Through Thoughts

Proposing: A Handy Guide

Looking to get engaged, eh? Follow these eight easy steps and you’ll be slinging rings like a pro in no time! Apologies in advance for gratuitous couple-y pictures. Without further ado….

Eight Steps to Engagement

As Performed by Aaron and Allie


Step 1 – Find Yourself a Lady or Gent

There are ladies and gents everywhere, but only a handful who are fit to be your lady or gent. This particular lady found this particular gent in the wilds of Houston playing baritone saxophone in the streets. He was mostly housetrained. Her eyes were dazzling. They completely failed to exchange contact information before she was whisked away by something better.

When destiny honks...
A photo taken from the day they met. When destiny honks….

Fortunately, they ran into each other several weeks later while he was playing baritone saxophone in the bowels of the Houston late-night music scene. It is always important to practice your hobbies regularly and in multiple locations for such occasions.

Step 2 – Initiate Courtship

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for numbers. Day dates are chronically underrated. Weekend trips are the best of all worlds. Take pictures, but not too many. Dallas should be avoided at all costs.

Not pictured: Dallas.
Not pictured: Dallas.
3 – Become Inseparably Functional

Sooner or later, you’ll probably look at your situation and realize that your lady or gent has become an irreplaceably integral part to your own daily upkeep and overall inertia. This is either a horrifying or a joyous realization, and it will likely soon precipitate thinking that will slowly and persistently chip away at your latent bachelor until it is no more.

With hats like this who needs enemies?
Make sure you hat yourselves well when appearing together at social events.
4 – Tacitly Decide to Propose

Subtlety makes everything more enjoyable. This gent offhandedly pointed out that they were probably going to get married at some point, right? This lady said I mean, probably. It was confirmation enough for the gent, and, unbeknowst to the lady, the proposal sequence was initiated.

A week before. She has no idea.
A week before. She has no idea.
5 – Identify Family Heirlooms

Diamonds are made artificially expensive by worldwide collusion resulting in a calculated false scarcity, so avoid buying one. Unless you really like them, in which case whatever, it’s your thing do what you want. Fortunately, this gent had a great-grandmother’s diamond earring sitting in a safe waiting for the day and a dad who could keep a secret. A phone call and a first class FedEx later and the diamond was in the gent’s possession, just sitting there in its case like a tiny shiny loaded sniper rifle.

Great-grandmother had some serious earrings.
Great-grandmother didn’t mess around when it came to earrings.
6 – Get You That Ring

Buying jewelry can be expensive and terrible. You can make this whole ordeal less expensive and much less terrible by visiting a place you both really like and asking them if they have any recommendations for local independent jewelers. When they tell you that they’re a bar and they really have no idea but they do have some happy hour specials, you should grab a quick beer (it’s rude to walk in and not be a patron and this is a pretty stressful ordeal) then call or visit a place that sells jewelry and style and ask them the same question.

This gent ended up getting in contact with Houston jeweler Claire Webb, who was easy to work with and did a real bang-up job.

Seriously. Killed it.
Seriously. Killed it.
7 – Set the Stage…and Execute

The general goal seems to be to just do this once (or like three times max) so timing and location are important. The good news is that if your relationship is ready for marriage it’s not going anywhere any time soon so you can be patient with it. This gent chose a family vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado, with his whole family there. Stakes for permanent embarrassment were extremely high. Fortunately, it was his birthday weekend so he used the veto power that only comes with one’s birthday weekend to make sure the situation unfolded the way he wanted. Specifically, somewhere on a mountain.

Halfway up the mountain the weather was swell, the view was lovely, morale was high, and injuries were minimal. These could easily change at any time, so it seemed the time was ripe. Under the guise of a family picture, the gent and Sneaky Dad lined up the unsuspecting subjects and engaged the Engagement.

Fortunately, she said yes.
Fortunately, she said yes.
8 – Enjoy!

Sure, there’s a wedding to plan and questions to answer and lots of other minutiae like bills and replacement lightbulbs and groceries to deal with constantly but you guys have the rest of your life to try to figure out all things large and small. Or just ignore them forever. Whatever works for you, it’s your life! Bask in the joint accomplishment for a while. Drink some celebratory champagne. Maybe even write a blog post about it.

Things are only going to get stranger from here.
Things are only going to get stranger from here.

5 thoughts on “Proposing: A Handy Guide

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