On a message board I post on, the question o' the day asked how your significant other proposed to you. Some spouses went all out to make their marriage proposal An Event and others went along lines of "Well, are we getting married or what?"
I see so many women who expect Unique and Fabulous proposals of marriage that include the man on bended knee (preferably in a public setting) while holding up the 2 carat diamond so that she can scream and squeal and give a Victory Cheer. "Yes! I finally wore him down with my incessant demands that he propose to me! I win! Ha! Ha!"
On the other side of the coin, I had a friend, a guy friend, who planned a big Event for his marriage proposal. You see, he had competition for her hand and was desperate to show her that he was the better choice. He had already bought her flowers and baubles and fancy dinners but he needed to do something Big. So he took her on a romantic getaway, wined and dined her and on the last day, he took her up in a hot air balloon. While they were up, up and away, soaring over the countryside, he produced a ring and in front of the other passengers, asked her if she would do him the honor of becoming his wife. And she declined. Doh! He was DEVASTATED but didn't give up. But he realized he needed to rethink his wooing strategies.
A couple of weeks later, they were in a noisy crowded restaurant, waiting on their hamburgers and french fries and he half-heartedly "proposed" again. To his amazement, she said "Yes." She just wanted to be his wife but she needed him to understand that Big Showy Productions didn't work with her.
TheManTheMyth and I had been together for about a year and living together for 9 of those 12 months. We were at a wedding, the 4th one we'd been to in as many months. As the reception was winding down, we were talking about how many weddings we'd been to lately and he made the off-hand remark, "I think the next wedding we go to should be our own." My brilliant response was something like "Huh wha?" I asked him if he was drunk (that would be Yes) and if he was asking me to marry him. He replied in the affirmative and that was it. There wasn't any "Will you marry me?" on bended knee, no big announcement, just a "yeah" when I asked him if he was proposing. No fanfare, no trumpets. No ring.
So. The next day, we got up without discussing our engagement and went to a boat race with a group of friends. I kept waiting for him to make the Big Announcement to everyone but the day went on and he never said a word. Since I knew he was drunk when he "asked" me, I was starting to wonder if maybe he didn't remember his proposal and I certainly didn't want to tell everyone only to have him say, "What the hell are you talking about?" How embarrassing would THAT be?
So, we get home that night and I'm all verklempt. Finally, I got up the nerve to ask him if he remembered what had happened the previous night (he did) and was he serious about it (he was). He said he had gotten a bit of a kick out of watching me squirm and sweat. And they say romance is dead. Two days later I had my ring and 6 months after that we walked down the aisle.
That was 20 years ago.