How To Propose
by Chad Lowry


No event looms larger in a young man's life than popping the question to his beloved. The marriage question, that is, not the one about the banana and the car battery. Therefore, you must properly prepare for the proposal, so as to not blow this big moment like you did during your first flute solo, when you suddenly realized how gay it was for a guy to be playing the flute. I mean, really.

The first thing to remember is that the less said, the better. Fewer words are easier to memorize, especially when you're nervous and drunk. You don't want to take a chance on forgetting something you had planned to say. Not to mention that women are so goddamn sensitive that, Lord knows, the moment has to be perfect and just one wrong phrase, such as "as long as you don't put on weight," can ruin the whole event. So keep it short and simple.

Second, at some point during the proposal, preferably early on, you should probably tell her you love her. But remember not to show her the ring at this point - keep it in the box, or still buried in the chocolate mousse, or wherever you have it. Otherwise, anything you say might as well be in Portugese, because she won't be listening to you, she'll be judging the stone you broke your back to save for, and why couldn't it have been just a little bit bigger or clearer, etc., you cheap bastard.

Third, when you ask her to marry you, be sure use her full name. It'll show you took the time to plan what you were going to say, and that you remember who she is. Plus, they seem to do this a lot on TV shows during proposals, so that probably means it works.

Fourth, as to whether you should get down on one knee when proposing, just remember that if you do, don't kneel on her foot or accidentally stick your head up her skirt/dress, because this could be distracting. As with memorizing the speech, remember that if you're drunk, this will be difficult. So be sure to drink just the right amount (usually between 6-11 drinks). And if you decide not to get down on one knee, just remember that every retelling of the event will involve her commenting about how you were too fucking proud to do something romantic and selfless for once in your life.

Fifth, speaking of making a good story of it, be sure to pick the right place and time to ask the question. For instance, in a parking garage: wrong. In a park with flowers: right. But in a park with flowers when there's lightning activity in the area: wrong.

Never take her back to the place where you had your first date (especially if it was a rodeo), or anywhere you've been before; she'll probably suspect what's coming and will rub it in your face later about how you're lousy with surprises, and you're as predictable as her dog who pees every time company comes over. Try to avoid places where truckers and men drinking from paper bags hang out. Also, at the hospital while she's having your child is generally considered unseemly.

Finally, when it comes time for the big moment, do not let your nerves get the better of you and chicken out. Unless that's what you want, because let's face it, marriage is hell, and you could probably buy a lot of beer if you hocked that ring. If you must chicken out, try getting down on one knee and sticking your head up her dress. If she objects, you can tell her you were just rehearsing for proposing to her, and then she’ll probably be OK with it.

© 2004 Chad Lowry, All Rights Reserved
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