal was the perfect way to propose publicly. He did so in a way where other people could get something out of it, it was low-key and not “showy-offy” in any way, and it showed that he actually put thought into the marriage, not just the proposal.

        And I’m not just saying that because I write for Cracked…. 🙂

      • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 3:27 pm

        What’s the john cheese proposal story?

      • rachel December 17, 2013, 4:28 pm

  • katie December 17, 2013, 1:39 pm

    i LOVE the public proposal and porn connection. that is seriously wonderful, and just mind-blowingly true.

    real talk: i have this weird fear that whenever jake is picking me up from the airport he is going to do this. the airport would be an almost perfect spot too, because jake is always waiting at the bottom of the escalators to baggage claim and the spot just seems perfect. like i wouldnt be able to see anything until the escalator got like half way down… i mean i dont really think he would, but i always think of that when i know he is waiting for me. also, i dont know why he always pays to park and doesnt just wait in his car, but whatever.

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    • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 2:59 pm

      wait, your boyfriend parks the car and comes in and waits for you at the bottom of the escalators? THAT is mind blowing! if i were your boyfriend, i’d happily pick you up, my love, but i’d be double parked outside baggage claim 3, duh.

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      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:06 pm

        GGuy parks and walks in. I think it’s a nice gesture when you’ve been away for a little!

      • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 3:22 pm

        That’s cute but so not practical in Chicago – b/c (a) you’d have to pay a lot of money to park and (b) parking is so far away that you have to walk EVEN further to get to the car. And for what? You can’t go in that far without a ticket. The distance between the bottom of the escalator where he’d wait and the door outside of which the getaway car could be waiting is like 30 feet, so… But super cute!

      • katie December 17, 2013, 3:56 pm

        yea i think its crazy. but, he parks right at the airport and its only like 5 for under an hour or something (at midway), which is pretty surprising to me now that you mention it.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 4:07 pm

        Yeah, in Jacksonville it’s only like $3 and maybe 20 extra yards to walk. Plus then he carries my crap. I mostly like that he carries my stuff because shit gets heavy!

  • theattack December 17, 2013, 1:45 pm

    A public proposal would have been a nightmare for me, and I generally think they’re a bad idea because there’s added pressure to say yes. If a couple likes that sort of thing though, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Nothing says that proposals have to be private. They don’t have to be anything but two people deciding to marry each other. I won’t watch the video of your proposal because that’s not interesting to me, but if a public proposal makes you happy, please do it!

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  • bethany December 17, 2013, 2:03 pm

    I wouldn’t have wanted a public proposal, but I kind of like seeing them? There are some where you can tell they just did it so they can “get youtube famous”- Those I hate, and I can’t stand, so I don’t watch those videos. But, I don’t mind a well thought out, elaborate proposal, if the person on the receiving end is into that sort of thing. Plus, I like the idea of involving family and friends.

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  • Kate B. December 17, 2013, 2:09 pm

    You know what else you get? Someone who says yes because she feels she has to, otherwise she’ll ruin the moment. But that’s just me.

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    • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 2:11 pm

      Do you really think that happens? First, if you are the type to say yes because you feel like you have to or would feel bad saying no, you probably would say yes even in a tinier proposal. And then, are there really people out there that would propose to someone who really was so not expecting it that they would say no? (I say this as someone who, oddly, has said no, but I think they were expecting a no, so its sorta different.)

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      • Miel December 17, 2013, 2:31 pm

        I think you could have the girl that is soooo excited about the show going on around her, and realizing that she will be a youtube sensation. While it happens she thinks “he’s doing this to me ? omg we are going to be famous, omg everyone will see this, this is my dream” and she says yes while thinking “do I look good while I’m saying yes ? this is the best moment of my life”.

        But a week later she’s like “wait… that means I’m going to spend the rest of my life with this guy ? errr…. nope !”

    • MMcG December 17, 2013, 2:27 pm

      I’ve seen it go both ways… including when a no was accompanied by a full soda to the face to the poor guy. Priceless, but clearly that was also a situation where the couple wasn’t on the same page on numerous levels.

      But speaking of, did anyone see Hootenany of Horrors that Hax puts out every year? This guy had proposed in front of his family, girl says yes and then privately says to him that there are some things in the relationship that she would like to work on before planning the wedding and asked him to take the ring back until they were on the same page… they work on their relationship for a year, the next holiday comes around and he gives her what looks like the ring box — and it’s a key to a storage locker with all of her stuff in it that he had moved from their place and a note about HA now I’m dumping you and you know what it feels like to be embarrassed to your family (after going through the motions with a woman he asked to marry him for a year!!). Sociopath if you ask me, but I relay that because “public” can also mean various things… and sometimes people can be amazing hurtful and controlling jerks.

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      • katie December 17, 2013, 2:36 pm

        WOW. just… wow.

      • CatsMeow December 17, 2013, 2:42 pm

        That’s psychotic. She was soooo right to be hesitant!

      • MMcG December 17, 2013, 3:28 pm

        Right!?! Talk about dodging a bullet… tho it must have really really sucked at the time.

    • kerrycontrary December 17, 2013, 2:43 pm

      I don’t know how often people say “no” to proposals. I mean maybe it happens more than I know, but usually (nowadays) when a guy is going to propose the couple has discussed marriage and decided on it together, instead of the proposal being this huge surprise. I mean maybe some weirdo guys (or girls) propose at a completely inappropriate time in the relationship, or they’re just delusional, but I think its pretty rare.

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  • mandalee December 17, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Hmm, I guess I had a somewhat public proposal, but it definitely wasn’t of the song and dance and YouTube sensation variety. It was supposed to take place at this photo-op place of our school mascot, which is semi-private. Instead, due to many issues and delays when we were traveling, it ended up stumbling out of my now-husband during happy hour at the bar with our family & friends, which was supposed to be the post-proposal celebration location. It was slightly embarrassing, since I was stuffing my face with tacos and margaritas, but such is life. If it had been an over-the-top jumbotron proposal, I would have killed him.

    Some of the internet sensation proposal are cute, but I agree that they set up these wild expectations of Hollywood style proposals that just aren’t realistic.

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  • MMcG December 17, 2013, 2:22 pm

    I am as introverted as the next person and shy away from things like this in my own life… but I don’t think a blanket rule is appropriate either. I mean the woman was a cheerleader, she chooses to be in the public eye and show her spirit, and her fiance thought of a way to involve her teammates in what I thought was a really cute, surprising way. If you don’t like it… well take your bathroom break at halftime. Problem solved. It’s not like anyone is making you watch or ooooh and aahhhh.

    It’s all a matter of knowing who you are marrying, and doing something you think that they would appreciate that you enjoy. So much hate for the wedding industrial complex it’s like we can’t even have fun anymore because you get classified as someone who is trying to be an exhibitionist on youtube!

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    • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 2:27 pm

      I do have to say, as a pretty big sports fan…I’d be annoyed by a proposal (anyone’s…a dancer, a player, a rando on the jumbo-tron). We’re here to watch a game NOT ooooh and ahhhh over someone else’s special love. You know? Mushiness has no place when I’m in fan mode.

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      • MMcG December 17, 2013, 2:29 pm

        IDK… I mean it’s not like they call a timeout or disrupt the game. If they can squeeze in the halfcourt shot, tshirt giveaways and trivia during TV timeouts, I see no distinction here.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 2:40 pm

        To each their own, but that stuff you mention is game related. Also I’ve never seen trivia at a sporting event. I wouldn’t like complain if it happened, but I would roll my eyes. It’s a game, not the Bachelor.

        And, that guy did interrupt the booty shaking. Just saying. I paid to see that too.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 2:49 pm

        You’ve never seen trivia on the jumbotron?

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 2:53 pm

        Not at an NFL or college football game. Or baseball. But maybe I don’t look? I’m usually pretty focused on the field and players even during commercial breaks. Or checking other games scores on my phone.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 2:56 pm

        Yea, I think they have them at all sports games.

      • MMcG December 17, 2013, 3:32 pm

        Two words – kiss cam. Now that’s a shit show that needs to end… talk about putting people on the spot… And ive been to tons TONS of sporting events (i think we are both philly fans) and never have I seen one where there wasn’t trivia or some other sort of game.

        Mites on ice is my favorite BTW. No one asked. But I had to share;)

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:37 pm

        I’ve only been to one game at the Linc because they are so expensive (oh and I live in FL). I must just not notice! We’re going to the Panthers-Saints game this weekend so I’ll keep an eye out. Actually most of the sporting events I’ve been to have not been in Philly.

      • MMcG December 17, 2013, 3:47 pm

        The story I referenced above… she said no and threw a soda, was at the Vet years ago during a phillies game. I’ve never seen the Phanatic not know what to do before!!

        I feel like trivia and the like are at almost if not all sporting events these days bc they are sponsored somehow and/or the prize is to move down to the lower level, sponsored by amtrak; ) if we want to rant about ruining sports… I could go off on a tangent on that one… everything and everyone is going to look like a nascar eventually – just covered in logos. Boo

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:53 pm

        GGuy did just point out those like sponsored question/give away things…I guess that’s why I didn’t remember trivia. I remember those type of things, but I wouldn’t call that trivia. I think I’d say “give away” or something like that. (and nascar is the worst with marketing!! well maybe soccer too)

      • bethany December 17, 2013, 3:51 pm

        I love Mites on Ice!! I’m going to the Flyers game on Thursday, and can’t wait to see those kids!

      • MMcG December 17, 2013, 4:12 pm

        God willing they do better for you than my last outing!!! It’s so hard being a philly sports fan. .. deluding myself into hope every year.

      • bethany December 17, 2013, 4:37 pm

        We got free “loaded tickets”, so as long as I get nachos, I’ll be happy. My husband on the other hand…

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 2:48 pm

        OH come on! It doesn’t happen DURING the game. And as quick as you can say you are there to watch a game, they clearly are there to propose, and are probably paying the same price for admission as you.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 2:56 pm

        Yeah, I have no time for mushy stuff during my sporting events. And I won’t apologize for it. I would wager the majority of people who attend sporting events regularly feel the same way. And, I don’t get “going to a game to propose”…you go to watch the game. Like that’s the only reason.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 2:58 pm

        I guess my point was its not YOUR sporting events. Its the public’s. And its only a couple minutes. Use that time for a bathroom break if its that annoying I guess. People go to games for a million reasons. I like the atmosphere and tailgating. I’m not “wrong” in why I go.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:03 pm

        I get that it’s not MY event…it’s the collective audience’s event…and like I said, I’d wager most sports fans aren’t big supporters of half time/intermission proposals. It’s over done. It’s fine if you like it, but you’re not going to convince me that it’s great.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 3:05 pm

        I’m not convincing you to like it. It was just strange to me that you are like, offended by it or something. Just look the other way for 30 seconds 🙂

        I’d wager against you on that bet though. The whole crowd always cheers. You never hear someone booing.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:08 pm

        what asshole is going to boo? It’s polite to clap.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 3:10 pm

        I doubt most people at games are worried about being polite. I think its genuine clapping. Who knows tho.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:12 pm

        This might actually be the dumbest debate that has happened in the history of DW.

        I think sports proposals are dumb. You don’t. Cool.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 3:13 pm


      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:16 pm

        It’s just a dumb thing to debate. I’m not being rude, I just don’t see a point in carrying this on. We don’t agree- that’s fine.

      • LadyinPurpleNotRed December 17, 2013, 3:07 pm

        Plus it’s during halftime/intermission…when people go to the bathroom and don’t really give a fuck what’s going on because they’re getting more food/drink/bathroom time/walking around

      • iwannatalktosampson December 17, 2013, 3:20 pm

        But something is going on during that time anyway – so why do you care what it is? If you’re there FOR THE GAME – you shouldn’t care if it’s dancers at half time or some other form of entertainment – which you could argue a proposal is entertaining.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:32 pm

        What I don’t get is why anyone cares that I think sports proposals are silly and unoriginal. I also think the stupid half time sumo wrestling thing is silly…who cares?

        I like to keep my romance and sports separate. Good for me. Other people don’t, good for them.

      • iwannatalktosampson December 17, 2013, 4:44 pm

        You like your romance and sports separate. Do you ever hold hands with gguy at a game? What about a quick kiss? Those things are romantic, and you’re doing it in public where other people paid good money for a ticket.

      • lets_be_honest December 17, 2013, 4:59 pm

        Oh, Idont care that you dont like them. just found it strange you declare what sports games are supposed to entail as though the tens of thousands of people attending and paying dont exist and then seemed to get all attitude-y with me for trying to have a discussion. Just weird wording I thought. If you only like the game itself and nothing else, makes sense to watch it on tv , or so my football loving boyfriend says.

      • LadyinPurpleNotRed December 17, 2013, 3:02 pm

        Apparently for some people it’s not the only reason they go to the game. For YOU it is. But not everybody.

      • MMcG December 17, 2013, 3:37 pm

        Sadly these days I would wager that a good chunk of people at sporting events are there to network or see and be seen. Tickets are too expensive for the average fan… and don’t get me started on sports in LA. Half the people there are just looking for the celebs in the front row 😉

    • SasLinna December 17, 2013, 2:29 pm

      I thought this proposal was fun – it really looked like she enjoyed it. I would never ever want something like that, but everyone’s different.

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    • katie December 17, 2013, 2:52 pm

      yea, i dont see anything wrong with a cheerleader getting proposed to with other cheerleaders and a mascot- that works, whatever- but the general commodification of proposals is sad. and its literally like the commodification of sex (porn). it turns it fantastical, gives it standards no one can meet, ect. seriously, thats such a wonderful comparison.

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    • Kate B. December 17, 2013, 2:57 pm

      I don’t kow. I am currently playing five shows per weekend and even though I love everyone in the show, I would absolutely die if someone proposed to me on stage. You do have a point that it does depend on the person, but I think just saying that because you choose to do some things in public means you wouldn’t mind having other things done in public is way too general for me. I would hope that any guy who is thinking of asking me to marry him would take the time to figure out what I would like best. [I’m just speaking for me. If this woman loved her proposal, then I’d say he got it right.]

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  • thewriteway December 17, 2013, 2:52 pm

    I don’t know if I’d ever want something like this if I ever found the future Mr. TWW. I mean, I tend to feel embarrassed about being complimented in private settings, so I’m not sure I’d want Mr. TWW proposing to me in front of 20,000 people.

    That said, these public proposals are becoming a bit too cliche to me. I’ve had season tickets to the hockey team here for the last six seasons and I’ve seen at least three proposals at games in that time, plus more from before I was going regularly. Nowadays, they are all the same thing: guy and girl play a game together between periods, usually in some silly costume, guy gets down on one knee, girl says yes, everyone cheers. I find myself just rolling my eyes anymore…maybe it would be better if I actually knew the people involved and cared? Once everyone is doing it, I don’t think there’s much novelty there.

    JMO, though.

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    • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 2:57 pm

      I’m with you. There is no creativity in a sporting event proposal. It’s lame and gets in the way of the game.

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    • katie December 17, 2013, 3:13 pm

      thats funny, i bet a ton of people who work with weddings feel that way about weddings.

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      • thewriteway December 17, 2013, 3:17 pm

        I wanted to be a wedding planner when I was younger…my mom was getting married (for the third time, but OK) and I was fascinated with the process. That was almost 15 years ago and I’m kind of glad I didn’t go that route now. I could never work with some of the brides and their ridiculous demands these days!

  • bethany December 17, 2013, 3:20 pm

    I just realized that I did in fact witness a public proposal like 10 years ago. Even at the time, I knew it was pretty bad. I was at my favorite college bar with my x-boyfriend (who was actually recently married at the time), and the guy got on stage while the sweet cover band was on a break and proposed to his girlfriend. My X was really drunk and very loudly yelled “DON’T DO IT”.

    That was a special night.

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    • bethany December 17, 2013, 3:21 pm

      That poor girl had to pay a $5 cover to her own proposal! HA!

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  • rawkmys0cks December 17, 2013, 3:31 pm

    What counts as a public proposal? Like, does a proposal that happens to be out somewhere in public count as a “public proposal?” Haha, or does the audience make it public?

    I only ask because my fiance did totally propose to me in public (on top of the Empire State Building no less), but there were so many people that literally NO ONE NOTICED, which I just thought was awesome. If anything he was kind of blocking the aisle by getting down on one knee and maybe annoyed someone. (as a side note: I also loved the fact that we were probably the only New Yorkers up there that day.)

    I thought I was the kind of person who wanted it to be a private moment (and it actually was even though we were surrounded by tons of people), but it was really poignant for it to happen while we were looking out at the city where we fell in love and all that gushy stuff that I didn’t even think about the public/embarrassing aspect of it. So I’m just saying I think there are ways to do it in meaningful places that are also in public without it being a crazy spectacle/engagement porn.

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    • katie December 17, 2013, 4:01 pm

      i would assume the difference is *for* the public vs. *in* public. the videos, all of them, are spectacles to be watched. your story, for instance, just happened to be in public.

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  • starpattern December 17, 2013, 3:42 pm

    I think someone alluded to this above, but I think the big proposals at ticketed events (sports games, etc) are rude. It’s like they just want a large, captive audience and they don’t care who it is. I don’t typically attend sports games, but I do attend other fun stuff – like Punkin Chunkin for example. It’s just annoying to be shushed and have to wait for whatever the activity was to resume because we are waiting for some newly engaged people to get done making out. I’m not going to be a dick to anyone about it, but I will count the seconds until we get back to watching folks launch pumpkins ridiculous distances.

    That said, when I see some couple getting engaged in a nice restaurant or in the park or at a museum I’m like aww, how nice. And then I smile their way and keep walking. 🙂

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    • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:45 pm

      I totally agree with you but apparently we’re nuts based off of the response I got above. I had no idea.

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      • starpattern December 17, 2013, 3:53 pm

        Yeah, I didn’t even know where to jump in on that conversation! We must just be scrooges.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 3:55 pm

        I’ll take being called a scrooge when it comes to my sports. Fine by me!

      • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 4:01 pm

        but doesn’t the proposal happen like in the middle of the girls shaking their booty or whatnot during halftime? no sports is interrupted or delayed whatsoever.

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Well I like to see the booty shaking too!

      • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Ew not me because the thought that keeps running through my head is “they were born in the mid 90s, what the fuck!”

      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 4:34 pm

        Just for curiosity’s sake, I googled the average age of NFL cheerleaders. Apparently it’s 25, which is only 3 years younger than I am.

      • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 4:41 pm

        Old hags, ha!

      • Bittergaymark December 17, 2013, 4:44 pm

        I actually think that — yeah, it is beyond RUDE to demand your moment in the sun in front of twenty thousand sports fans… and agree with you all that these proposals are simply beyond obnoxious. Worse, they’re FUCKING boring!!! How many times will women ooh and aah over this utter bullshit?! Enough already!! Sorry, but men sure don’t make this shit go viral. Bah…

    • MMcG December 17, 2013, 3:54 pm

      Usually when it happens at a sporting event it doesn’t interfere with the game at all… concerts and shows maybe it would? I’ve never had that experience… but good luck shushing 25,000-100,000 fans or getting them to do anything really!

      And again… this would never be me. My proposal moment was in my living room, not in any public place at all, but I’m not going to begrudge someone who has the means and opportunity if thats what they want. I would also think in a restaurant can be just as much as a grab for attention as on a field or in a park… so it’s a little weird for me where some of y’all are drawing that line (museum, ok; circus, no) of public vs public.

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      • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 3:57 pm

        were you wearing pants when he proposed? i want to be proposed to when i’m not wearing pants.

      • Banana December 17, 2013, 3:59 pm

        My pants normally don’t last long when I’m in a private setting with my boyfriend.

      • MMcG December 17, 2013, 4:10 pm

        Pjs actually. He managed to surprise me on the timing by waking me up. I was so certain it couldn’t be done so it was awesome. .. and I’m a cryer so yet another reason to avoid the public 🙂

      • rachel December 17, 2013, 4:26 pm

        I was in my pajamas.

      • starpattern December 17, 2013, 4:13 pm

        For me the distinction is: does it interfere with what I’m doing/watching? If no, yay for you! If yes, please hurry up and go away. People may propose in parks or museums or wherever because they want attention, but in those settings I’m not pressured into giving them that attention like I am if I’m a spectator at some event where the announcer is like ATTENTION EVERYONE, THIS YOUNG MAN HAS A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT…

    • iwannatalktosampson December 17, 2013, 4:21 pm

      I literally cannot see where you’re coming from, and I’m making a real effort to do so. It’s never during the game, which is what you came to see. You don’t have ownership of every minute of your experience. You paid to see the game, as long as it’s not interrupting that experience – well quit looking for ways to be offended. Yeesh. I don’t even like public proposals, so I am an equal opportunity public proposal hater, I just don’t get how you can specifically single out sporting events and think they’re about you.

      Also, again, I think they’re all barfy, but say that sport team is really important to both of you. You had your first date at a bronco’s game, you’re both huge fans, your favorite bonding day is Sunday, you have favorite players from that team, you stack your whole fantasy team with bronco’s players, fall is truly your favorite time of the year. Then I get it! It’s just special for the couple, so fuck if you’re okay with public proposals in general why would you single out sporting events. Shit go to the bathroom if you don’t want to witness it. Get another beer. You’re probably out of beer, and to me someone not bringing me a beer when mine is empty is much ruder than a public proposal at halftime.

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      • GatorGirl December 17, 2013, 4:28 pm

        I’m not going to answer for her, but this is my thought. I bought a ticket for an event (any event; sports, play, concert, ballet….whatever), and I don’t think that means I should have to watch someone else’s grandiose proposal. Sure I could go get a beer or go to the bathroom, but my paid for experience is still being altered for their personal moment. Now if we’re talking a park, museum, restaurant, general public area…proposal away. Have a flash mob and fireworks, sure. I didn’t pay to enjoy that public space, like I did for that private event.

        I would have been annoyed had I been proposed to during a sporting event and we’re both huge sports fans. It’s just a difference of opinions. Neither is right or wrong.

      • iwannatalktosampson December 17, 2013, 4:41 pm

        So it’s a money issue? Because you pay to attend a museum. And if you’re in a public area you’re probably there spending money (restaurant, shopping mall). I just don’t get it.

        To me it really is going out of your way to get offended. Sure I COULD go get a beer, but my experience is being altered. Well you drink beer at sporting events don’t you? So you will eventually have to go by that beer anyway? Why don’t you just choose to do so at that time. You pee in public right?

      • starpattern December 17, 2013, 4:40 pm

        Oh FFS. I didn’t single out sporting events, and now I’m sorry for mentioning them. I have literally been to one sporting event outside of high school – a dinky minor league baseball game – and it did not have a proposal. So, I don’t know the logistics of jumbo trons and typical timing of proposals. My bad for assuming they’re like other ticketed events.

        But I stand by my comment that if I’m at a concert, or a play, or a competition, or whatever, where I have paid to be there, and the activity (whatever it is) is halted so that someone can have their proposal, it’s annoying. I’m not going to be an asshole to anyone about it, or write any letters to the editor, or wish the couple ill, but I will think to myself how awkward it is to watch this personal moment between people I don’t know from Adam, and how self-centered it is to need to stop! everything! and get the attention of the entire audience rather than just proposing where they are already sitting in the stands/theater/corn field if that event is something special to them.

      • katie December 17, 2013, 4:51 pm

        ohh how about this one, i just remembered it-

        my friend was proposed to at wrigley field in chicago, on the pitchers mound during a tour. that must have really sucked right? like, over here you will see the ivy, and there is where so and so made a home run, and uh, if youll just clear the way so these two can go over towards the pitchers mound and hush up….


      • kare December 18, 2013, 12:49 am

        Personally, a public proposal is mortifying to me. To each their own. Life is entirely too short to focus on the two minutes you can’t get back because someone proposed at a public event.

  • Banana December 17, 2013, 3:58 pm

    @Fabelle, where are you? Isn’t this exactly how your boyfriend says he’d propose to you? Only, at a high school game?

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    • Fabelle December 17, 2013, 7:43 pm

      BANANA haha I just got here!! (& commented below before I saw this comment)

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  • Bittergaymark December 17, 2013, 4:26 pm

    So lame-o and absurdly narcissistic. I despise these proposals. Just tacky! Brilliant guest column!

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  • iwannatalktosampson December 17, 2013, 4:51 pm

    I just thought of another thing that annoys me about people trying to win the “cutest proposal ever” competition. Everyone wants to have a “special”/unique proposal and everyone has a “special” love and everyone wants to have a unique/pinteresty/”special” wedding. And it’s like – you’re all fucking the same. You’re in love! YaY! You found someone that thinks even on your worst day you shit rainbows – YAY. But you are exactly like every other couple in love. Stop trying to “win” the competition.

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    • katie December 17, 2013, 4:53 pm

      yea, this is pretty much what i was getting at with my wedding comment to TWW. as you see more weddings, they just blur. they are all the same, and none of them are special. its a losing battle to try to “win”, because you cant.

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      • katie December 17, 2013, 5:39 pm

        also, i have seen a lot of weddings, working at a country club. and they DO blend together. i also see this with wedding dresses too- it seems like on say yes to the dress and/or 4 weddings or whatever, its always the exact same dress, slightly different from the one before it. super lame.

    • honeybeenicki December 17, 2013, 4:57 pm

      @iwanna – I do shit rainbows, thank you very much! I did get a fairly “unique” proposal… in that it was a text message. But other than that, totally agree.

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      • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 6:12 pm

        yes but were you wearing pants?

      • kare December 18, 2013, 12:51 am

        I’m going to get engaged while pantsless. Then elope to Vegas and get married pantsless as well.

    • MissDre December 17, 2013, 5:15 pm

      I agree with you. I seriously couldn’t care less about having a “special story” to tell.

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  • Ammie December 17, 2013, 5:36 pm

    I want everything to be as low-key as possible… I despise being the center of attention. Private proposal, short engagement, only our immediate families witnessing the ceremony and then we all go out to dinner in lieu of a reception? Yes please.

    It’s not even that I’m not romantic, I just would rather get to the marriage and skip all the hoops you jump through beforehand.

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    • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 6:16 pm

      I used to think I didn’t like being the center of attention and then I realized how I was always the center of attention and then I realized it was because I always weaseled my way there and then I realized how fucking annoying that is of me but then I realized I didn’t want to stop because I liked it there and then I realized hey I do not despise being the center of attention. It was a long process because I’m a late bloomer and I’m slow at learning myself.

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  • Fabelle December 17, 2013, 7:40 pm

    Wow I’m late as HELL to this because I left work early & blah blah blah, but here are my thoughts—in order— reading this:

    1. hahaha the cheerleader/busting out of a mascot costume thing is actually EXACTLY what my boyfriend threatened to do for his proposal to me (at the school he works at, not a giant public stadium, but still)

    2. Yeah, I find proposals like these corny as well. Like, as corny as engagement photos & all that. But why care so much about how others choose to show their love? I mean, I get that extravagant displays of love sometimes lend themselves to skepticism (i.e. “oh, they must be compensating for their terrible relationship”). But again, it’s not *your* terrible relationship, so I’d rather just observe with eye-rolly amusement. More amusement than eye-rolly, honestly.

    3. What’s wrong with having sex for an audience 😉

    4. Oh hellz no, now he’s throwing shade at porn? I watch porn because it turns me on. If I’m not in the mood to be turned on, yeah, it is fucking ridiculous, but it’s not an outlet for only desperate people. Wtf.

    (I mean, I understand the analogy, but I’m not in the mood, I guess. I’m just like, “ugh, this shit again about people who like porn?)

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    • Fabelle December 17, 2013, 7:57 pm

      Also, because skimming I see there’s some debate about these things happening at a paid event etc. & how that’s apparently annoying? Well, I’m not even gonna get into that, but I guess I find it… odd (or if I was being a bit more, I dunno, affected? I might even use the word “sad”) that people can’t observe other people having a moment, & just genuinely be like “aw”? And I ~do~ agree that proposals like this, as a concept, are getting a bit MUCH & all, but I have no doubt that if I witnessed one, I’d really be into it? Like “omg, aw, look at his face, look at her face, did you see how she didn’t notice what was going on at first, do you see how nervous he is? squeee” just because I really enjoy seeing… what do I even call it… like, human emotion-type moments like that? Like, similarly—the only example I can think of—is on live comedy, when the actors break character? It’s just a cool window into people’s inner lives?

      I ammmm clearly on some soapbox here, & look, I know not everyone will react the way that I would (& that’s fine), but I am surprised at the whole “it’s an interruption” thing? And the agreement about that? (From what I’ve read) Like.. IS it an interruption, really?

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      • Addie Pray December 17, 2013, 8:11 pm

        What Fabelle said, all if it

      • katie December 17, 2013, 8:17 pm

        i agree with this generally, actually, but to me the qualifier would be if it IS an actual human emotion moment, a real moment that i witness. as someone said above, after seeing so many of the *exact* same proposal at the *exact* same football game or whatever, its not even a human emotion thing anymore, at least not to me.

      • SasLinna December 18, 2013, 5:16 am

        I 100% agree with you.

    • Dennis Hong (@DennisHHong) December 17, 2013, 9:57 pm

      Not that there’s anything wrong with porn. If you know it’s just a fantasy, if “Debbie Does Dallas” and viral public proposals give you the quick — ahem — “fix” that you need, good for you. Enjoy yourself.

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  • Teri Anne December 17, 2013, 7:43 pm

    I watched a video of a man proposing to his girlfriend during a major league baseball game, in which the entire stadium was watching. But she did not accept his proposal. Judging from the look on her face, she seemed paralyzed with embarrassment and her refusal may have stemmed from the anxiety of being put on the spot in front of thousands of people. I got the impression that she just wanted to run and hide.

    I agree with the guest writer. Proposals should be a private intimate moment between the couple. If a boyfriend insisted on making a public spectacle of proposing to me, his total lack of understanding my personality would mean that I could not accept the proposal.

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  • katie December 17, 2013, 8:19 pm

    wendy, i was thinking about this – this is the best column idea, and i hope you keep it. DW rants is awesome!

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  • mylaray December 17, 2013, 9:21 pm

    I agree, I cringe when I see something as public and big as this. Restaurant proposals don’t bother me (but I would never want one for myself). My husband proposed to me in private and it was a spur of the moment thing that neither of us planned (we both already bought the ring together and wanted an element of surprise) and that was perfect for us. I heard about a recent Justin Timberlake concert in which the man orchestrated for months to propose to his girlfriend on stage at a concert and while they are happy with the outcome and public aspect of it, I find the need for public attention like that annoying to a degree.

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  • Lindsay December 17, 2013, 11:00 pm

    I thought that proposal at the Bulls game was cute. Personally, I don’t feel like it’s my place to tell people what sort of proposal they should want or have. I would probably prefer a private one, but I don’t really care what other people like. I also don’t think that my time is SO uniquely valuable that watching someone get engaged is that bad.

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  • kaluu December 18, 2013, 1:30 am

    I love this essay and feel relieved that so many people feel the same way about “proposal porn” (great term coining, Dennis!)
    I agree with gator girl that it’s rude to the other spectators. Although some of them may really enjoy it, deciding to do it is still selfish and rude. Cute the first times, now everyone please stop! And I don’t watch sports ever, not even on tv! If a man wants to marry you and he’s the one, great! That’s the happy feeling. Unless he tells you that he’s, like, settling, while proposing to you, then no proposal should be “disappointing” or “underwhelming,” unless you were only wanting to marry him so you could like brag about the proposal?!
    I’m north american but this stuff weirds me out (and I feel it’s definitely a north American thing)
    More from Dennis, please!:D

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  • scattol December 18, 2013, 9:29 am

    I actually liked this one:

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  • Cleopatra_30 December 18, 2013, 10:56 am

    Yeah see public proposals are definitely dependant on ones own personal taste. I personally agree with Denis (BTW love your posts on DW, we need more of you!!), and I would absolutely hate to have anything big and public. For me, a private thing done in the bedroom, heck even after we have a good romp in the sack, would be good for me! But others like the fantasticalness of a public proposal, with many people watching and witnessing the event. And of course there is always the risk of being put down, and whether you are confident enough with yourself to take that risk doing something so big in front of hundreds, thousands, millions even, then great.

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  • spaceysteph December 30, 2013, 9:28 pm

    I don’t know how I would have felt about public public proposals, but I kind of wish we had gotten engaged at like Christmas or something with family around.
    My husband proposed at midnight when I had just gotten off my evening shift in mission control (we got engaged one floor up in historic Apollo mission control). He did get a friend of ours to come with him and take pictures (so glad he did, and we used one on the save the date) but him and his wife were the only ones there.
    Then we went home. We called our parents and some close friends, but it was an hour later on the east coast where most of them live and nobody answered. I don’t know… I was excited and wanted to tell people and celebrate but there was nobody to tell.
    So… maybe a stadium full of strangers wouldn’t have done it for me either, but I do wish we had people we knew and loved around to share the moment. So I guess I’m for a semi-public engagement.

    As for the whole “he better make sure he knows the answer will be yes…” I just think that its stupid to do any form of asking, public or private, if you don’t know the answer is yes. It puts the ask-ee in a terrible position to either lie and say yes or break your heart. Talk to your S.O.s people!

    ETA: By the way, those pics from my Mission Control proposal are here on my blog, if you’re secretly into gawping at proposals. We won’t tell Dennis! http://www.nerds-in-love.net/2012/03/nerds-in-love-our-engagement-story.html

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