From Pine View Farm

The Ask Date Con 0

We have all seen them.

Planes dragging banners with marriage proposals over sports palaces, elaborate invitations on AFV, and the like.

I probably would not have realized this, having been on the other side of the asking-girls-out divide, but Emily Hoeven raises an excellent point–there is a sadistic, manipulative element in the showiness. She writes of prom dates:

Sometimes huge crowds form a circle around a couple, cheering the boy on as he asks his special girl to the dance. While this group effort is encouraging, it also puts the couple in a very difficult position. Should the girl want to refuse the boy’s offer, she would have to do so in front of a large group of people.

This is nothing but public humiliation in its purest form, and it leaves the girl with few options: say yes or be viewed as coldhearted. That is not really fair, because the girl should have the option to say no. The boy should have the right to be turned down without a crowd as a witness. And both of them should be able to go to a dance with someone who really wants to be with them instead of someone who said yes under pressure.

Many years ago, Second Son acted in community theatre. After the last performance of one of his plays, the director ostentatiously proposed to one of the actors, on stage, before the audience, after the curtain calls.

She accepted on stage.

Second Son told me that afterwards, in the green room, she ripped her now-ex fiance a new one.

They did, eventually, get married, but it took him six months to recover the ground that he lost with that one ostentatious gesture.


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