Thursday, March 20, 2014

On rings and proposals

Paris Hilton's 24-carat diamond engagement ring was worth $4.7 million back in 2005.

"Now that's just showing off."

I don't exactly remember when he had said these five words. Was it while we were watching a movie, and the girl was presented with a huge engagement ring? Or was it when we saw pictures of a newly-engaged girl showing off her ring?

All I remember is being struck by these five words, because it speaks so much of the two of us.

In this day and age, women seem to be conditioned to believe that bigger is better. Especially with engagement rings, the question is always, "How big is the rock?" The "bigger is better" mentality seems to apply to proposals too, as men are now pressured to one-up whatever the Internet deems as the "best proposal ever", and it gets crazier every time. Heck, it's not just marriage proposals now that are big and grand-- today's teenage boys are pressured to make a production out of asking someone to be their girlfriend, and even today's teenage girls are pressured to make a "prom-posal" for the boy she'd like to go to the prom with!

But if there was one thing I prayed for when it came to being proposed to, it was "Please, please, please don't let it be in public." I cringed at the thought of a huge production, of having other people's eyes on me, waiting to see my reaction-- would I cry? Would I look shocked? Would my hand shake as he put the ring on it? While other women dream of these grand proposals, I dreaded the thought of being on the receiving end of one.

Which is why I loved the way I was proposed to, because it proved that he knew me so well. And it showed so much of who he is too-- a simple and private man. He popped the question on the beach, with his arms around me, with no one else knowing what was happening. It was a private, intimate moment that no one else witnessed, that only the two of us have the power to relive in our minds. I loved that he didn't get down on one knee because we've never been one for formalities. I loved that he had his arms around me because it told me that he will always keep me safe in his love. I loved the simplicity of it all because that's just who we are-- a simple couple that finds happiness in just being with each other, whether it's watching DVDs or buying groceries.

My engagement ring is quite small, but I love it because I've never been one to show off. I've never liked drawing any sort of attention to myself, I hate being in the spotlight, I feel awkward and inwardly pleased when someone notices me, whether it's for something I'm wearing or something I've done. He doesn't show off either, and he doesn't really care what other people think. So he gave me a ring that he knew I would like, because he knew that I would feel awkward with a big flashy ring, especially since I would never flash it around in the first place. My opinion was the only one that mattered to him, and my ring showed that.

A basketball player proposed to his TV host-girlfriend today in the airport, right before she hopped on a plane to Europe to study. According to reports, there was a banner, roses, a singer, and accomplices to capture the moment. The proposal ended up all over cyberspace with complete strangers offering their well-wishes, reliving the moment as if it was their own. A few hours later, photos of a former officemate being proposed to in the office pop up on my News Feed. I am happy for all of them, but I'm happier that my proposal story was nothing like theirs.

Mine only has the sea, the sun, the sand beneath our feet, his arms around me, and a huge wave that punctuated the moment with a lot of laughter. And in that moment, I knew that our days would be filled with much laughter and love, from now until forever. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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