Marriage proposals have always intrigued me; maybe because I’ve never really had one. I was once married, but it was more an agreement; there was nothing really romantic to mark the occasion; nothing special to look back on. If I ever get married again, I hope my beloved will treat me to a memory that will last the rest of my lifetime. I want to have that specific point in time that I can look back on and know without a doubt that he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me.
A few nights ago, I found myself watching the episode of Frasier where Daphne’s boyfriend Donny proposed (Visions of Daphne). The proposal was beautiful, and although I suspect a woman wrote it, it is one of the most romantic speeches I’ve ever heard spoken. He knelt in front of her on one knee, and made this touching declaration:
“I’ve been thinking about that time we went to the little bed and breakfast in the country and we sat in that porch swing all night. When I looked at the sky, you told me you and your dad used to sit on your step and do the same thing when you were a kid. He said that the only man good enough for you would scoop the stars out of the sky with his hat and lay them at your feet. Well, (taking ring out) I’ve only caught this one so far but if you’ll accept it, I’ll spend my life chasing down the rest of them for you.”
Of course, she said, “Yes!” How could she not? When you see it typed out on paper, it is only one small paragraph; but those 4 sentences are so full of heartfelt emotion and romantic metaphor that any woman (or maybe even man) would find them virtually impossible to resist.
But why is his speech so effective? Why does it tug at our hearts and touch our own deep longings for love and romance in our own lives? What was it that the writer did absolutely right when putting these words in Donny’s mouth?
First, it included something that she had told him previously—a small, very personal anecdote about her childhood and her father—probably something she just mentioned in passing, without a second thought about it. But he remembered not only the story, but the time and the place when she told it. Do you know how special that kind of remembrance makes a woman feel? When a man brings up something she once told him—or rents a movie because she said she likes a certain actor, or anything else that shows he’s been paying attention—she feels cherished and appreciated.
Better yet, what he remembered was something that was especially dear to her heart—time spent with her father—for most girls, he is the first man who thinks she is special. Lining himself up with what her father told her the “right” man would do automatically gives him the implied (if not actual) support of the man she loves and trusts the most in the world; the only man she has loved (and will love) for all her life.
Then there is that stunning image of scooping the stars from the sky and laying them at her feet. Any man who can muster such striking sentimentality and beautiful, poetic expression will steal a woman’s heart and leave her hopelessly captivated. Even the most practical woman is powerless to resist such a lavish promise. How do you turn down a man who has just told you that you are worthy to own the most magnificent creations in the universe, and vowed to persist in his effort for the rest of his life?
I hope that one day a dear, sweet man will make such an irrationally sentimental promise to me—and that he will mean it with all his heart—because I will foolishly believe him.