February 11, 2013

Every Kiss Begins with...Ahhh, Enough Already!

At the risk of sounding like an Unromantic-Grinchy-Hag, I’m going to say it: Enough with the Valentine’s Day badgering already!

But, Rochelle you say, I thought you were happily married and living the dream with a precious daughter and adorable little dog? Well, yes all of that’s true, but this year, the Valentine’s Day crush has, well…crushed the romance right out of the holiday.

Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m worn out on what peddlers peddle as “love.” Every card I find makes me throw up in my mouth a little: “To My Darling Husband, I need you in my life, in my world; I can’t live without you…” REALLY? Jamie and I love each other, but come on: we were both alive for thirty-plus years before we even knew the other existed. So the “can’t live without you” part. Spare me. Please.

Or the “Every kiss begins with Kay” commercials that make every woman who’s been in a relationship longer than five minutes believe that this February 14 will be The Day he pops the question. And the guys..oh, the poor guys. They’re roped into believing Valentine’s is the day when every man is either buying jewelry and/or assuming “the position.”

Listen up, Cutesy Couples: these Bling Peddlers are selling an Ask. Think of it like this: when a toddler asks for a bottle, he or she doesn’t need to sweeten the deal. Mom or dad gives them a bottle without expectation of receiving anything in return beyond meeting that simple basic need. That is an Ask. Not a Proposal. Proposals are something entirely different; and I know because in my line of work, I write them. They usually have two parts: The Ask, and The Promise. I ask for something (usually grant money) and I promise to give something in return (help to the less fortunate and donor recognition for the grant money).

You know…I think if Heather & Hunter (sounds like a cutesy couple, doesn’t it?) understood what a proposal was, they wouldn’t buy into what the Bling Peddlers are selling. Or conversely, if the Bling Peddlers portrayed what a proposal really is, there’d be less guys going into three months of debt on a shiny piece of carbon and happier couples all around.

In my Unromantic-Grinchy-Hag’s perspective, the portrayed proposal would go something like this:
[Hunter kneels, Heather blushes and gasps as Hunter opens the velvety box]
“Heather?” “Yes Hunter?” “Will you spend the rest of your life with me?”
[Stringed instruments fade in…]
“Hold the music for a minute, here. Hunter, don’t you have something else to give…I mean outside of the ring??”
[Stunned]
“Well…I’m giving you my life, sweetheart.”
“Hmmmm….I guess so, but you’re gonna want kids, right?”
“Yes. Remember, we said we wanted two children and we’d name them Taylor and Tyler.”
“You do realize that means eighteen months of morning sickness, stretch marks, weight gain and who knows how many hours of labor for me. Not to mention time off work for prenatal wellness visits, since I’m assuming we’ll both need to work outside the home, right?”
“But, but, but…I…”
“And cooking too, huh? I’ll probably be in charge of meals…”
[Brightening up] “Remember, we talked about your dream kitchen?”
“Okay, let me see if I’ve got this straight: I’m having kids, raising them to be decent people, bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan.”
[Crickets chirping]
“It’s okay, honey. Let’s just move on. You look a lot like your dad. In fact, all the guys in your family look alike.”
[Hunter beams proudly]
“I like a receding hairline and a soft-middle as much as the next gal; and it’s probably safe to say that’s what you’ll be in about fifteen, twenty years from now, right?”
[Shoulders slump]
“…and let’s not forget that perfectionist-testy streak of yours…”
[Tears welling up]
“Just put the violins away, fellas. I guess a ring, no matter how big, is pretty puny for what I’m really asking of you.”
Of course it is!
Listen, there’s no carat weight that’s worth what I’m giving to you, nor can it measure what you’ll be giving me. From patiently putting up with my crazy PMS days when I inhale dill pickle potato chips and chocolate by the handfull and snap at you for exhaling when you should be inhaling, to the times when you meet me at the gas station because I can’t figure out how to refill the tires, to you getting up at 2:00am to investigate a strange sound even though you’re just as scared of it as I am. And my girlish figure? Who knows what’ll happen to it once my metabolism comes to a screeching halt!
It’s not about the ring.
It’s not about what letter “kiss” begins with.
It’s not an Ask. It’s a Proposal – on both our parts. So, I’ll accept your proposal…as long as you accept mine.
Okay…now start the music, guys.”

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