The calendar has become crowded with days that double as opportunities to guilt trip your significant other over their failure to comply with Hallmarkian love edicts. National Proposal Day is just one of them, but unlike Valentine's Day and Sweetest Day and Sadie Hawkins Day and every other goddamn holiday involving an element of romantic pressure, National Proposal Day was yesterday, and so if you or your special someone missed it, your guilt should be fresh.
If you, like me, didn't know what National Proposal Day was until like two seconds ago, it's a holiday that falls every year on March 20th, but its placement in the calendar is far from arbitrary and its origins aren't as artificial as you might expect. According to Holidash, John Michael O'Loughlin launched National Proposal Day decades ago after a cousin of his waited for years for her boyfriend to propose before being forced to move on with her life. It's designed to be a day that reminds people that maybe they should think about proposing, because sometimes couples just need a hint in addition to all those other hints given by jewelry commercials and family members. And it's on March 20th because that's the vernal equinox, the day when the stars and planets and gods and flying spaghetti monsters and Cthulhus align to make it possible for a woman to be so very dazzled and confused when presented with a sparkling rock that she agrees to faithfully love some guy forever, even when he brags to her about how his farts smell.
O'Loughlin told Holidash that he believes that National Proposal Day has gained some traction in the years since its establishment, estimating that 50,000 couples get engaged on this day of days that was yesterday. But he says his only real barometer of success is whether or not one single couple gets engaged because of his holiday, or if, at the very least, couples start talking about getting engaged so they don't end up all passively heartbroken like his cousin.
This must have been in the days before such contradictory pop psych self-help books as He's Just Not That Into You and Marry Him!.
Apparently, I've been completely in the dark about the popularity National Proposal Day, because people are celebrating it all over the place. This adorable man proposed to his substitute teacher girlfriend by appearing onstage during the middle of a high school musical performance of The Wedding Singer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Another man actually proposed on New Year's Eve, and spent the first quarter of the new year saving up for a ring for his betrothed, which he hoped to present to her on National Proposal Day.
The holiday's being commemorated by data gathering surveymongers as well. A site called Tailored.co published results from a survey seeking to figure out what women really think after being proposed to, and they found that 26% of them thought, basically "Ring big and shiny!" Twenty-three percent of women who responded to the survey said that their first thought was "I can't wait to tell everyone!" Others wished they'd gotten a manicure so that their hands wouldn't look all gross when they posted pictures of their big shiny ring to Facebook while telling everyone. When I got engaged, my first thought was, "I am so glad this isn't on a scoreboard and also I appear to be crying." And probably a little bit of "Ring big! Ring shine!"
Anyway, all of this joy was available to you yesterday, if only you'd given your semi-obscure holidays the attention they deserve. But now, you've missed it, and you might be alone forever, or until next National Proposal Day, when you can again pressure or be pressured by your significant other. Merry Proposal Day to all, and to all a good night!
Image via Aliaksei Lasevich/Shutterstock