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The Era of Public Proposals Needs to End

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Marisa Kabas

By Marisa Kabas on October 24, 2013

On the TODAY Show Thursday, Simone Jhingoor got what some might call a pleasant surprise. She thought she was asked to join Al Roker to talk about her work at the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, but really her boyfriend had lured her there to propose on live TV.

I’m sorry, but no. Your lovely girlfriend thinks she’s coming on a nationally televised morning show to talk about her job — which sounds important! — and instead she gets proposed to? By a first-rate grandstander who took a full minute to get down on one knee?

We’re not saying that isn’t a nice outcome for them, but as far as public proposals go, this one could have been way more thought out.

Spider-man Fends Off ‘Attackers,’ Proposes to Girlfriend in Public
‘Game of Thrones’ Fan Proposes to Girlfriend on the Iron Throne

This is just the latest example of absurd, extremely public proposals that just don’t seem like they’re worth the trouble. Opportunity cost, people. Flashmobs set to obvious pop songs, live lip-dubs, professional-grade movie trailers, and an inside joke-turned-publicity-opportunity. At one point these were all novel, romantic even, but at this point it just seems like people hungry for attention trying to out-do the last viral proposal in hopes of … in hopes of what? Being “that cool proposal guy”? Cool.

Marriage is between two people, and proposals should be the same.

Listen, you have to know your audience. If you really think your boyfriend would love to be proposed to in front of stacks of lumber in a Home Depot, go for it. But the orchestrating, and the choreography, and the recording, and the distribution of the proposal takes a genuine, private moment and turns it into a circus.

Many of these proposals prompt responses like “fellas, take note!” But no, fellas, please don’t. Instead, watch this for inspiration:

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