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A Valentine's Day propsal? Author and journalist Ali Harris can't think of anything more wonderful...
Hands up: I'm a self-confessed romantic. I write novels about it for a living. So let's for a second imagine a story where an unlucky in love girl meets the man of her dreams and then has something so utterly romantic happen to her on Valentine's Day that it makes all previous ones fade into insignificance. Bigger than a card, bigger even, than a Toblerone or a pair of Agent Provocateur knickers…(Ok, bad examples).
Something of such romantic magnitude that she'll remember it forever: you know, like a proposal from the man she loves.
How could that be considered anything BUT romantic? What's that? It's too common? Not imaginative enough? Hold your (white) horses and give our Knight in shining armour a break! Since when did 'imaginative' become a caveat for romance? Salvador Dali had a bonkers imagination, but I'm not sure the ladies were lining up to marry him.
Granted, a man who chooses to propose on Valentine's day may not be full of surprises, but in marriage I'd take steadfast over surprising any day. And whilst he may not get the best anniversary gift each year, he'll always remember it. Because a guy that chooses Valentine's day - a day dedicated to love for centuries - to make the biggest romantic gesture of his life, suggests to me that he totally buys into what that day represents. And it's not cheap chocolates and fancy knickers (or even cheap knickers and fancy chocolates). This guy wholeheartedly believes that this love, his love is equal and as enduring to any of those in literature, or the history books. Still in doubt? Here's a passage from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, one of the most heart-wrenchingly romantic books ever written.
"I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough."
Now who still thinks a "common" Valentine's proposal isn't good enough?
Ali Harris is an author and blogger at lifestyle blogzine triplemelt.co.uk
Not convinced? You should read: Why You SHOULD NEVER Propose On Valentine's Day, by Glamour Editor Jo Elvin
A Valentine's Day proposal? Glamour magazine Editor Jo Elvin can't think of anything worse...
You'd go a long way to find a more rubbish proposal story than mine. When my future mother-in-law asked us over lunch if we thought we'd ever get married, and my future husband's reaction was to cough, splutter and tell her to butt out, the ensuing hours of my frosty silence was only broken when he said something like, 'Ok, fine, do you want to bloody get married then?!' I think it's funny - our hearts had made their minds up within weeks of us getting together, and here we are 17 years on, so how we got the job done wasn't a huge deal to me. It horrifies others though, including a man I met at a dinner party who begged me to make up a different story.
But I would take my real, rather crap proposal over the clichéd Valentine's Day scenario every time. While I can't deny I was born missing the romance chip, even I can see that popping the question on predictable old 14th February isn't it. In fact, nothing has done more to kill the concept of romance - and I mean, bludgeoning, stabbing, smothering, and setting it on fire - than this, its Designated Date. A compulsory public love-in that feels devoid of much genuine sentiment at all.
For a start, if he does propose over a Valentine's dinner, in a suitably romantic, candle-lit restaurant, how will he know it was you who said yes, when 25 other women in the room are shrieking the same thing? When I hear that people got engaged on Valentine's Day, I always assume that a) she delivered an ultimatum or b) he's the kind of unimaginative guy who you also see stress-sweating at the perfume counter in Selfridges at 10pm on Christmas Eve.
Of course, there will be people for whom the day has some significant, deeply personal meaning. If it also happens to be the anniversary of the day that, say, he first swiped right, then this makes total sense. But if not, and you don't want see everyone's eyes glaze over when you're telling your engagement story, my wish for all the future brides out there is that he picks another of the 364 days at his disposal.
Ready for the other side of the coin? You should read: Why You SHOULD Propose On Valentine's Day, by author Ali Harris