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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Very Awkward, Part 2

Going Fetal (see Part 1 here)

Everyone assumed that this was a magnanimous marriage proposal. However, what I learned by talking to one of their friends is that these were two NYU students who had been in a relationship and broken up. The boy wanted to rejoin with the girl and decided to surprise her with an extraordinary public proposal to reunite.

Things did not go well. The girl made no eye contact at all with her courter for much of the time and spoke to him very little. She never did accept the rose he held and offered her. He had a microphone which he offered, but she essentially refused to speak. She smiled some and cried some. But mostly she stood stoically or cowered silently. It was an embarrassment for all and, to me, an inappropriate attempt to strong-arm a woman via the pressure of public display and make rejection much more difficult. But she stood her ground. If she does not want him, then good for her. I don't see this kind of persuasion as an effective tactic for the success of a long-term relationship.

A large portion of my accompanying video for today's story was shot by Hellen Osgood. When initially viewing it, I was disappointed that the running commentary by her husband Harvey was audible through most of the footage. However, on reviewing it and listening to what he had to say, I found his insightful thinking to be the best part of the event and much more interesting than watching the courted stonewalling her courter. His commentary was unintentionally very funny, offering much needed comic relief to a rather tragic affair.  Below are some of Harvey's pithy remarks. Please be reminded that at the time he made them, we all thought this was a marriage proposal.

What's she going to do, have a nervous breakdown? Brilliant, brilliant. [sarcastically]

How do you say "no" in Japanese? This is nuts. You don't go through this. You say, "Give me five minutes." You gotta cut it short. How long can she stand there?

She can call a lifeline, can't ya? Can't you ask for help?
He doesn't understand, this is her life, her destiny, right? And they're playing music.

Nice. She's doing the right thing… she's going in the fetal position. That's what I would do under the circumstances, definitely. Go fetal on him. See what he can do about that. He he he he.

Oh nice, if she throws up, do you think he will get the hint? What if she just absolutely throws up, right there? That's considered to be a very passive-aggressive action when someone proposes marriage to you and you throw up.

Is this strictly being done for her benefit and nobody else, like a Bob Dylan concert?

This is heavy-duty stuff.

Don't shoot the piano player. He's just an innocent bystander.

Sadly, this embarrassing affair could have easily been avoided by heeding the age-old admonition which was simply stated and sung by the Beatles in 1964: (money) Can't Buy Me Love. But it sure can buy the Very Awkward :(

More on romance and couples: Big, Big Mistake (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), Happy Valentine's Day, Foolish World of the Fiscally Frivolous, The Perfect Gift, Get a Room, Be My Valentine, PDA, War...and Peace


Heiko said...

Well Brian, what is a girl to do, as you have stated it is Very Awkward.
Well done bringing this to us all.


Rose from Oz is Back! said...

Such a strong girl who obviously knew what she didn't want......seems it would have been a cinch for her to just walk away perhaps?

time traveler said...

Must admire the young lady for standing her ground..You are quite right, it was inappropriate to bring a personal situation into the public eye and add unexpected pressure to what must have been a unpleasant situation to begin with (or end with)..Better move-Beg for forgiveness and just one more chance-shed honest tears-not moments to share with strangers-give her memories that are her's alone.

King of New York Hacks said...

Nice. She's doing the right thing… she's going in the fetal position. That's what I would do under the circumstances, definitely. Go fetal on him. See what he can do about that. He he he he.,,,classic commentary, the few times I've seen similar proposals up close in the big city from a male and female, they have failed...keep it private and intimate in this world where all is on camera...nice work.

Tamera said...

Well that was painful! If I were her I would have just walked away, seriously. That guy put an enormous amount of very public pressure on her. No wonder she broke up with him, he's clueless! He obviously wasn't thinking of her feelings at all. Or even worse, he thought she'd love that awful display. Sheesh!

Rick Rakow Commercial Realestate said...

WOW Awkward indeed.I believe I would have just walked away from all that. Apparently he doesn't get the hint at all. She is not a happy camper right there. It's sad because it must have crushed him to get rejected but he may have already done something bad enough that he knew she would not want to marry him because he kindof didn't look like he expected something different.

matt said...

Poor girl, what a thing to do to someone.

Anonymous said...

Your top photo is especially poignant, catching her eye with a hint of a tear. It perfectly catches the awkwardness of the scene, and demonstrates life doesn't always have the Hollywood ending. Beautifully presented, despite the pathos.


Anonymous said...

I think I would have been livid being in her place.

Brian Dubé said...

Heiko - thanks

Rose from Oz - not with all that pressure and public display.

Tamera - he was clueless.

Paul - thanks.

Anonymous - yes, for sure many women would.

Steffe said...

Awkward is the word.