Proposing To A Man? Not My Daughter! And Miss Me With It Too!

July 2, 2014  |  

There is a video circulating the internet where a woman in a nightclub (or nightclub-like space) gets on bended knee and is proposing to her man. She, looking a bit like her spine had been fractured, humbly submits to her personal lowest common denominator and pulls out a ring. He sits there in capri pants, continually sipping his drink, as she asks him to marry her. It almost looked as if he was going to decline her, but he gingerly extends his left hand and allows her to put a ring on his finger. Sips drink. He then gets up and gives his lady a hug, seemingly in pity. People in the club clap and then proceed to twerk it out on the dance floor, I’m assuming.

I try not to impose all of my feelings and emotions onto my daughter, but, for now, I’m going to say: “Not my daughter!” Clearly, I want her to be able to think for herself and also be progressive as a human being, and yet I still say: “Not my daughter!” I don’t want her to be captive by tradition, still I rise, fist in the air and say loud and proud: “NOT. MY. DAUGHTER.”

First of all, the man’s body language tells a story all by itself. He continually sipped on his drink as his now-fiancee got her knees dirty to ask him to marry her. Secondly, the woman looks so scared and insecure about her position that I thought he was about to say no! Thirdly, there is something seemingly, inherently wrong with a woman popping the question to a man. I think part of the wrongness of it all has to do with the times we live in.

These days, tradition is eroding like sand on the Jersey Shore and men – real men – are becoming a thing of the past. On the other side, our Black women are looking like caricatures in a Terri McMillian movie. And when social media gets ahold of certain images, you start to wonder if all of it will come crumbling down soon. I maintain that tradition is a great way of maintaining a sense of self and history. It also holds people accountable to something greater than themselves, if you know what I mean.

Men, at some point, must step up.

If the man won’t step up and ask you to marry him, then what next? For the ladies, I’ll venture to say, you’re going to have issues when its time to take out the trash, fix that flat tire, get the oil changed and even catch that stray mouse that somehow found its way into your home. Will he ask you to fight for HIS honor when thugs have disrespectful words in these evil streets? You may have to do all those things or more if you aren’t willing to let that may take that big step forward. I don’t want my daughter to have to get down on her knees for no man (pardon my broken language) and certainly not one that looks underwhelmed. On the other side, everybody has their own walk in life and I am hardly that guy that would care to see my daughter walk the pathway trodden by zillions – in general. A marriage proposal, in my esteemed opinion, is one of those moments that you are succumb to convention.

Speaking of convention, I once upon a time, in another lifetime, got down on one knee after a prolonged period of dating. My now ex-wife had to be extremely patient up until that point for a number of reasons, all of which will remain private and personal. I felt accomplished that I was able to give her that moment, as well as professing my love in front of our families. Like I said, that was a lifetime ago. As I peruse these streets, checking the landscape for the new rules, I’ve had at least one person suggest she could ask a man to marry her. She and I were not dating, but I let it be known, “Not with me, you would not.” As far as I can tell, that would be a very public embarrassment for her and me. “Get. Up. GET. UP!,” I would scream in that whisper voice that really isn’t a whisper. If it was time for you to ask me, I would have already asked you! Get it?

So, yes, the rules have changed.

When we are in our youth, years dating are not so long. When you burst into your thirties and after women are like Sweet Brown with “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!” The vetting process gets shorter and shorter and shorter. To the ladies, I implore you: let a man be a man. And if you don’t want to let a man be a man, then be fully ready to accept all that comes with the new rules and new notions that you implement when you get down on bended knee humming Boyz II Men.

Mumble about gender roles, patriarchy, tradition if you want, but I’ll remain vocal about this one.

POSTSCRIPT: Now, some have maintained that he already popped the question to her and she accepted before the filming of the video. That may be true, even though her sheepish body language and the joyous screams of her friends seems to counter this. Maybe we’re all being trolled. Such is the internet in 2014. And to the newly engaged couple: I wish you nothing but happiness as you move forward in your life together. I got nothing, but love for you and how you achieve contentment in a world in starving for such.

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