Grandstanding Blackmail

If there’s any modern trend I hate, it’s the one where a guy makes a marriage proposal to his girlfriend in as public a manner as possible, supposedly to “show the world his devotion to her”. Here’s an excellent example of this nonsense.

Regardless of how any public marriage proposal is presented, it’s really nothing more than moral blackmail. When presented with a marriage proposal in front of hundreds of people, of course the hapless girl is going to say “yes”, if for no other reason than to spare her lovestruck swain considerable embarrassment and humiliation.

And yet that’s precisely what the conniving little shit deserves. On principle, every girl who gets a proposal via the stadium jumbotron screen should not only turn the proposal down, but walk out on the relationship for good — slap in the face is optional — because trust me, this manipulative behavior will not end there.

When I see this compilation, though, I feel better immediately.  (#3 is my absolute favorite, by the way.)

A marriage proposal is probably the most important decision a couple can make in their entire life — certainly, it’s one of the most intimate — and therefore it should not be stuck out in the public eye.


  1. Oh, my, yes. The potential for horrible embarrassment wipes out any tinge of the ‘romantic’ so far as I am concerned. But I’m a Crank, so I thought I was alone. I hate this kind of thing, like the fuss some restaurants make over birthdays. I once told my Lady that if she ever embarrassed me that way I would walk out of the restaurant in the middle of it. It is just one of many reasons that I love her that she immediately and completely believed me. I have only once taken part in a ‘surprise’ party, and then only because I was absolutely convinced that the target liked that kind of thing and would be thrilled.

  2. I would guess that there is a back story behind most of these and that the back story is that the relationship was already in deep trouble and the guy thought that a “grand romantic gesture” would fix everything – you know, the way it does in Rom Com movies and the way it NEVER does in real life.

    (One of my favorite headlines from The Onion was something like “Romantic Comedy behavior gets real life man arrested.”)

  3. I thought I was the only one who felt that way about these dinks and their public proposals.

    Seriously. Do any of the twits who do that think through what might happen if their girlfriend says “No”? I think every one of them deserved the embarrassment they got.

    As to which one was best. Well, number three was pretty good, but when that girl beaned her boyfriend with that mandolin in number two, I busted out laughing.


  4. Geez, you’re a grouchy old fella. I guess that’s why I agree with you so often. 😉

    I liked the whack on the head with a ukulele.

  5. I, too thought the whack on the head with the ukulele was priceless.
    Kim – when I wanted a ring about 18 years ago for my bride of now 17 years, I called Cecil Chong in Jo-Berg and he went to Namibia for the diamond (he said Namibia had the best) and Mrs. Chong made the settings. A friend of my cousin from Medical School drove down from Pretoria and picked up the set and then hand-carried to Maryland – they than sent the set to Houston via FedEx. I proposed on the pad of the house we were building (the setup had a little table and champagne just sitting there; put there by my eldest son). The whole thing was private and I think, pretty romantic – it has been a terrific 17 years so far…………..

  6. Most girls I’ve known have made a point of saying that this is romantic.

    Of course, they also claimed to be huge sports fans. Who loved going fishing. And really didn’t care about receiving flowers. :Rollseyes

    I’m willing to bet that most guys who do this, have reason to believe it will be appreciated.

  7. Agree 100%. I witnessed one at my 20 year HS reunion. He was not a member of our class, just our classmate’s date and boyfriend. She said yes just to end the spectacle. A couple of weeks later she dumped him. He was a dork, anyway.

  8. I was always under the impression one should never propose to one’s lady until one is sure the proposal is a formality rather than a question with an unknown answer. Under that heading would seem to include knowing what form of proposal the lovely lady would most prefer. I’ve known a handful of ladies who would absolutely swoon at the idea of a public proposal (although to be fair, none of them would have liked the “in the middle of a shopping mall” which appears to be more common than I would think. One lady I knew had a dream of being proposed to on the pitcher’s mound at Stadium. Woe be to the poor soul who might have had to attempt that one. Of course I’ve equally known a number of ladies (my own better half included), who would have preferred a more intimate setting. Like all things in life I suppose, YMMV, but it seems all of these unfortunate souls in the linked video would have done well to have thought these things out more thoroughly.

    1. “Middle of Shopping Mall” doesn’t really seem to be super romantic to me either.
      In addition to the whole “public pressure blackmail” thing, there’s a good bit of poorly thought out cheesiness to the proposals on the video. The guys are sort of trying, but there’s also a half-assed, carelessness about getting things right.

  9. As all good lawyers know, never ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer. After dating my girlfriend on and off for 9 years, I pretty much knew she was ready, though I also knew she *didn’t* know she was ready. So when I bought the ring I told the jeweler I would be returning it, but to hold onto it for a couple of weeks. Sure enough, she turned down my proposal, and I accepted her rejection gracefully. I returned the ring, and 12 days later she changed her mind, I fetched it, and we’re coming up on our 28th anniversary this year.

    I didn’t manipulate her, but I knew her.

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