Home
Loading
  Contact Us    
Sort 251

On Your Knees

by Dear Jon
January 20, 2004

Bookmark and Share


Sort 251_Dear Jon-On Your Knees Dear Readers: Late letters mean a late column. This came in for me on Monday, but I spent the evening observing a celebration of the life and principles of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a gathering of churches on Chicago’s south side.

ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I'm about to ask my girlfriend to marry me. Can you offer some good examples of ways to propose? Also, do I have to ask her father for her hand in marriage? Seems kind of old-fashioned.

- Nervous in New Jersey


Dear Jersey,

Are you kidding me? That your girlfriend even HAS a father is “old-fashioned.” That you are considering marriage is regarded in many circles as “old-fashioned.”

Oops, excuse me, I am old-fashioned enough to have assumed that you are a man.

I will continue on that assumption. In our current culture it is a bad thing to ask her Dad before you ask her. However, if you have asked her and she has agreed, involving your various and sundry parent/legal guardian figures is not a bad thing to do. In fact, getting their feed-back is a good way to get their support.

So, step one, talk to each other about marriage. If she agrees that marriage to you is a good idea, you can tell your parents that you are thinking about getting married, and she can tell her parents, with both of you asking what they think.

You need to know this, and I am not being funny: Most marriages that have worked until death they had parted have started out with unions that were agreeable to both sets of in-laws. I know that movies and situation comedies don’t go for that, but let us return to reality. It is true that there are some psycho parents out there, but for the most part, parents want their kids to be happy, and parents can tell the difference between an infatuation that will last for about six months, and a true love with a genuine soul-mate that lasts a life-time.

Infatuations happen in this way generally: matronly Sunday School valedictorian falls for rebel “tough life” bad boy with toned biceps, a tattoo and a smoking habit, or, work-a-holic accountant falls madly in love with shallow debutante party-girl. Bad boy likes the virginal purity, shallow debutante likes the money, and the parents tend to see right through that baloney which is blinding their infatuated offspring.

Of course, this is Dear Jon sounding grumpy and moralistic again, but it is not Dear Jon’s fault that half of marriages end in divorce. I guess the business of keeping vows is also “old-fashioned,” and “as long as we both shall love” is all the rage in trendy weddings, so that people stay married for exactly as long as infatuation keeps them blind to the foibles and humanity of their spouse.

Anyway, I hope you are not infatuated with a shallow debutante party-girl. Assuming that she is somewhat well-adjusted, mature, and only neurotic about some things, the time to buy the ring is AFTER all various and sundry parent/guardian figures have given their “blessing,” i.e., their expression of joy and support.

In our current culture, and I am assuming that you are not a first generation immigrant from India, it is inappropriate to ask the woman’s father for goats, cattle, or cash as a “dowry.” We do not do dowries anymore, and the woman you are marrying does not become your property.

How should you propose? Men have dressed in gorilla suits, they have flown in balloons, they have advertised their proposals on highway billboards. They have baked rings into cakes. They have published newspaper columns with the first letter of each paragraph spelling it out. The best proposal ever was when NBC sports correspondent Ahmad Rashad asked Felicia Ayers Allen to marry him on national television.

The safest bet with the ring is to have it be one she has picked out with you. If she thinks that all of this is unromantic, and that you should “surprise” her with the proposal and the ring before anyone else has gotten involved, then you are dealing with a person who needs to get over her neurotic Sleeping Beauty fantasy, and wake up to three realities:

1. Men do not take hints. Opening a Tiffany’s page and pointing to a diamond ring and saying “I think this is really beautiful” is only a hint, and it will fail to yield the desired results. Men think lots of things are beautiful; they do not expect to run out and buy everything they think is beautiful. His infuriating response will be to point at the necklace on the same page and say, “I think that looks nice, too.” So, women must be explicit.

2. No man considers himself as rich as the woman hopes or thinks. This became an interesting subject of conversation when, a few months after marrying, my college student loans came due for repayment.

3. No man is as romantic in real life as the characters portrayed in “Girl movies” like “You’ve Got Male” and “Sleepy in Seattle” and “Nothing Hill” or whatever those girl movies are called.

Whatever you do, you should be on your knees when you actually present the ring. After all, you are begging an attractive woman to settle for a funny-looking clueless schmuck. When I proposed, I chose a November evening with a light snowfall beneath a streetlight in Chicago. Very romantic. Eleven years later we’re still married. I’m still waiting for the goats, though.

(0 Comments)
Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*


Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Location:


Comments:*
Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.



Verification:
Please type the letters you see above.

  Printer-Friendly

Bookmark and Share


PO BOOKS BY DEAR JON
Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
Temporarily Unavailable
Published July 21, 2008

Our advice humorist turns his attention and trademark wit to affairs of the heart in his first and very affordable book (only $8.95!).

More Information
RSS FEED
RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon
EMAIL ALERTS
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
Sort 251
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Dear Jon
Sort 433: Going on Sabbatical
Miss Me? Let me know!
by Dear Jon, 6/15/10
Sort 432: Jokes and Horse Names
and other Random One Liners
by Dear Jon, 6/8/10
Sort 431: Piggy Tossing
and the new touring show: "Lord of the Flies."
by Dear Jon, 6/1/10
Sort 430: Forwarding Fear
Spam with a side of mashed logic
by Dear Jon, 5/25/10
Sort 429, Mixing Oil and Water
is like mixing politics and humor. All you get is a sticky mess and a lot of upset environmentalists.
by Dear Jon, 5/18/10
Sort 428: Handling the Truth
And other lessons for cable channels
by Dear Jon, 5/11/10
Sort 427: Dear Jon Knew When to Shut Up
Finally
by Dear Jon, 5/4/10
» Complete List (462)


RSS FEED
RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon

Recently Published
View Article May I Be Frank, Mr. President?
Challenging a double standard in the Oval Office
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/15/17
Salvator Mundi
Not the painting but the Person
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/7/17
When the Newsman Becomes News
Lamenting yet another fallen hero
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/1/17
Let's Hear It for Moms and Pops
Celebrating Small Business Saturday in a very personal way
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/22/17
An Earthquake in La La Land
Examining what's been exposed in the rubble
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/17/17
Where is God?
Reflecting on the tragedy in a little Texas town
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/10/17
An All Saints Day Tribute
Remembering those who left us
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/3/17

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.


RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2017 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top