Monday, May 17, 2010
Ladies and Gents - tell me what you think of this story:
HACKETTSTOWN -- A New Jersey college valedictorian had a special graduation gift for her boyfriend - a wedding proposal, which he accepted.
Moments after finishing her speech Saturday at the Centenary College commencement, Emily Hawley called fellow graduate Josh Walker to the stage. She then popped the question, drawing loud roars from fellow graduates.
Hawley didn't have a ring to give Walker and didn't get down on one knee. She tells the Daily Record newspaper of Parsippany her proposal was "nontraditional enough." Walker admits being caught off guard but says he didn't mind.
Hawley and Walker are Maine residents who've dated since they were sophomores in high school seven years ago. They haven't set a wedding date.
I saw the video of this story on my local ABC affiliate station here in NYC. I thought it was cute, but wondered why it was so news worthy. Was it because a woman was proposing to a man? Or was it because she was proposing to him in such a public way?
Let's face it - most women want their man to propose to them - not because society says so or because that's the traditional way it's done - even that's true for the most part. But MOST women want their man to propose to them because that lets them know that he's ready. In the case of the cap and gown proposal, they dated for 7 years, so perhaps she was sure he'd say yes. But that could have easily gone wrong...and a rejection at a graduation would have left her stinging for a LONG time.
As liberal and independent as women are these days, most women would never propose for fear of rejection - so that was a big chance she took asking him in front of all those people. But do you think public proposals like that ensure a "yes" response? Even if he wasn't ready and wanted to turn down her proposal, do you think he would have embarrassed her in front of her classmates by saying "no?" We can only wonder.
But men, just like women, fear rejection too - though most men get enough clues from their sweetheart regarding marriage that he's pretty sure she'd say yes. After all, all women are ready for marriage, right? That's the belief at least. Most men believe that women come out of the womb wearing a white dress and a veil with a bouquet in her hands. But that's not true...at all. For the most part, most men (and women) feel that women are just naturally ready to settle down at any given moment, and will gladly say yes when their boo kneels down on one knee.
This may make it a bit easier for a man to propose, but what if he wants to get married and is afraid to ask? In that case, should the woman step up and do the asking? If he's afraid to ask, does that automatically mean that he's unsure or not ready...or does he just need a little push? I would assume that marriage would have been discussed long before a woman proposes - so chances are, she's pretty sure he'd say yes if she DID ask him. Most women wouldn't ask on a humbug...unless she's just really that bold.
There are some men out there who would love to get a proposal from their long time love. Others though, might feel like she's a bit too forward, or too "non-traditional" for his taste. After all, the man may feel like it's his "job" to do the asking...and if she takes that away from him, he might be embarrassed or offended that she took that "right" away from him. He may feel pressured, or he may be upset that she beat him to the punch because he had his ideal proposal all planned out. There are several reactions he could have to being proposed to, and I think a lot of women are afraid, not only of rejection, but of offending her boyfriend by taking over his "manly" duty of asking the woman to marry him.
So here are my questions for you all:
Women: If you felt your man would say yes, would you propose to him? If he said no, would that be the end of the relationship, or would you simply take it as he's just not ready and wait for him to propose to you?
Men: Do you believe women should propose to men - or should they be more "traditional?" If your lady proposed to you, would you be offended or embarrassed? Should she have a ring? If you say "no," is the relationship over - or would you assure her that you love her, but you're just not ready?
And are public proposals dangerous...or unfair?
Let's hear it!