Where to start with this minefield of possible opinions? Likely a bourbon on the rocks and a direct prayer to the universe.
My first thought, when I look deeply into my sensitive feminine intuition is, “Why bother?”.
My obvious second thought darlings, is, “Why not?”.
A recent article in the Style section of the Globe gave a no-brainer instruction sequence to the young lad preparing to wow his girl with a surprise proposal.
I cant’ criticize the article, however, being a woman of a certain age, I got a kick out of it. First of all, most marriages at middle-age are either a second marriage (or third, or….). Secondly a surprise proposal at middle-age, as romantic as it may seem, really wouldn’t be that surprising.
I mean, come on my cute little rhubarb custard pies, at this stage of the game no one jumps into a life-long commitment without doing their research and talking it into the ground. Nobody with an ounce of common sense anyway. By middle age, we’ve all taken stock of our resources, have kids, or parents with failing health, and quite frankly, enough attitude to take a round out of a biker bar.
The article went on to discuss permission from parents. Not necessary at middle age. Permission from young adult children – absolutely not, but perhaps a courtesy call, as in , “Heads up dude.”
The Globe article discussed the importance of dressing appropriately. Quite frankly, I hope that by the time I meet a man with enough character to get down on one knee to pop the question that we’re somewhere that fashion doesn’t really matter. Perhaps in bed. Maybe in the backyard reading the paper. At the beach. Out for a walk. I’m assuming I will have the good taste to choose s gentleman who is aware of the no socks with sandals rule.
Planning the ceremony? Not such a big deal at middle age. Catered in the backyard. A short beach holiday with our besties. Perhaps at the park under a full moon.
The bottom line is, that by the time you’re middle-aged, you likely have the good common sense to have given your relationship the ‘live-in’ test drive it deserves, complete with flannel, flatulence, flu-bugs and sports vs. chick-flicks on the tube. Well adjusted men and women are pretty content with their own company by this stage of the game, so having another person around full-time is testament to their solid character anyways.
If a middle-aged (ok, maybe past middle-aged) man has the kahonas to pop the question, who really cares if he’s sporting the latest style, rehearsed in front of a mirror, or exhumed your father’s body to get permission. He’s made an attempt at romance, even after the reality of a prince-not-so-charming has taken root.
My advice for popping the question to middle-aged gals;
1) If she criticizes you for your cutesy efforts take the ring back. Real women appreciate your effort, or at least a good laugh.
2) Size doesn’t matter. It matters that you know what style of ring she will look at and know you thought of her.
3) Make sure you two are solid, have talked it to death, and are committed before you pop the question. Don’t scare the hell out of her.
4) Keep it to yourself. No jumbotrons, no popping the question in front of a crowd, no telling the world. Tell your best pal if you need to shake off some of the nervous energy, but other than that keep your trap shut. Announce the wonderful news together.
5) Be near a phone. I know that my friends have a running bet that I will never get married again. If it ever happens, I will be on the horn faster than a mustang on a mare.
6) Be scrubbed and ready to go. Women of a certain age have an, um, er…..well, insatiable appetite. Be prepared, that’s all I’m sayin’.
7) Ignore #2. Go big or go home.
8) Do it on a day when she needs to remember how lucky she is. Crappy day at work – voila. Fixed!
9) Don’t tell her what you spent on the ring. Middle aged women don’t want a show piece that’s going to take you a year to pay off, we want you to have the deal sealed and be a gentleman about it. Shh!
10) Smile. You’re about to wander into a lovely part of life with a woman who knows what she wants, and you’re him. Congrats!