Saturday, May 31, 2014

Will you marry me?

A young couple made the news in Australia this week courtesy of a spectacular wedding proposal at Sydney's Vivid. A well dressed young man who was either not at all shy, or merely supercharged with the confidence which comes from being in love, asked his girlfriend to marry him by using a microphone to address her in the presence of family members and crowds of spectators gathered at the edge of Sydney Harbour to watch the light show. 

That this, along with other high profile, flashy and over the top wedding proposals was accepted was never in doubt, and one has to admire the strength of feeling which drives men to go to such extraordinary lengths to propose. But is it romance, or showmanship? I wonder how even the wedding itself, assuming it goes ahead ( and I hope it does), could match the magic of the proposal. Does the elation and intensity of such a fairy tale moment as this proposal, guarantee the marriage will be filled with equally ultra romantic acts? The bar is set pretty high. Isn't this man simply setting himself up for failure? Don't we place ourselves in danger of crushing disappointment if we live in expectation of extraordinary moments?

Those who live with high hopes are always on the precipice of disillusionment, but that is not sufficient reason to give up. As long as we understand that extraordinary moments are not ordinary moments, and that they are much less frequent, then we can enjoy them. We can celebrate them and dive into the joy, and we can also cherish the allegedly 'ordinary' events which fill the spaces between the extraordinary ones.

The question of whether the proposal at Vivid was romantic or just showy is beside the point, as is speculation about the couple's future. It was a moment of happiness in which love made everyone feel good and forget their troubles and what is wrong with that?

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