Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rules of Engagement

I think there is a pretty strong consensus that marriage proposals and engagements supposed to be special, memorable, and – dare I say – conditional.? I think it is safe to say that there are rules that most folks would agree too. Of course, these rules are… fuzzy…and can be subjective. But for the most part, you would get most folks to agree that there were a couple of things that went wrong in Roy Williams' proposal to his girlfriend Brooke Daniels.

Let me give you the background in a nutshell. Just before Valentine’s Day, Williams, an NFL wide receiver with the Dallas Cowboys, attempted to propose to his girlfriend Daniels, a former Miss Texas. This proposal, which was sent by mail (yes, mail – USPS), consisted of a signed baseball for her brother, money for school and dental bills (Destiny’s Child – Pay My Bills?), a recording of his proposal, and a $75,000 engagement ring. Got all that? He mailed a baseball, money for school and dental bills, a recording of his proposal, $75,000 engagement ring. After receiving her care package, Daniels rejected Williams leading to him asking for his ring back. Daniels said she lost the ring so Williams filed an insurance claim on the “lost” ring. Of course, the insurance company isn’t going to just pay the claim on a near $80K ring – right? Of course not; they investigated. During their investigation, they found that, in fact, the ring wasn’t lost; it was in the possession of Daniels’ father. Neither Daniels nor her father had plans to the ring to Williams. So, what started off as an act of “love” ended up as a law suit for a $75K platinum ring.

A lot's going on wouldn’t you say? Now, I’ve had many-a conversation with friends and family – as I’m sure you have as well. It is pretty apparent to me, that there are some pretty straight forward rules both Williams and Daniels broke:

1.) The only time recording a marriage proposal is acceptable is if: If you’re going to do a recording a marriage proposal, you must be:
a. You are in the military or away in another country,
b. You put it on the big screen at a professional sports event (or high school/college if it is big in your town), or
c. You record it, but then you pop up from behind the curtains or something yelling “Surprise!” Bottom line, you need to BE THERE!!! 


Otherwise you just look like a lazy asshole who isn't interested in actually putting forth the effort for a face-to-face proposal thereby making it appear as if you aren't interested in the person.

2.) You MUST be more than 90 – 95% (or better) sure that the young lady (or gentleman) you are about to propose to will say “YES!” If the rule – for non-NFL folks – is to spend upwards of three times your monthly salary on your engagement ring, you need to be damn sure there’s a YES on the other end of that question. Clearly nothing is 100%; some folks will get cold feet or what-have-you. But we are in a recession; I don’t know about you, but a little more homework is needed prior to taking that leap. I don’t know, maybe some sort of consultation with your partner… Just a thought.

3.) IF proposal is made and/or you break off your engagement, YOU DO NOT GET TO KEEP THE RING!!! This isn’t a “gift” it is an engagement ring. If there is no longer an engagement, then there is no longer a ring! Even if that ring is delivered in a piss ass way – like through the mail – neither you nor your father get to keep said ring!

Oh, just as a practical matter, you should NEVER - EVER - EVVVER, put jewlery in the mail - let alone something worth $75 grand!

Understand this isn’t a complete list. There are plenty of other “Rules of Engagement.” I pretty sure that list is dynamic and changing all the time, but I had to pause for a moment and ask “WTF” with this story.

Am I wrong, or are these pretty universal rules?
Was a marriage proposal through the mail romantic or tacky?
Should you have to give the engagement ring back?
Are there more rules? What are they?
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