At some point, I think every woman I know has thought about what her dream engagement would be.
Some women probably dream of a big to-do, like her boyfriend or girlfriend arranges a dub-step flash mob singing all of her favorite showtunes in the middle of Times Square during New Years’ Eve so that every camera in the world sees her special moment. Some others probably want a more intimate affair, like their beloved proposing to them while they are alone on vacation in a beautiful bungalow in Thailand. Since I was fifteen, my dream wedding proposal has been that my one and only special dude re-enacts Ewan McGregor’s performance of “Your Song” from Moulin Rouge, which I don’t think is particularly weird, demanding or special, except that I’ve always maintained that my one and only special dude should also be Ewan McGregor.
My point is that a marriage proposal, as archaic as the whole institution may be, is sort of fastened in our imaginations as a big life moment worthy of a big production. As Leslie Knope explains on Parks and Recreation, all of the details of an engagement are important because you’re going to be telling people the story forever.
Of course, we also live in the age of social media, which means that now, instead of a big production involving strobe lights or jumbo trons or even a small production involving getting down on one knee, a person can propose on…twitter. In fact, this past week, celebrity DJ Deadmau5 proposed to his girlfriend, celebrity tattoo arist, Kat von D, over twitter and she accepted.
This is how it went down:
I know that some people on the internet are kind of scoffing because this seems insincere. She’s been on reality television and seems to be the kind of person who feeds off public attention. But he’s using her full name–that has to mean it’s serious, right? Also, it’s kind of cute that he proposed with a jpg of a ring that has skulls on it and made it clear that her diamond will be a black diamond (FYI). She also took to Twitter to excitedly say, “Yes.” We know she was excited because this was her actual response:
Since every couple is unique, this unique proposal is just another thing that I suppose makes Deadmau5 and Kat’s relationship special. So, my heartfelt congratulations to them both! Let me not to the marriage of true verified twitter accounts admit impediments!
I need to fess up about something, though.
Whenever couples do use twitter to communicate how in love they are with each other I get incredibly skeptical of the actual strength of the relationship. I understand giving a shout out on a birthday or anniversary, but you don’t need to make a wild, whooping declaration of love in 140 characters whenever someone passes you maple syrup because they know how much you love it. Everyone loves maple syrup. Everyone should have the decency to pass it.
Maybe I’m not a true romantic, but while I think that it’s nice that the world knows how pretty or how awesome or how much in love you and your situation are, the world actually doesn’t need to know those feelings. Only your significant other does. Why tweet something that strangers can read what you should be saying to someone in person…unless you’re trying to draw attention to yourself? And if you’re constantly needing to reassure your 459 twitter followers that you are in the perfect relationship, then maybe the only person you’re actually trying to reassure is yourself because you’re worried you’re not in the perfect relationship. Who knows?* These are just concerns I have for friends who feel the need to tweet about how amazing it is that someone made them coffee–because I can’t imagine it is a particularly chivalrous feat of true romance to add another cup of water to a coffee maker**. Why are people suddenly so eager to make something private into something public?
But then, like I said, engagements often are public things. Even if a proposal doesn’t happen in public, friends and family at least are often regaled with the intimate details of how it all went down. People get engaged on live television and people don’t think it’s weird. It’s romantic. Did Deadmau5 merely outwit us all by making a public thing as public as it possibly could be? Is Deadmau5 more romantic than us all?
The thing is that unless you or I are Deadmau5 or Kat von D, we can’t know how sincere this engagement is or how serious the relationship is. So, we can’t judge. We can only congratulate them and hope for the best. And the thing is, even though declarations of love on twitter weird me out, they may be totally sincere and normal and romantic for the people who engage in them. I don’t know, and I should really work on not judging people by their tweets, and I should work on not judging people in general. I’m a bad, skeptical person like that.
All we can tell as internet bystanders is that Deadmau5 proposed to Kat von D over twitter and she happily said yes.
The question is, though, would you?
*I really don’t know.
**I really don’t know how coffee is made, either, but it seems like an unremarkable thing to put on an extra cup. Is this romance now?