Today is apparently “Propose Day”. Since this list appears to be generated by some blogger or maybe a site that sells romantic “stuff” it should be taken with a glass of water, and maybe a dose of ex-lax.
The thing is that I have nothing against giving the people you love flowers, candy, and positive affirmations. My view is that most of these very silly holidays are simply to serve as reminders to appreciate something you like but sometimes forget to appreciate consciously. I think that’s a good thing, which is why I make a big deal of holidays.
If you look around the internet there are some pretty spectacular stories about proposals. My favorite which was at least partially filmed and shown at the wedding was a mini role-playing adventure that Z did for Kiaya. Another, probably more typical story is from my uncle, who was very young and romantic. Unc took his intended to the top of a moon- washed tower with a gorgeous view. He had, we can assume, rehearsed dozens of beautiful and romantic speeches in his head, but when the moment came he choked, took the ring from his pocket and handed it to her saying “Take this or I’ll push you off”. I think we can all understand this, what if she stops you half way through? What if one of your analogies means something different to her than it does to you? The moment aside, settling the question moves you from a stage of infinite possibilities to many fewer, and you are looking at possibly mourning a life together that you had hoped for but will not happen, as much as combining plans with your loved ones. That’s a lot of pressure, to put on the poor guys. Big decisions like this should be made by discussion, it’s not a present from one to the other, nor is it irresistible, but requires serious thought.
The whole idea of making it up to the male to initiate the process is totally unfair, and I hope passing away, but it has a lot of tradition behind it, so it’s hard to break. I suppose there are folks out there that need a little push, a reminder that they aren’t the only one who’s trying to decide whether to move from working solo to in tandem. So having the holiday is OK, but shouldn’t be seen as a law. Can you imagine a “Appendectomy Day”? Important things you do when they’re right, and how it’s right for the people involved. I suppose a couple could stage an announcement as if it were a proposal, but frankly, if you are close enough that you think the girl is going to say yes, you may also be fairly certain she doesn’t want to embarass you in front of a crowd, so what might be a “wow, let me think about it” may turn into a “yes” today and “no” next week. In my mind, that’s worse.
Another thing the irritates me about the list above: the presumption that you have a good enough relationship that the word Love can be applied, gifts given, proposals and promises made, and then you “break up” and start over. That’s not the way I’ve experienced or observed love. Actually I find that superficial level of affection depressing. No wonder people get depressed around holidays!
I found a dress code for Valentines on line as well (in several places, so not as I’d guessed, a one-shot).
I suppose that this might work in the confines of a high school or some other insular subculture. Or it might spread- like the Victorian Meaning of Flowers, or what gifts you give for a certain anniversary (clearly these were developed by the people who sell those gifts!). But any time there’s a Code, whether it’s wearing a certain color bandana or wearing your wallet on the right or left, or putting a star on your house, it’s going to mean one thing to those who know the code, or another or nothing to those who don’t- thus pretty much rendering it useless. What would happen if a girl wore her favorite “little black dress” on her valentines date and the guy took it to mean that his proposal would be rejected when she meant nothing of the sort?
As my daughters are wont to point out, if people actually talked to each other, there would be no plots for romantic comedies. Communicate! and have fun. Holidays are there to celebrate the stuff we may take for granted unless reminded. Today, for example, is the Shinto Festival of broken needles, where we honor the tools that have served us well all year. (Seamstresses save broken and bent needles and pins, and they are put in a block of tofu at a Shinto temple.) I believe that it’s a wonderful thing to remember to care for those things that enhance your life.
Bottom line- if you want to spend your life with someone, asking to see if they’d also like to is a good idea. But DON’T do it in public!