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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How He Proposes Is How He Views You

Not everything I recall about my grandparents and great-grandparents centered upon a skill or craft.

In some cases, I remember the words they spoke. I may have ignored them at the time, but now looking back, the wisdom shines through. 

My grandmother would have said, "Stay single and raise your children that way!" She was well before her time and not always accepted in the community for her radical (and risque) views. Her mother (my great-grandmother), had a more traditional approach to life and spoke softy, but wisely.

One of her gems of wisdom (which I had ignored) was "How a man proposes to you, is how he views you." It made no sense at the time, but it certainly does now. 

Not every gentleman has the budget to take you to a foreign landmark, the Poconos for the weekend, or even a 5 star restaurant for this very special event. But every man can get creative as possible for one moment in life. And I know of no woman who doesn't want a heightened sense of romance entwined in those few minutes. 

Grandma would have said:

  • Beware of the man whose idea of romance is to turn down the engine of the John Deere to bellow "HEY!! Wanna Get Married??! across a field at you. Is he proposing or calling cattle? He'll forever view you as a farmhand. 
  • Look out for the one who proposes to you when you've just come out of the barn or down on your knees scrubbing a toilet - grungy, dirty, smelling, hair all askew and telling you that he chose that moment to prove he accepts you "just the way you are." (The way you are at that moment is gungy, dirty, smelly, unimaginative, and free). 

These aren't acts of acceptance. They are by far the cheapest routes to choose. No time, no effort, no imagination, no romance - is that what you want? Because if that's the most romantic day of your life, where do you have to go from there?

In Grandma's day, Sunday was the best time for a proposal. Being raised on the farms and not having a lot of income, church on Sunday morning provided an opportunity to wear one's best apparel. A bath was involved the night before and a dab of perfume or aftershave was the treat for the morning. Wildflowers could be picked and an afternoon on the porch swing was in order. Concentration was aimed at each other instead of farm chores, the cattle, or a toilet. In today's standards, this may not appear romantic, but in those days, it was. 

In looking back on myself, and talking to my peers, I so dislike admitting that Grandma was right. I would not, however, mind having those days back so that I could admit it to her. 

So, young ladies - watch how he proposes to you, because that will be his view of you.

Photo: Wooing a woman with love poetry - would it work as well the other way around? Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features.

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