This woman has been proposed to nine times. Um, how nice for you?
Says - obviously - the Daily Mail,
My friends sometimes lament the fact that their perfectly lovely, long-term boyfriends won't pop the question. Others are disheartened that they can't find a bloke who will commit to a cinema date next week, never mind a lifetime together. But I find it hard to empathise. As a woman who has been proposed to nine times, my problem is the exact opposite: men always want to settle down with me.These numerous proposals are not a source of pride or excitement. They haven't guaranteed a life full of romance and jewels. Far from it.
Adele Parks, now 40, got her first proposal at 17 and they kept coming from there. "I tried to figure out what on earth was going on. Some of these men didn't even know how many siblings I have, but believed I was their ideal woman. Why? Then, suddenly, it hit me: I was very good at being whoever these men wanted me to be." Lacking in self-assurance, Parks realized she was "happy to pursue their pastimes, agree with their politics, even wear clothes they liked." Now happily married to her second husband, she says she doesn't regret her bizarre man-magnet youth, but doesn't regard it as a badge of honor, either.
The truth is, a lot of men still have a very definite Madonna-whore thing going on, and to the kind of guy who's prone to random proposals, being considered "the girl you marry" can be anything but a compliment - it denotes domesticity, parental approval, security, rather than excitement or sexiness. (If it sounds like I'm speaking from experience, I am.) Anyone who regards marriage as some kind of "should" or "must do by X age" is already practically swathed in red flags anyway. But what's weird about this story is that people don't realize this, that there's a Charlotte York-style assumption that people would regard nine proposals as a feather in the author's cap rather than a bizarre cause for comment. (Although, yes, this is the Daily Mail.) What's wrong with these guys? was my immediate thought, not "let me learn from her!" This isn't a Jane Austen novel: no one should be valued based on the number of arbitrary proposals she receives. Yes, the authors of The Rules would doubtless regard her as a model pupil, but for the rest of us? More of a cautionary tale than not. As one of the tipsters who directed us to this story put it, "This will get made into a Reese Witherspoon movie about 30 seconds from now." Which, really, says it all.