Almost every day you see a news story about a guy who painted a marriage proposal on a billboard next to a busy highway, or proposed to his girlfriend on the Diamond Vision at a packed ballgame. It happens so often that a love-struck man really has to do something unusual now to make the evening news — paint his proposal on the side of a cow, carve his message of never-ending love in the middle of a cornfield, or declare his love for his brother’s bride-to-be at the rehearsal dinner.
But here’s the question: Do any of these people stay married? Has anyone looked into whether these marriages work out?
I cringe every time one of these proposals pops up on a ballpark video screen, because I wonder what the guy is thinking. It’s a good bet his girlfriend is not going to humiliate herself on camera by saying “no” in front of a big crowd, and he knows it. He is not asking her to say “yes”; he is asking a crowd of complete strangers to say “yes” for her. Can you imagine the booing if she said “no”? Proposing in public doesn’t say “I love you” as much as it says, “I’m a manipulative creep who will become your stalker if you don’t marry me.”
Asking a father’s permission for his daughter’s hand in marriage has unfortunately fallen out of favor. Now the suitor asks a stadium full of people for permission. Who would know more about marriage than 20,000 people, many of whom have painted their beer bellies with the team’s colors? Certainly not the bride’s parents or her pastor. What do those old fuddies know?
Are ballparks, stadiums and cornfields considered romantic now? “Gee, honey, those $7 hot dogs really bring out the color of your eyes. Your hair matches the color of the gum I’m kneeling on, and your face is brighter than the advertising on the outfield fence. Now that the ‘kissing camera’ is on us, it’s like we’re starring in our own reality show. Who needs to work? We’ll become reality celebrities, and they make tons of money. Will you marry me?”..