Wednesday, February 05, 2014


One of the first things I do when after fixing a cup of coffee is go on-line to read the news. Outrage or piqued interest is the natural corollary to a caffeine fix at that hour.
And sometimes, when the mind awakes, an article catches my eye.

"What", my eye seems to say, "is this?"

Sometimes I regret that. An article about Muammar El Qaddafi recently made me sick to my stomach and provoked nightmares. The man was a real s.o.b. and should have been shot much sooner.
But enough about Qaddafi.

Let us instead speak of wedding proposals.

There's an article on the BBC website which convinces me that I am not a romantic, and possibly far too sane to function in the modern world.


Well, just colour me flabberghasted, aghast, and more than a little nauseated. Apparently the proposal now has to be "planned".

Back in my day...... no, we didn't just club 'em over the head and shove a diamond ring on their hand, but as I understand it, most wedding proposals were fairly straightforward.
He would not watch team-sports on television that evening, she would gloat over her fancy new handbag or shoes while they went to have a beefsteak, and sometime between dessert and the cigar he would pull out a ring and say something inane. Whereupon she would cry, the restaurant staff would give them a free after dinner drink because they were so moved, and several months later both people would head over to city hall with some witnesses, have dinner at a steakhouse, and go on vacation to someplace dreary but sunny and private.

Oh the sheer romance of it all.

"Marry me, bitch, I can't stand anyone else!"

Sniff, sniff.

Now, the proposal needs to be a fitting preamble to the most ridiculously overplanned event in both of their lives, which will take place in front of a thousand guests and a cinematographer.

"I spend a lot of my day thinking up ideas and organising the event - we need to employ photographers, videographers, all sorts of people involved in the process.
I meet my clients in cafes and we scope out places with atmosphere - these meetings are when we brainstorm to come up with big ideas and talk about the role-play side of things. "
End quote.

Role-play side? Isn't that normally saved for meeting the in-laws?

Perhaps I'm just being a dreadful old cynic. It's been years since I proposed to anyone (Savage Kitten said "no" several times, and we are no longer a couple), and the chances of me ever being in a position to propose to another person again are slim to nil, getting worse with each passing year. Besides, they'd probably scream and hit me. With a fancy handbag.
Maybe I am just not sappy enough.
Or quite unromantic.

"Once we created snow on a beach. We rented a snow machine, put LED candles to create a romantic atmosphere at night and got a friend to bring our client's girlfriend to the beach on a pretext. Once she was on the beach we began the snow. She was so surprised. We put up a dome with lots of flowers and her partner was waiting there to propose. She walked along a pathway lit up by LED lights. She said yes. "
End quote.

She said "yes". I would've said "holy crap".

The two people involved probably treasure that moment as one of the many fabulous highlights of their impossibly sweet, romantic, and over-the-top fairy-tale life.

I kind of wonder how my dad proposed to my mom. I should of asked them before they passed away. It was probably something amusing and very nineteen-fifties.
The wedding itself was small and matter-of-fact. About a dozen close friends and relatives, followed by dinner at a nice French restaurant somewhere in Beverly Hills. Or maybe up here in SF.
I think I saw a photograph of it once. Large round table, clean tablecloth, ashtrays at every setting. They were all smoking after the main course and before the dessert. All the men wore ties.
It looked very civilized.

Anyway, I didn't finish reading the BBC article. I've linked it here, so that maybe some day I can go back and absorb all of it. For when I'm feeling less like hysterical laughter and heaving.

Proposal planning.

Good lord.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


e-kvetcher said...

I have a question for the resident Sinophile. I recently heard someone make a comment that in Chinese culture, "luck" can be a characteristic of a person, similar to intelligence or athleticism. Is that really the case? This was part of a larger discourse on how Eastern minds are very different from Western minds. One of the problems I have with this, is that it seems to me that lot's of other "non-Eastern" cultures have the notion of lucky people. The other problem is I don't know if this is really true - or is it a misunderstanding, much like the urban legend about Eskimos having 26 words for snow.

The back of the hill said...

Well, it is and it isn't. It's karma, and a healthy dose of skepticism about karma.

Some people are just lucky. Others have shifting patterns of luck. It can change over time, depending on what the person does. Some days and situations have luck imbued.

Sometimes luck dramatically starts improving in ways that are tied in to life changes.

And sometimes it stays depressingly the same.

It's fengshui, good karma, the almanac, voodoo & superstitious rituals, basic character, and a monumental crapshoot rolled into one.

I've also heard that for some people, their own success is due to their parents have done something that merited such luck.

Some people won't get lucky until they've finished making up for what they did in a past life.

From which others, to whom they may have been connected in that past life, might benefit.

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