The family is together, candles glow on the table; plates have been emptied of their second serving. Everyone is well fed and in good spirits. You’ve been planning this event for months. Your future brother in-law is in on the gig and waiting with a hidden camera. You’re just about to drop to one knee when your sister blurts out, “I’ve been laid-off, the rent is past due, and I don’t know what to do!” then bursts into tears. Everyone rushes to console her. You’re crushed by her misfortune and couldn’t think of a worse time to pop the question to your future fiancée. Your moment of romance has been thwarted, and your plan to propose is trashed with the table scraps.
Even the best-planned proposals can go bonkers. Fights break out, freak storms erupt; even an unexpected phone call can kill the moment. If you’ve successfully popped the all-important question, do not think you’re free and out of the woods. A friend’s girlfriend became so excited at the sight of her engagement ring that she promptly barfed all over it, her boyfriend, dog and surrounding furniture.
The lesson, of course is to always have a plan B, C and barf bag handy. To use a sports analogy, a good quarterback can change calls mid play, those that cannot get sacked.
If you’ve ready to ask the big Q that leads to the big M, in the New Year here’s a few suggestions. Ignore them and you could find yourself in the middle of a betrothal blooper. No need to beat yourself up if you do fumble, at least you’ll have an LOL story to tell your grandchildren.
Tip #1: Dump the ring in the dessert idea. Aside from being a cheesy cliché, fine jewelry and whip cream do not go together. Same rule applies to diamonds in champagne, a box of chocolates or box of mints. Unless, of course you don’t mind showing off the X-ray images of your ring as it passes along your digestive system.
Tip #2: Protect your investment. Another jewelry caveat, here: Trust no one or thing with the ring. Scenes of a groom losing the engagement ring by tying it to a balloon, giving it to an absent minded friend or hiding it in a nondescript bag than accidentally gets thrown out are all too common. The best place to hide a ring is in a safety deposit box until the day of the proposal. When that day does arrive, duct tape it to your body.
Tip # 3: Don’t steal someone’s thunder. Proposing at another person’s birthday party is a strict no-no. Same rule applies at weddings, baby showers, retirement parties, and –yes, it does happen- funerals. It may be tempting to take advantage of a sentimental setting that features cake and booze that you didn’t have to pay for, but resist the urge to repeat a Kanye/Taylor Swift moment. If you’re not in the headline, stay off the stage.
Tip # 4: Don’t punk your proposal. Someone I could never admit to actually knowing, went on and on explaining an elaborate proposal scheme that involved lying to his girlfriend, having friends lie to her and tormenting her to tears over a fabricated missing persons report before miraculously showing up and declaring his love and devotion. Of course, the plan backfired when she became so distraught and traumatized by the incident then refused to speak to anyone for days while she contemplated ending the relationship.
Tip # 5: ‘Tis the season- for bad weather. Bobby has a big heart and want to propose in a big way. He posts a huge “Will You Marry Me” sign across the overpass that leads to the mall where his girlfriend does her holiday shopping. When they get to the overpass his sign is wet, ripped and blowing in the wind. Joe wants to propose while walking through the park where he and his fiancée first met. She thinks it’s too cold outside and won’t get out of the car. There’s enough thing you can’t control when making plans, why add unpredictable weather to the equation?
Proposing marriage can be a nerve-racking endeavor. If you follow the tips above, there’s no need to be a chicken in the Year of the Tiger.