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Parallax - Advice

August 05, 2002

Holding On

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A wit once paraphrased, 'If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, great. If not, it's probably having dinner with someone more attractive than you.' In this week's grab-bag of love letters, everyone seems to be concerned with holding on to what they got—even if what they got ain't what they need. Cases in point? A whiner wants out but stays in; a woman searches for a decent proposal; and a youthful thirty-something looks for excuses. Our enlightened duo takes them off hold.

Down on her knees.
Will he or won't he?
 Date: 08/05/02

What age thingy?
No gap here!
 Date: 08/05/02

Ms Psyche?
Or Ms Psycho?
 Date: 08/05/02

More from last week...

Holding on

Dear Conversely,

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How do I propose to my boyfriend? I've been looking for some ideas, but can't seem to find anything dealing with 'she-to-he' proposals. He's not a big sports freak, so all those classics are out of the window. What can I do?

Her view:

Dear Wonder-woman,

This is a lay-up. You're having dinner one day and you say, 'Sweetheart, please pass the peas...and, by the way, let's get hitched...and Darling, let's get pregnant soon—I'm feeling the urge for children.'

The fact of the matter is, it does not matter how you do it. You can get him a ring and put it in his laundry. Alternatively, you can hire a skywriter or take the stage at a Broadway show and have a big crying scene.

As you wish...but stop wasting time writing to advice columns—just do it.

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His view:

Dear Wonder-woman,

Whatever you do, you are guaranteed surprise. In fact, your problem is not wondering whether he will expect it (he won't)—your problem is making sure he knows you are serious.

You might as well give him a ring—a wedding band, I guess. That will help convince him that you are not joking. It will also be necessary for you to embarrass yourself in some way. Do something you've never done before. Pop out of a cake if you have to. If you don't, he'll suspect he's being set-up for a fall. He'll be looking around for a Candid Camera.

It's likely he will be disappointed, even if he enjoys the role reversal. Just as women dream of the wedding and all its accompaniments, men revel in planning their proposal. If you one-up him, he may feel cheated.

Regardless of what one would like to think, proposing to him will be a big statement. It will set the tone for many things. So be ready for rejection—just in case. You should also be ready to carry him over the threshold.

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