How (not) to respond to a proposal

Okay, here’s a random phenomenon I’d like some feedback on. When I asked my wife to marry me – down on one knee, ring in hand – she looked me right in the eye and said, “Are you kidding?” Seriously. If I hadn’t been so stunned by this response, I’d have been tempted to say yes and go do something else. And, it wasn’t like this was a surprise. We’d been dating for four years and her family had already started to plan the engagement party.

So, I’ve always assumed that this was just an oddity produced by some weird confluence of astrological harmonizations, or some such thing. But on Sunday I found out that a friend of mine has just gotten engaged, and when he proposed, she said the exact same thing. As I hear it, she actually asked several times. And they’ve also been dating for several years.  Is this normal!? Do women commonly assume that guys actually joke about this sort of thing?

If anyone has some deep biblical or theological explanation for this phenomenon, I would appreciate hearing it. Right now, I’m at a loss.

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on May 18, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Two words give the answer you seek in both instances: “several years.”

    I started dating my wife in July. We got engaged in September. We were married in January. Best months of her life:-)

  2. So, if you make them wait too long, they don’t believe you when it happens? Is that the idea?

  3. Yes. When you decide (finally) to either fish or cut bait they can’t quite get their mind around you doing either. If you had told her, “It’s over. This is played out.” Her response would have been “Are you kidding?”

    • I’m confused. Is my wife the fish or the worm? Either way, I don’t think she’s going to be happy.

  4. I suppose if you hadn’t gotten around to asking her to marry you, you would have been the worm.:-)

  5. I think they are so taken aback it is a default answer. My wife did not say those particular words but gave an expression that was similar. i think she thought we were going to get engaged later.

  6. What are you guys talking about? I just hit my wife with a club and dragged her by the hair to the altar. Or was it the other way around………….?

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