Suresh Menon

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Does it mat­ter how you pop the ques­tion? Our colum­nist thinks not.

Are­cent sur­vey has re­vealed that one in five en­gaged, mar­ried or di­vorced women were left dis­ap­pointed by their mar­riage pro­posal, but they didn’t say any­thing to their spouses and now wish they had.

The real story here, of course, is that four in five women are per­fectly happy with the way things turned out pro­posal-wise, so that should have been the end of the mat­ter. But no. You know how sur­veys love sta­tis­tics.

And so, ac­cord­ing to a Bri­tish news­pa­per where this sur­vey ap­peared – OK, OK, it was The Daily Mail – 13 per cent of the women pro­posed to wanted to cry in dis­ap­point­ment, 38 per cent be­lieved that noth­ing pro­claimed love as much as a large di­a­mond ring, and 52 per cent would have been happy to con­trib­ute fi­nan­cially to­wards a ring (7 per cent had ac­tu­ally done so).

The sur­vey, sadly, did not ex­tend to the per­cent­age of men who ended up cry­ing at this ev­i­dence of what ma­te­ri­al­is­tic, cal­cu­lat­ing shrews they were about to marry.

What women re­ally want to say when a man pro­poses is, “That’s a tiny di­a­mond; also, why are you not down on one knee; and by the way where is the orches­tra or at least a flash mob?”

What they usu­ally say, of course, is “Yes,” in the hope of tak­ing the man to the al­tar and then al­ter­ing him.

The top five dis­ap­point­ments are: 1) a ring too small to be seen by the naked eye 2) no ring at all 3) not propos­ing on at least one bended knee 4) a pro­posal that was too ca­sual and not spe­cial enough and 5) not ask­ing her par­ents’ per­mis­sion (with or with­out the bended knee in tow) for her hand in mar­riage.

Some­thing tells me there is a sixth, but since that usu­ally comes a few hours af­ter the wed­ding, it does not qual­ify as a prenup­tial re­gret.

My pro­posal (if a breezy, “Hey,

What women re­ally want to say when a man pro­poses is, ‘That’s a tiny di­a­mond’

how about it?” qual­i­fies as one) years ago – and my wife will bear this out – in­volved no ring (ex­cept the one pro­vided by the tele­phone set­ting up a meet­ing), no bended knee, any­thing spe­cial or a con­ver­sa­tion with par­ents of any de­scrip­tion.

Our top five dis­ap­point­ments were: 1) un­in­vited rel­a­tives who forced them­selves upon us 2) the ve­hi­cle tak­ing the bride to the venue break­ing down 3) the ab­sence of an un­cle to sur­prise us with a gift of a mil­lion dol­lars 4) the news­pa­per re­port of the wed­ding, which man­aged to mis­spell both our names 5) the need to shake hands with a bus load of guests who ar­rived by mis­take when their nephew or grand­son or un­cle was get­ting mar­ried some­where else.

See, no di­a­monds any­where.

is a writer based in In­dia. In his youth he set out to change the world but later de­cided to leave it as it is.

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