I recently asked my girlfriend to marry me. No applause needed; I can’t hear you anyway. In the weeks leading up to this life-changing moment, I learned a few do’s and don’ts when it came to the proposal—absolutely essential things that a man should know before they take to their knees and place three months’ salary on a woman’s finger. Here they are:
1. Don’t tell anyone, unless you want your bride-to-be to know. I don’t care if her best friend is a Buddhist monk, she will squeal. If you need intel on what kind of ring she would want, I recommend asking small and subtle questions while watching TV. Chances are she’ll land somewhere between Teen Mom and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
2. Do not, I repeat, do not do it in front of a crowd. This is a private moment. Yankee Stadium will still be Yankee Stadium if there is one less Jumbotron proposal. Besides, there is nothing more cringeworthy than getting rejected in front of an arena full of half-drunk sports fans. They will applaud your misery. Which brings me to me next tip…
3. Make sure she wants to marry you … however possible.
4. Stop flash mobbing—now. I don’t care what song you lip-sync or how many relatives you can choreograph to Bruno Mars. In the end, you’re not only opening yourself up to YouTube mockery, you’re ruining a perfectly good song. You want a viral video? Film your new puppy, or baby nephew, or kick your friend in the balls.
5. Avoid putting the ring in food or drink. Very few of us look before we ingest, which means your lady may sip down her mojito with a little extra ice. I actually used an empty banana pudding container, but if it was full, I’d be scheduling my new fiancée for an early colonoscopy.
6. Ask her parents. This of course contradicts rule 1, but it’s worth it when her father finally lets you into his house.
7. Get her a rock. Every girl wants a rock, no matter how low-maintenance she is. Now, I’m not saying you have to slap a four-carat diamond on her hand, but it should be something significant. It could be a ruby, or an emerald, but make sure if you go with those options, that there’s a sentimental reason for it…and it better be good.
8. Get it sized correctly. I accidentally went two sizes too big, forcing my fiancée to wear Scotch tape around her finger for three days. Classy, I know. By the way, if you do screw up the size, wrapping Scotch tape around the ring is the best temporary solution.
9. Surprise her. Don’t do it on New Year’s Eve or Christmas. If you do it on Chanukah, pop the question on an off night … like 5. The middle of the day is highly inconspicuous, as is a quiet moment between the two of you. The more casual you keep it, the less she’ll expect it. Just avoid doing it while on the treadmill. Your heart can’t take it.
10. And finally, rehearse your lines. If you’re able to remember the password to Contra, you can memorize a few sentiments about the love of your life to say before the ring is bared. Keep it short, special, and look right into her eyes. And it’s OK to cry. According to my dad, once you get married, you’ll be crying for years.
I wish you and your princess bride many years of happiness. And i hope these tips have helped you through this nerve-racking and highly stressful experience, thus turning you more into a Westley, and less of a Humperdinck.