In this day and age, where just about everything in life is scripted and designed to be captured with an iPhone in hopes of “going viral,” marriage proposals must be much, much harder for this generation of prospective bridegrooms.
And it starts long before they have to pop the “big question,” as they have to come up with some extravagant way to even ask their girls to the prom these days.
If you are a Gen X-er, like myself, Google “promposal ideas” and you will be mystified. Mystified, first of all, by the fact that “promposal” is actually now a word and secondly, the elaborate measures pimply teenagers must go through to get a date for the prom.
Back in my day, the good ol’ 1990s, you were just happy to find someone to show up with you and take photos for your mom, so you could then immediately leave and go stand in a parking lot somewhere — probably still wearing your formal with at least one puffy sleeve while definitely drinking cheap, warm beer (usually The Beast). Ah, memories!
Now, I suppose these kids don’t just have to worry about getting a date (or who is getting The Beast) but getting a date who asked them to said occasion in the most spectacular of ways.
Can’t you just hear this conversation playing out?
Girl One: How did Jackson ask you to prom?
Girl Two: He just asked me.
Girl One: Oh, he just asked you … with like … words? That’s so sad. Elliot rode up to school dressed up as a prince on a real-life horse and held a sign that said, “Every princess needs a prince. Prom?”
(That prince/horse thing actually happened, though the names have been changed to protect the innocent and the sappy.)
Another guy pretended to play dead by putting up crime scene tape in his girl’s room and outlining his “dead body” with tape.
There was sign nearby that read, “I’m dying to go to prom with you.”
Awwwww, I guess. But also sigh and barf.
I’m exhausted in advance for my kids.
But perhaps it was in this vein that one local Romeo planned a very unusual proposal for his Juliet — a plan he executed last weekend, with the help of the Mobile Police Department.
By now, I am sure you have all seen the video of Daiwon Mcpherson, who appears to have been pulled over and chased by two Mobile Police officers, who have their weapons drawn. (The weapons in question were Tasers, but when I first watched it I thought they were guns, as many others did.)
The officers commanded Mcpherson to get on his knees on the ground at a very busy gas station on Water Street and then can be heard yelling, “Do you have a gun?” He seems to say yes to them, so the police ask his girlfriend (who looks absolutely terrified) if she will get the gun (which of course seems very strange).
But then instead of her beau producing a weapon, he whips out an engagement ring and asks her to marry him. Then everyone hugs and laughs. And she says yes.
At press time, the video had received more than 17 million views and has garnered both praise and criticism.
I watched the video without knowing what it was at first and maybe that’s why it freaked me out so much.
As the officers moved in and asked if he had a gun, knots started to form in my stomach and my chest started to tighten. We are all sadly accustomed to seeing these police videos by now, and they usually do not end well, to say the least. I was steeling myself to hear gunshots and see something horrible happen. So when the ring popped out and I realized it was an elaborate ruse and the cops were in on it, I was admittedly relieved.
But my initial reaction was a giant WTF?
I’m sure not everyone at the gas station was in on this. This could have really gone horribly wrong. And considering all that has happened here in the last year with our community and our police department, was this really the best idea?
Apparently, the majority of people think it was. I would say most of the comments I have seen have been overwhelmingly positive — which is surprising since most people spend as much time being outraged about something as they do breathing these days.
The groom has been interviewed by various local and national media outlets since this joyous occasion. He said he had been in trouble with the law but also has relatives who were in law enforcement, and he just wanted to show that cops could be good too, while also proving to his girl that he had changed and he would go all out for her.
OK, I’m sorry, but this is just weird any way you look at it.
It makes light of the very serious issue of police shootings, which has been at the center of public discourse for years now. But at the same time, it also seems a bit demeaning to the police officers to me. “Hey look, we aren’t so bad, we won’t shoot you ALL the time, we may even help you pull some really cool pranks.”
But most of all, dude, Daiwon, you just scared your poor girlfriend half to death. I would have Tased my husband myself if he had done this to me.
Is this where proposals are headed? Well then, Holy, um, matrimony, indeed!
What’s next? The fire department helping stage proposals in “burning” buildings?
I am literally burning for your love, Sue! Save me by saying I do!
Maybe al-Qaida or ISIS could offer up some faux beheading or hostage situation engagement packages. The executioners can hold up a sign at the end that reads, “He can keep his head, if he can have your hand, infidel!”
Then everyone can giggle and take photos. No beheading here, just love!
I certainly don’t want to beat up on our police department. It is a thankless job, but geez, it seems like there might have been better ways to showcase their commitment to “community policing.”
Maybe I’m just old fashioned in thinking proposals should never involve Tasers or law enforcement. (Save that for the honeymoon!)
Either way, I wish our Romeo and Juliet all the best. And I am truly happy this didn’t end up as tragically as it did for those other star-crossed lovers.