#431: Be part of a stranger’s proposal

07 Apr

Dear universe:

Seriously?  I sit down yesterday for a minute by the river to take a picture, and that couple passes me, and the guy takes a picture a foot away from me and then gets down on his knee to propose to his girlfriend, and I turn to see this and hear the girl say, “Are you serious?” and then, “Yes!  Yes, of course!” and have to endure the most awkward 35 seconds while they embrace and I don’t know if I’m supposed to congratulate them, offer to take a picture, or immediately run away so as not to interfere with their special moment?

As you know, I waited about a minute until it wouldn’t seem so abrupt and then I left, and as I was walking home, I thought about that proposal.  Yes, at its core, it was a perfect plan–take the girlfriend on a walk on a regular day and suddenly propose in the middle of what would otherwise be a super typical activity.  I like it.  It’s simple, it’s unexpected, it’s without fanfare (and it’s without, I have to assume, telling all of the girl’s friends and family ahead of time).

But.  But.  Why did I have to be a part of it?  Did the couple meet exactly in that spot, so when the man arrived and saw I was sitting a foot away from it, he didn’t want to stop at a space ahead or after it that was further away from the earshot of strangers?  Or, I don’t know, was he just really nervous to propose and afraid if he took another step he’d lose the nerve to do it?

Only you can answer these questions, and you’re not being very forthcoming, so I’m kind of in the dark here.  I don’t get why it is required in your grand plan for me to have witnessed these strangers’ engagement.  I get that I’m not supposed to be bitter about it, so I won’t.  I’ll accept that for some reason, in order for your whole scheme to work out, I needed to be there, literally 12 inches from what is possibly going to become that couple’s most memorable moment of their pre-engaged life.  I’ll come to terms with the idea that if I hadn’t been sitting there right then, maybe the proposal wouldn’t have happened and maybe those two wouldn’t get married, and maybe they wouldn’t have kids, and their kid wouldn’t become president or some famous singer or something.

I’m fine with that.  But can you at least explain why this had to happen only a week after the only single friend I regularly hang out with moved away, leaving me the last uncoupled person I know in the city?

Just tell me that and I’ll stop bugging you about why it’s necessary for me to always go to the grocery store when it’s out of the one kind of yogurt I like.

Thanks in advance.

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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in NYC, People


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