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radically minimalist proposal
September 17, 2010 9:30 AM   Subscribe

I want to propose to my long-time partner, but an overblown wedding proposal sounds agonizing to me as an introvert. I am now thinking that I would like to aim my energy at finding the most creatively minimalist proposal that I can. My partner is completely quirky, so the strangest ideas are totally welcomed. I'm overthinking this to the point of paralysis, and losing months of engaged bliss as a result! How the heck should I propose given all these elements?

A little more info: we are somewhat androgynous as a couple, very non-traditional, utterly committed to each other, late 30s, money in limited supply. There is a ring. A positive response to the proposal is assured. I just have to find a way to ask!

Bonus: I might like to have some minimalistically fantastic idea I can throw together when the time is right, without limited preparation, rather than having to execute a time-based plan.

Any ideas or sparks of ideas would be unbelievably helpful at this point!
posted by asimplemouse to Human Relations (37 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Minimalist?

Hold up the ring. "Marriage?"
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:33 AM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


The photobooth proposal is cute.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 9:35 AM on September 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I would absolutely play to the dynamic of your relationship.

For Christmas last year I bought a set of matching blue Slankets for my partner and myself. We like to pretend we are blue wizards in the mornings with them. He proposed to me while wearing the ridiculous Slanket, and it was the perfect low stress low pressure way for him to ask.
posted by Zophi at 9:35 AM on September 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


I got two tickets to Vegas. You wanna get married tonight?
posted by Biru at 9:38 AM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mimic the UK "The Office" with a classified ad that says "Lee love Dawn. Marriage?" with, of course, your names substituted.

That's pretty damn minimal.
posted by inturnaround at 9:40 AM on September 17, 2010


Surreptitiously, slip the ring on hizzer finger in the night?
posted by mkb at 9:40 AM on September 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


Note on the bathroom mirror.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:49 AM on September 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


Just go to a beach/hilltop etc somewhere nice. Bring a flask of coffee and a muffin or a pastry so there is a reason for you both to be static/sitting down in the same place at the same time.

When you're sitting down, just say casually, "honey, I've been thinking: would you like to get married?" and pop the ring out.

Don't worry if it fails. That's part of the charm. A friend of mine tried to propose on the beach and ended up doing it in the pouring rain in the car park. Mrs MM booked a lovely restaurant where she planned to pop the question but we ended up getting engaged one Sunday night a week earlier, lying in bed talking where the subject just kinda came up.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:50 AM on September 17, 2010


Jam the lower part of the ring in the top of a stick of butter and wait for the partner to find it on their own. This could take days or months, depending on how often you use the butter. When they finally find it, and ask you about it, you act puzzled; when they then show the ring to you, you look surprised and say, "Well, I'll be! I guess that means we're supposed to get married now."
posted by Greg Nog at 9:50 AM on September 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


We were watching the sun set over Canyon de Chelly. He held me close, looked deep into my eyes and said...

"wanna get hitched?"

There was also a toy ring involved.

The rest is history.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:50 AM on September 17, 2010


Oh, just take the ring out and hold it up. I guarantee you won't have to say a word.

Go to the loveliest place in the city and do it for bonus points.
posted by micawber at 9:53 AM on September 17, 2010


This is not so minimalist but it is strange. I will lay it out for you.

1. Go here.
2. Order a dozen plain fortune cookies, with the fortune: "I love you, (name). Will you marry me?"
3. Arrange for a ring, if you haven't already.
4. Hide the fortune cookies until such time as you are ready.
5. Take her out for chinese food at a sit-down place; hide the cookies and ring in a pocket in such a way that the cookies will not break.
6. Mid-meal, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom.
7. Find a manger and explain what's in the cookies you've got and request that they bring these specific ones on a little plate at the end of the meal. Hand two of them over. They will be delighted to help.
8. Return to the table, have dinner.
9. Out come the cookies!
10. Quickly pick yours up, fumble, and drop it. Get out of your chair and pretend to look for it on the floor. Pretend to have found it. Break it open and act like it says whatever innocuous thing you like. She won't see what it says, because there is a table between you.
11. Ask what hers says.
12. If you did this right, when she opens the cookie and reads the fortune, you will have maneuvered yourself onto one knee and unsecreted the ring from your pocket.
13. I expect you can figure the rest out yourself.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:54 AM on September 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


If the planning of "the proposal" is delaying the actual proposal, you're already in overblown territory. If you already have the ring, do it tonight.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:57 AM on September 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


Set up some sort of scenario where you ask your partner to remove/capture/inspect a stray animal that is carrying the ring in an obvious spot. Bonus points if it's some sort of totem animal for you. Minus points if its really fast and runs away with the ring. Snails and hermit crabs arethus recommended.

Or, go out and rent metal detectors at a beach resort (if you're into that sort of thing), then plant the ring in a big metal box ahead of time. Geocaching would also work.
posted by benzenedream at 9:58 AM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do you have a laid back cat? Put ring on cat collar, present cat to partner, say "Honey, what say we make this boy/girl legal?"
posted by rainbaby at 10:01 AM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


i was thinking along the same lines as roomthreeseventeen, but something like a piece of heavy cardstock, illustrated weirdly/nicely/plainly and stuck on a little stand in the bathroom.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 10:09 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Make her breakfast in bed. This doesn't need to be a very fancy meal, if that's not her usual style. Coffee, toast, some fruit. Flowers. Diamond ring. (You can get a ring holder like this: http://gifts.redenvelope.com/jewelry/baby-elephant-ring-holder-21320044 for not too much money, to make the presentation more elegant.)
posted by endless_forms at 10:11 AM on September 17, 2010


Wrote my proposal upside down in crayon on the newsprint tablecloth of a (now-defunct) mexican restaurant in SW Baltimore. No ring.

She said yes. And those were the best sopapillas I'd ever tasted.
posted by scruss at 10:14 AM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Start doing something that requires both hands. Ask your partner to hold the ring for you for a minute. See if your partner notices.
posted by bDiddy at 10:16 AM on September 17, 2010 [18 favorites]


I am one half of an introverted, geeky, non-traditional couple. mr. lfr did this:

we'd just finished fixing up the backyard with some pretty solar lights and we went back there after dark to check out what our installation looked like. It was totally cool looking, and we were in the backyard in each other's arms congratulating ourselves on what a great change it made from the weed infested mess it had been 2 weeks prior, when he looked at me and said "so, wanna get married?"

we didn't have a ring, so no ring/planning necessary. He claims it was spur of the moment, but that he'd been thinking of how to do it for some time.

So, as the famous saying goes: just do it. I agree with TPS that you may be overthinking this a bit. You don't even need a ring, intent is all that's important.
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:19 AM on September 17, 2010


For minimalist, you could always plant the ring in your partner's pocket and be all, 'oh, look at that! Finder's keepers - and it's in your size, too! Funny now that happens! Oh, and it's got my name engraved inside - looks like you're stuck with me now!'

For a strange idea, maybe duct-tape the ring to an RV car (or an RV plane, if you're skilled enough - I disclaim all liability if you listen to me and the plane crashes into your partner's head) with a sign/banner taped to it saying 'You drive me crazy. Keep doing it for the rest of our lives?' Or some other stupid car-related joke.

...in my defense you did ask for strange!
posted by zennish at 10:19 AM on September 17, 2010


This might be insane but I think it would be beautiful to make a proposal while putting sheets on a bed together. It's a simple activity but one that actually can hold a lot of meaning.

The bottom sheet could have WILL YOU written on it (maybe in big block letters cut out in felt and sewn on.) (I'm sure she'll start getting where you're going with this at this point...)

The top sheet could have MARRY ME written on it. Then you could make the pillow cases say something, too. Maybe something funny? Or something having to do with the ring? I don't know.
posted by smirkyfodder at 10:26 AM on September 17, 2010


or he. I shouldn't assume it's a girl you're proposing to. I apologize.
posted by smirkyfodder at 10:29 AM on September 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Order a pizza. When it arrives, get the door, ask your partner to go grab some napkins or drinks and surreptitiously plop the ring on top of the pizza somewhere. Mock-apologize for it being such a cheesy way to propose.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:56 AM on September 17, 2010


I proposed by putting a ring in a pokeball and telling my wife "I choose you!"

Really. :)
posted by luvcraft at 10:56 AM on September 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Get some help from the World's Smallest Postal Service. :)
posted by jennyesq at 11:26 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Note on the bathroom mirror.

I was going to say something similar, like a Post-It note on the bathroom mirror or fridge that says:

Marry me?

Check one:

___yes

___no
posted by jeanmari at 11:40 AM on September 17, 2010


___maybe
posted by luvcraft at 11:56 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was going to say something similar, like a Post-It note on the bathroom mirror or fridge that says:

Or shaving cream.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:59 AM on September 17, 2010


Do you guys spend lots of time on your respective computers in the same room? I'd IM her, maybe pop in a little ascii art.
posted by ukdanae at 1:58 PM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ring as fake 'prize' in her favourite breakfast cereal.
posted by modernnomad at 2:28 PM on September 17, 2010


minimal and delightful:

one otherwise non-descript saturday morning my dog patters in to see me from another room - happy and tail wagging as can be - with a plain ribbon on her collar, and on that ribbon was the ring - i untied the ribbon ('what is this?) then discovered it was weighted down with the the ring ('what is THIS?...oh!...!...!!') with my (now) husband peeking in from the other room. i was rendered speechless (except for, of course, the word 'yes'), it was completely awesome.
posted by tr_tex at 2:57 PM on September 17, 2010


From the movie Away From Her:

"Do you think it'd be fun if we got married?"
posted by magstheaxe at 5:03 PM on September 17, 2010


Someone I know brought home a McDonald's happy meal for his girlfriend. He had put the ring inside.
posted by yawper at 6:57 PM on September 17, 2010


Borrow a book. Return it saying it was great but what did she think about the bit on p. 34? (...where you have placed a post-it note asking if she would marry you.)
posted by salvia at 8:55 AM on September 18, 2010


*s/he
posted by salvia at 8:58 AM on September 18, 2010


Okay guys! It was a success! I won't divulge too much, since the now FIANCE is a sometime lurker, but it all went charmingly. I adored pretty much all of the answers, but believe it or not, I took a variation on the advice of benzenedream who recommended the following:

Set up some sort of scenario where you ask your partner to remove/capture/inspect a stray animal that is carrying the ring in an obvious spot. Bonus points if it's some sort of totem animal for you. Minus points if its really fast and runs away with the ring. Snails and hermit crabs are thus recommended.

For some reason that resonated, and it was a total, ridiculous success. So thanks, all you awesome freaks!
posted by asimplemouse at 10:28 AM on September 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


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