The Expensive Proposal
Today’s generation is making my life unbearable.
It used to be so simple. I could get away with a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, a romantic dinner for out anniversary and something that glittered for her birthday. Nowadays I’m being showed up by my own children every time.
The first inkling of trouble was when my son announced the fact that he needed the car for his anniversary.
“What anniversary?” I asked him innocently, “You’ve only been going out for a month.” What did I know?
Ever since, life has been downhill all the way.
Now I’ve been known in the past for my romantic gestures: fully orchestrated love songs, champagne on the top of the Eiffel Tower and air ballooning over Dutch skies, but if a one month anniversary called for two weeks of preparations and a mortgage, what will be left for later on.
Which brought us to the subject of wedding proposals.
In my day (don’t I sound aged?) you went down on one knee, held a bright ring in your right hand and if everything went O.K. you lived happily ever after (some guys will believe everything, right!).
“You don’t know what it’s all about Dad”, came the reply and then my son related the following story:
Mike, a friend of his from work, decided to pop the question. In order to put his idea in motion he rented a romantic chalet, only a stone’s throw from the beach, and prepared weeks in advance for the night.
Mike picked up his beloved Mary in a borrowed sports car and they proceeded on to a mystery weekend. For days now their close friends had been hinting to Mary that Mike was going to propose that weekend, so she was well into the atmosphere when the car pulled in to the chalet’s driveway, fully expectant.
Much to her surprise, when she entered the bedroom all she found was a simple bed and dressing table, nothing more. Putting her best smile on, she let Mike escort her back to the car and rush her off to an expensive restaurant. They sit at a dimly lit corner table. A violinist serenades them romantically as they sip the champagne. Mary has seen enough chick movies to know that the ring will be served with the dessert and sure enough the master chef in purpose comes up to their table with the flaming soufflé. Everything is perfect. Mike suddenly stands up and exclaims:
“Yes” her voice is shaking with nerves.
“It is time to dance.”
Back to the car they return and spend the next hour dancing at a nearby disco. Then the whole place goes silent, the spotlight shines on them and their song blares through the speakers. The audience applauds them as they display their version of the Samba. They dance passionately. How romantic.Then the D.J. returns to an electronic trance and the moment is lost.
“Let’s go back to the chalet”, Mike suggests,
Mary, fuming by now, would just as soon go home but, being the good sport she is, she plays along regardless.
On the way back Mike stops the car and leads her to a bench overlooking the sea.
Embraced they watch the shooting stars and listen to the waves breaking on the shore.
Suddenly, from nowhere, fireworks light up the sky. As they die down, Mary moves closer to Mike but he is up on his feet again, yawning. Mary had done a bit of kick boxing in high school but refrains from injuring him there and then. What a sport. Back to the chalet they go.
“You go ahead” he directs her, “I have to get some cash from the ATM”.
On entering the room she is confronted with hundreds of colored balloons, several with numbers painted on them. Her eyes fill with tears. Ah, but if life were so simple. First she has to fulfill the missions hidden in the numbered balloons. A red one leading to a blue one leading to a … O.K. you get the picture.
Twenty balloons later she finally gets to a message that sends her out of the room where Mike is patiently waiting on one knee with the ring.
"Isn’t that romantic?" you gasp – sure if you don’t suffer a heart attack on the way.
But what do you do for an encore? A wedding march played by Elton John. A honeymoon together with the cast of Survivor?
And what then? A surprise twentieth anniversary celebration on Mars?
People it’s time to return to proportions. There’s always another occasion around the corner and I’m running out of ideas.
So pleeeeeese. Enough is Enough.