8 Thoughts You Have When You Are Pulled Into A Stranger's Proposal

8 Thoughts You Have When You Are Pulled Into A Stranger's Proposal

Videotaping a stranger's proposal on the beach is about as adorable as it sounds.

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It's the moment that most people dream of. The moment the love of your life gets down on one knee, holds up a ring and asks for your hand in marriage.

In the age of social media, I believe the proposal has become an even bigger fad. Similar to promposals, the person proposing is pressured to find a unique and creative way to propose without being over the top, unless that's what they like. It requires an intimate understanding of their partner's likes and dislikes in order to get it just right.

But no matter how big or small and grand or simple the proposal may be, I am pretty sure everyone feels the same way: the moment should be captured by video or photograph and if possible, both.

It just so happens a complete stranger on the beach the other day relied on me, and me only, to capture their big moment. I was sitting in my beach chair, enjoying my day off and watching a cute couple set up next to me play with their young son in the waves. My boyfriend and I commented on what a cute family they were. A few minutes later, the woman came up to me.

"Excuse me," she said, "would you mind taking our picture?"

I actually love when random people ask me this question. It means that I come off as approachable, and I don't take a half-bad photograph. I am also one of those people who takes a hundred shots for you to choose from, instead of just snapping one and handing the phone back. Those people are the worst.

I happily got out of my beach chair and she handed me her phone. The photo shoot ensued. After I'd taken a bunch of shots, I handed the phone back and wished them a wonderful day. The man said, "Wait, can you take one on my phone?"

I said, "of course!" He handed me his phone and I noticed that it was in video mode. He whispered to me, "I want you to take a video. I'm about to propose."

1. "OMG, this is really happening!"

As I mentioned before, some people tend to put a lot of thought and anticipation into this moment. When it finally arrives, you'll be excited beyond belief. Don't blink or you might miss it.

2. "What if I press record and it doesn't actually record?"

I was so anxious that I pressed record and let it record for three seconds before I nodded to the man to let him know that it was in fact, recording. Because I would never forgive myself if it didn't record. That would be something that would happen to me, and I was terrified.

3. "Uhhh, where are the other photographers?"

You can't expect me to get all the right angles, can you?

4. "I can't believe the responsibility of capturing this moment rests entirely on me."

The proposal is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for couples, and it only lasts a brief moment! I am a stranger! I could have been a horrible videographer, yet they took a chance on me, and I feel so grateful for that.

5. "What if she says no?"

That would have been awkward, and it's definitely at the back of everyone's mind that was involved.

6. "Are those tears of joy coming out of my eyes?"

There is something so moving about watching a proposal in real life. It is such an emotional moment for the couple and for everyone there to witness it. She was so surprised, and it was so moving to watch that moment for her.

7. "I wonder when this is going to happen to me."

We are all waiting for the big moment of our own, and hearing about other proposals only ever makes me excited about mine.

8. "Will I be invited to the wedding?"

I'll be there, and I'll be way too excited for the couple. I'll also feel partially responsible for their marriage.

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We Need To Stop Treating Arranged Marriages Like Business Deals

We need to stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

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When I was thirteen years old, I spent my summer break at my cousin sister's place. She spilled steaming hot tea all over her thigh leaving a huge burn scar. The first thing my aunt said to her was "What would your future husband think about that scar? You should have been more careful." My cousin was just fourteen.

Growing up, we are made to believe that marriage is the most important thing in a woman's life and is going to be her biggest achievement. I thought it was hideous how we were made to believe this and pressurized to get married in fear of what society would think until I realized just how hideous the process of an arranged marriage itself is.

According to an IPSOS survey conducted in 2013, 74% of Indian marriages are arranged. Being the youngest sibling and cousin, I watched a lot of my older family members and relatives getting arranged marriages. Having spent most of my life in India, I have witnessed no other marriages than arranged marriages. It is funny to me how people have a checklist of superficial expectations like stereotypical beauty standards and unrealistic salary expectations. From publishing ads like "In search of a slim, tall, fair, very beautiful, homely girl who knows how to cook and sew" in the newspaper, the process of finding a groom or bride through an arranged marriage couldn't be more misogynistic and sexist.

Surrounded by all this, I penned down a poem in hope that we would stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

I

The glass bangles on her wrist jingled as she placed a plate of laddoos in front of the guests,

She wondered if this was the family that would finally pass her parents' tests.

"Oh! She is as fair as milk" the boy's mother exclaimed,

Her cheeks flushed to the color of scarlet under her dupatta as trained.

"He is too short" to her mother, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

II

When no suitable match was found, the search was still profound.

"Hush," the girl's mother whispered "Don't tell them about the burn on the leg of the bride"

"What man will marry her once he finds?"

Another man arrived, tall, fair, and handsome- he was perfect,

Except that huge mole on his cheek which left him imperfect.

"The mole doesn't complement his face" to her aunt, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

III

Still no luck in finding a groom,

Her father placed a matrimonial ad.

"Searching for a suitable groom, engineer or doctor, 25, fair, slim, vegetarian, no disabilities" the ad read,

The ad was published in multiple newspapers so that she could finally be wed.

Another boy arrived, but this time the tables turned,

"What? She can't cook?" the boy's mother was left concerned

"Oh, what a shame" to his parents' she didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

IV

When everything had been tried, a Jyotish was consulted,

Vastu remedies for delay in marriage he suggested.

"Fast for sixteen consecutive days, the kitchen shouldn't be in the southwest."

Yet another boy arrived, tall, fair, slim, no moles- he seemed the best,

With everything from their checklist of expectations checked, everyone seemed to be impressed.

"But his earnings are so less," her father was left depressed.

To nobody he appealed,

The deal still wasn't sealed.

V

The number of grooms decreased as her age increased,

The girl walked in with a plate of laddoos, but this time from the southeast.

"Oh my god, the bride can't cook," the boy's mother noticed,

Thankfully the burn on her leg went unnoticed.

Double the dowry was demanded,

Her father's savings made sure the groom's family didn't leave empty-handed,

The girl's mother approved the boy, so did her mother's mother,

And her uncle, his wife, and their daughter

Even to the distant relatives, he appealed,

The deal was finally sealed.

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An Open Letter To All 'Hopeless Romantics' Navigating College Hookup Culture, Based on Science

Doing you is the most important thing you will ever do.

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Some girls are out for a ring by spring (the opposite of me, for the record), but that norm has since become a little bit overrun by hookup culture. Dating apps have been as trans-formative to sexual culture as birth control in the 20th century, but what hasn't changed is sexual brain chemistry. Young women have mixed opinions towards hook-up culture. Some find it unhygienic, other's find it practical in an age where women are often extremely busy going after their own careers, salaries, and accomplishments, but still, want a sex life. Regardless, the most important thing a woman can do in any situation is to trust her gut. There is no right or wrong journey, but there are some scientific insights to help you along the way. Here's a letter to the girls that no matter their morals, still dream of love as the ultimate goal- not just sex.

Your needs come first.

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The ultimate rule I would tell to not only my future daughter but also any freshman girl in college, is that YOU come first. Hookup culture is based on the primal pace of testosterone- it's quick, and over as fast as it came. Friends with benefits can be long-lasting with someone who actually cares for you, but often dissolve the second a douchebag finds that feelings are involved. What does work, no matter what is honesty with your own needs. Listen to yourself, to your gut, to how you feel, not how someone else can make you feel, no matter how hot they are. At the end of the day, a healthy, loving relationship is only built with two people who can take care of themselves, and each other. But you girl? Your needs are number one. A guy, for example, can be satisfied in ten seconds and be done with you. A partner who will listen to you and be down to give you what you want is the type you would want to hook up with in the first place! And they are for sure the type that no matter the relationship, committed or not, will make you feel valued. Loved, even. No matter when you decide to sleep with someone, or not sleep with someone, you deserve it to be with someone who can put their ego down for ten seconds and realize that giving creates the ultimate satisfaction.

If you're reading this going- I don't care- they're hot! No worries, this just isn't the letter for you.

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Reckless hookup culture is said to not be for the sensitive. However, I would argue that deep down, all of us want to be actually cared for instead of just lusted after. Sex is everything, but on its own, for too long, is emptiness. And why? Either your silent killer or best friend - oxytocin.

The TED Talk that changed everything.

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A few months ago when I was obsessed with the latest OU Fiji in my DM reel, unsure of what he really wanted, I found myself struggling with what had bothered me for almost a year. I had for the first time (after an emotional, and physical glow up), experienced the hottest guys in the country, in my eyes, begging to sleep with me- but I felt standoffish to the idea of something ending up being just a one night stand. Finally, I stumbled upon a TED talk that explained that women and men differ intensely when it comes to brain chemistry and sex. Oxytocin, the bonding hormone, is released when a woman orgasms, but research shows it doesn't occur in a male brain unless he has decided he is committed! Kind of weird, almost voodoo magic science to think that a man's biology can literally allow him to feel no emotional bonds with a partner unless he is already in love with her. The processor to oxytocin for men? Vasopressin. The hormone that is released when he is visually attracted. Finally, it made sense to me. What's even crazier is that I've learned a year later that those same eleven out of ten (on the hotness scale) guys who wanted to sleep with me? Actually interested in a relationship! Sometimes men's sex drives and women's willingness to give in to hookup culture without standing up for her own needs allow her to feel overwhelmed by his sex drive itself, thinking that a relationship isn't on his itinerary. Other times it goes the opposite way, with a girl thinking that just because someone wants to have sex with you, they love you. But I think most of us grow out of that thought pretty quickly. But the most important realization that I gathered from this insight is that for a man to open up, his partner needs to present herself for who they truly are- more than just a sexual object. Am I arguing that being viewed sexually is wrong? Absolutely not. But what I am arguing is that casual relationships, no matter how sexual or not, don't need to feel empty. They should feel honest, and that's what truly feels good. Your needs matter, feelings are okay, and as normal and natural as the sex someone in your DM's may pressure you with. In fact, those are the things that make you human and separate you from how a porn star can satisfy someone. If you want to be treated differently than only a sexual object? Own it.

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