Or at least this is what the last few years have led me to believe anyway.
(Apologies to the late great Jane Austen for messing with such a beautiful opening line but I saw the opportunity for Pride and Prejudice inspired wit and I took it.)
It is common practice these days for those of us of marriage-ready, party-wanting age – upon hearing that a couple who have been together a long period are off on holiday – to sit waiting for a social media update to confirm that they got engaged on the trip. Don’t pretend you haven’t done it because I’ve seen you.
Worse than that, it is equally and shamefully common to have asked said couple outright before their departure if a proposal is on the cards. If you want to see a man’s eyes dart from side to side at the speed of light, this is the way to do it.
And if you think it’s edge-of-your-seat excitement for you, then imagine what it’s like to be the woman in this travelling duo, attempting to behave like a normal human being when it’s all you can do not to rifle through your other half’s bags in search of evidence that you may be about to hit the big time.
And whilst it all adds to the excitement of a trip away before anybody asks anybody to marry them, once the big question has been popped, it does rather take the edge off future holidays. He can’t exactly ask again, can he?
“We should go to Bruges for a long weekend before Christmas” He said to me the other morning.
All of a sudden that old Romance Detector in my head went off DING DING DING Here we go girls, this could be the big one!!! …until I remembered that the deed has already been done; question asked and answered. “So I guess we’ll just spend some time together there then,” I thought “Cool…”
With the cat out of the bag and the ring on the finger, what exactly is there to speculate about on this trip? How much chocolate we eat? Whether everyone arrives and returns safely? Oh please, that’s not even worthy of a status update. What is the point of even going?!
Now as horrible and ungrateful (and exaggerated for effect) as this sounds – it is, I believe, an important stage of marriage preparation to realise that, in reality, being together is approximately 1% diamond rings and champagne flutes and 99% just TIME – lots and lots of time spent together, mostly at home and sometimes abroad. And that, in itself, is actually very exciting indeed if perhaps not Breaking News.
And anyway, most people go on holiday to get away from exactly this kind of madness – from the big news and the drama to just have a much needed rest without making any life changing, extremely expensive, gut wrenchingly emotional decisions.
So now when my friends go away with their beloveds I resist the temptation to ask if wedding bells will be a-ringing on their return – both in the interests of their sanity and every future trip they might take together.
I’m sure the internet will let me know if anything of note occurs whilst they’re gone anyway.