updated 19 Dec 2011, 11:53
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Tue, Nov 15, 2011
The New Paper
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Will you be my wife – for more than 72 days?
by S M Ong

When I heard about the guy who proposed to his girlfriend at The New Paper Big Walk in front of thousands last week,my first thought was: "Spoil market!"

There was also this Malaysian guy who proposed to his girlfriend with a fake Groupon ad online.

And then there was this guy in Thailand who trained his elephant to write "Will you marry me?" in the sand with its trunk, but the careless quadruped misspelled "marry" as "carry", causing much hilarity among the girlfriend, zoo visitors and more literate animals.

Okay, I made the last one up, but what's with guys making a production out of popping the big question?

They're just making it more difficult for the rest of us. Now our girlfriends will have more reasons not to be satisfied with a simple "Let's a book a flat together" over a greasy plate of char kway teow.

Haven't we spoiled these women enough? Before you know it, they'd want extra lup cheong with the char kway teow. Give 'em 2.54 cm and they'll take 1.6km.

The thing is, although we read a lot about these creative marriage proposals, newspapers don't usually keep track of what happens to the couple afterwards.

Usually (but not always), the woman says yes to avoid embarrassing the guy because of the public nature of such proposals. It's hard enough to reject someone - or be rejected - without it becoming a YouTube sensation.

Let's say she says yes and goes through with it, we don't know how long the marriage actually lasts.

But I suspect a creative marriage proposal - like an expensive lavish wedding or an "auspicious" wedding date such as 11.11.11 - does not guarantee or even improve the chances for a lasting happy marriage.

Take Kim Kardashian for instance. Her marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries lasted all of 72 days.

I have eaten leftovers that lasted longer than that.

How did Humphries propose?

He spelled out the words "Will you marry me?" with rose petals. That was pretty creative and romantic.

I repeat, 72 days.

If only he had the elephant.

And the wedding reportedly cost US$10 million (S$13 million). I would've hated to have to give a hongbao for that dinner.

Now that they have divorced, I don't think I would've got my hongbao refunded.

Fortunately, I didn't give any hongbao for the two local celebrity wedding dinners I attended. (Let's say I forgot.)

The first was that of Gurmit Singh who is still married to Melissa.The second was that of Mark Richmond and Vernetta Lopez, who have since divorced and are both married to other people.

I doubt any of the original wedding guests got their hongbao refunded.

But at least their marriages lasted more than 72 days.

So has mine - and let me tell you, my marriage proposal didn't involve rose petals, Groupon or Big Walk.

But it did involve a big commute.

Before we were married, my wife lived near Katong and I lived on the other side of Singapore in Jurong.

After about a year of dating, she got tired of transversing the island almost on a daily basis and suggested we should get married just to cut the travelling time.

So it wasn't so much a marriage proposal, but a suggested solution to a logistics problem.

I took her suggestion under advisement and eventually agreed to its implementation.

Viral videos are not made of this. But despite the less than reality TV-worthy beginnings, my marriage still outlasted two of Glenn Ong's. (Touch wood.)

I'm now gunning for three.

So guys, don't be deterred by all those market spoilers.

Just be reassured that Singapore law requires you to be married for way longer than 72 days before you can file for divorce.

Skip the elephant.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

readers' comments
Aiya, you need to read the newspaper especially after some special festive seasons. Some lazy and boring men always use such tactics to propose to their girlfriends. I no sour grapes lah. Past those dreamy stage liao. He loved me can already ;)
Posted by mystrawberry on Fri, 18 Nov 2011 at 13:57 PM
In a glance, tot you started the thread ... but dont remember reading any "creative marriage proposal" reported in the local news ... :p

Hmm... grapes are sour hor... :D

Dont worry... by the time you get your grapes, it will be sweet... :p

Posted by Small Fly on Wed, 16 Nov 2011 at 13:31 PM
I hope your FB likes did increased :) and yes I hate creative marriage proposal too. It's like 'force' marriage. Cannot say 'no' .... Guys are loser who used this as they cannot accept 'no' as an answer thus resort to using public pressure (ding!)
Posted by mystrawberry on Tue, 15 Nov 2011 at 22:37 PM

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