independent

Thursday 24 July 2014

The notion of women proposing to men is not in the natural order of things

Justine O'mahony

Published 06/03/2012|09:19

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LOTS OF talk last week about it being a Leap Year and therefore an opportunity for women to get down on one knee and propose to their significant other. My immediate reaction was, "if he hasn't bothered his backside to do the deed Himself why would you want to marry him?" but obviously some women are not as sensible as me!

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I watched at least three programmes on tv last where the producers had arranged for various women to surprise their men with a proposal. In every single case, the men in question looked like rabbits got in the headlights of a car. None of them appeared thrilled at the prospect of taking the plunge and some even looked downright horrified. Although to be fair all of them said yes. But then again so would I had a few million people watching me.

Call me old fashioned but I think it should be up to the man to ask the woman to marry him. It's the natural order of things isn't it? Men do the proposing and taking out the bins, women do the cooking and spending on the credit card. That's the way life works!

After several years of pretending to be a feminist, I now know that there are certain things men do better than women and vice versa. One of those is proposing. Shoot me if you will, but turning the tables and asking him to marry you, just has a slight whiff of desperation about it.

And all alright if you insist on asking him, why wait for a Leap Year to do it? Who says women can only ask men to marry them in a Leap Year? That was the probably an idea thought up by some commitmentphobe man centuries ago. If you really want to marry him, just ask him, have the courage of your convictions and to hell with convention. Would I ever have asked Himself to marry me? NEVER! I once asked him to move in with me after my flatemate moved out and I couldn't find a replacement in time to pay that month's rent! I was used to getting my own way and cocky enough to believe he'd jump at the chance. I asked him, he turned rather pale, drank his pint back in one go and said somberly that he wasn' t ready. That softened the cough on me. Asking him to marry me was never on the cards although I did secretly put a time limit on how long I'd wait and also moved to another part of the country to hurry things along. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as my mother says!

He proposed within a year, on a weekend break in West Cork. I had the hotel booked for the reception by the time we were halfway home, despite the fact it was a Sunday!! Strike while the iron is hot is what I'd say.

I still don't think us women should do the proposing but if it's what you want, then do it on your terms and don't be dictated to by some outlandish tradition. If like me, you are devious and cunning, start planning Operation Shock and Awe (how to make a man propose) now.

There is more than one way to skin a cat!

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