Get your love off my Jumbotron!

Is love really blossoming in the abundance suggested by Jumbotrons across America? Or is there just good money in it?

The Georgetown Hoyas give us a clue with their announcement this week that they’re selling “proposal packages” to the upcoming season of basketball games.

Packages start at just $100 to make a big deal out of life’s tender moments.


The Minnesota Twins, by the way, charge $77 for scoreboard messages proposing marriage or anything else. That’s without all the additional hoopla, like this:

In an article today clearly aimed at the men who are insisting on these public displays of affliction, Claire McNear of The Ringer, begs them to stop.

I get it: You like your partner and you like sports. Maybe your partner likes sports, too! How wonderful. You have so much in common. You’ll be very happy together.

Here’s the thing, though: Unlike the audience at your wedding — there will be a wedding, by the way, your darling said yes, awwww, big kiss — the crowd at a sporting event does not know you.

Your fellow attendees weren’t proud of you when you graduated or signed your first lease, or quietly pleased when you broke up with Angie, who was just so bad for you, honestly. They have literally never wished for you to end up with someone nice. I’m sorry to break it to you, but they just don’t care.

But now here you are, trapping them in your display. One minute they’re in the midst of their own days with people they have chosen to spend at least a regulation period of eternity with, and then suddenly they’re staring, confused, into someone else’s camera as the people in front of them recite long, nervous speeches and then make out.

This applies to some degree to all public proposals — and I recognize that you have to lay your rose petals and votive candles down somewhere. But must you do it in a place where people have bought tickets to do something else?

Is it really necessary to leap between the half-empty cups of light beer and the bags of stale kettle corn and say actually, this is all for me and my honey, and how convenient that you’re all already facing our way?

There were five proposals involving athletes at the Summer Olympics in Rio. This prompted The Guardian’s marriage writer to ponder where’s the best place to make a proposal?

It’s your couch, guys.

Passion, drama and fireworks, literal and figurative, can make a relationship more exciting. Yet I believe true love comes when you’re with the one person you adore doing nothing with. If you start with an elaborate, expensive proposal, you’re setting the bar very high. Anyone can seem fun and thrilling if they’re sending you endless roses and whisking you away in helicopters. It’s much harder to find a person who can make you as happy just by sharing a takeaway with you. Every sofa has a history, and if yours can tell your love story, I think it might be the most romantic place possible to ask your partner to marry you.

(h/t: Paul Tosto)

  • Rob

    IMHO, turning what should be a private and tender moment into a spectacle is a sad blend of voyeurism and over-sharing.

    • It was a lot easier for me b/c my wife proposed to me in a restaurant in Harvard Square.

      She dispute this account but I distinctly remember it as:

      “Are we getting married or what?”

      • Rob

        Your wife sounds like a cool person.

      • rallysocks

        Mr. Sox asked in a way that I took to be an actual proposal, but found out about a year or so after the wedding day that he meant ‘if he was going to ask, would I say yes.’ We have been cross-communicating for 32 lovely years now…

        • tboom

          Now there’s spousal communication to which Mrs. tboom and I can relate. Making assumptions and jumping to conclusions are our specialty.

    • Mike

      Exhibitionism and oversharing are the social currency of our age, I’m afraid.

  • jon

    My sister had the cops called on her proposal…
    Her now husband took her to the place of their first date and wrote something that she said was really sweet and touching, while he was reading it to her she was sobbing, and some one called the cops saying there was a man in a car with a woman who was crying.
    Their engagement started with him trying to explain to the cops that it wasn’t domestic abuse (insert pun about marriage here)

    I took my wife camping and planned to propose the first morning of our trip… .but there was snow storm, the campsite was closed, and I ended up proposing that night before driving back through the snow storm.
    She commented that it would have been super awkward to drive her home if she had said no… I laughed, and asked where she got the idea that she’d get a ride home if she said no. (she would have…. and it would have been awkward, but I had a pretty good feeling she was going to say yes….)

    • Whenever I see a proposal on the Jumbotron, I always think it would be cool to have instant polling in which people speculate on how long it will last.

  • Leann Olsen

    My husband proposed to me after rehearsal on our first anniversary of dating which was sweet, but I think it was a Thursday so when we got done with the kneeling and putting on the ring and the laughing and hugging and kissing it was too late to go to the restaurant we had planned for. They wouldn’t seat us even though we stood there spluttering ” but, but, but…we just got ENGAGED.”
    So. Baked potato soup at Bennigan’s on 394.

    • What was the restaurant that stiffed a happy couple?

      • Leann Olsen

        Remember Shelley’s Woodroast (also right there on 394 and Louisiana)? It was two other restaurants in the last 20 years before it closed.

        • No wonder it’s closed.

        • John

          I was gong to mention that the Bennigan’s is gone from there (though the shell remains).

          I live relatively close to that area. I wish some places would open up along that strip. It’s really weird to me how empty that stretch is, considering how accessible and high traffic the area is in general.

          Congratulations on (over?) 20 years.

          • jon

            I used to live in the apartments right behind Shelly’s…
            My recollection fo the one or two times I ate there was that the food was good, the service was par at best, and the prices were outrageous…

            Shelly’s shut down before that new development on Xenia went in… and everything else on that strip went out after that new development went in.

          • John

            It was open as something else until a couple years ago. .. don’t recall the name. My wife went there once for drinks with friends – said it was decent. We’ve only lived there for about 4 years, and it was definitely open as something the first couple years.

          • jon

            I think it was something like “Baked Alaska” when I left some 8 years ago now…

          • John

            It was (Somebody’s name) Woodfired grill or something like that (not the big chain that is around the metro) when it was last open. Sorry for the giant thread-jack. I’ll be quiet now.

          • Leann Olsen

            Thanks, 4 days late. Yes 20 years in August!

  • Veronica

    Here’s my fancy story:

    Now husband and I were driving down 52 ,just after Christmas and 6 weeks after we started dating, having a spirited discussion about joint checking accounts. One of us said something like, “well, when WE get married,” and the other said, “we’re getting married? Yay!” Or something like that and it was settled. We went ring shopping in Portsmouth over Easter. It’ll be 15 years next June.

    When you know, you know.

  • bjnord

    I’ve always felt proposing in front of a crowd is a bad idea. If the recipient of the proposal receives it eagerly, then great, you’ve got a romantic story. But if they weren’t sure or just weren’t ready to say yes right now? Then either they are honest and say “no” and now they’re the villain… or you’ve essentially pressured them into doing something they wouldn’t have so they don’t ruin your moment. Why would you do this to someone you love?

    • jon

      Because thinking things through is for people who aren’t in love?

  • Ben Chorn

    I just wish people would start understanding that a lot of the jumbo-tron antics are staged by the team (ones of fans freaking out at mascots, etc.)

    • Those one’s that “go viral”, particularly with a rejection almost always are.

      We saw one like this at the Timberwolves game last Valentine’s Day next to us. Crunch delivered flowers to a woman sitting alone and she refused his advances because of her boyfriend. He keeps bringing out bigger and bigger teddy bears. She still refuses. He shows up and comforts her etc.

      My son went to them after and said “are you part of a bit? Are you with the marketing department?” They insisted no they weren’t. They were gone in the early third quarter of a 1-point game against a first-place team (Toronto).

      • Rob

        Sounds like a stalking spoof. Hugely creepy.

  • Jeff C.

    Woo hoo! Free tickets! (Pay for the package, tell the other person ahead of time, tell them to say “no”, get a refund!)

  • Al

    Husband proposed we each get a proposal, so I could be in on the fun. Our single caveat: NO JUMBOTRON.

    I picked Shovel Point on the North Shore. He chose WA Frost. We both won.

    • Kassie

      I was out on Shovel Point a couple weeks ago. No proposal, but a lovely spot. Though I was pretty sweaty and gross, so he probably was like “no way would I marry that stinky lady.” (Or more likely it had something to do with our joint decision that marriage isn’t for us and we will happily cohabitate.)

  • The most tolerant people can be the least tolerant. Who cares how people propose? “Trapped” in their moment? What a load of crap. Lighten up, Francis. Go take a walk and get a kale salad if the proposal on a jumbotron is so offensive to you.

    • Rob

      Who’s Francis? And are you touchy about this because you proposed to your wife on the Jumbotron?