We’re at that time of year when casual sports fans become rabid basketball watchers, cheering for college teams most wouldn’t be able to place on a map. Soft pretzels and lukewarm nachos become most acceptable entrees.
But in between games, I saw reports of two players who proposed to their girlfriends on the court. Indiana University forward Collin Hartman got down on one knee Feb. 26 (his girlfriend is a cheerleader, coincidentally), just as Kentucky University forward Derek Willis did Feb. 28. Both received favorable responses.
I’ve been thinking a lot about proposals recently, as I continue to watch the bachelor on ABC’s The Bachelor march toward his overly produced proposal to this season’s winning bachelorette. He’ll have candles and flowers, a million-dollar suit to match the multi-million dollar ring on a pedestal beside him, and the priceless view of some breathtaking, snow-capped mountain beyond his beloved’s shoulder. I did a quick Facebook survey and not one person I know confessed to wearing a ball gown or tuxedo when they got engaged. But I digress.
February and December are the most popular months of the year to propose marriage, and it seems that the college basketball players did admirable jobs. A 2013 survey conducted by Steve Elliott Marketing Research for California-based jeweler Robbins Brothers found that 33 percent of those surveyed wish their proposal could have been more fanciful. And it doesn’t get more fanciful than a college arena full of cheering fans.
In addition, research found that two out of every three people surveyed would allow their proposal to be recorded and posted on YouTube. I imagine sports networks and their websites also apply.
Also of interest in the survey results were tradition-bucking findings that 30 percent of women and 40 percent of men think it’s ok for women to pop the question, and that two-thirds of men are open to wearing an engagement ring, too. Finally, more than half of respondents would accept an electronic proposal — though nearly 75 percent prefer an intimate dinner for two as the ideal setting.
But it holds true that the highly anticipated engagement ring seals the deal. Eighty percent of survey respondents said so.
But how to present the ring is up to the individual proposer; it’s not a one-size-fits-all, and no survey should dictate the right way or the trendy way to do that.
That’s why I so enjoyed the Valentine’s Day story of Philadelphia couple Kristian Helton and Karsyn Long. Helton tucked the ring into a box of chicken nuggets with a note that asked, “Will you McMarry me??”
“Her love for chicken nuggets, I’m sure, is more than her love for me,” he told his local NBC reporter. “She has devoted her life to chicken nuggets, so that had to be part of the engagement.”
Tell me about your unconventionally spectacular proposal at firstname.lastname@example.org.