In the past, a wedding proposal was a relatively low key event. The man approached the woman on a romantic evening, got down on one knee, and popped the question.
But in today’s ultra-stimulated world, something as simple and as pure as a traditional wedding proposal isn't enough. It’s been superseded by hotel rooms filled with rose petals, helicopter rides over Chicago and proposals backed by KM after KM of illuminated Christmas trees.
It’s no wonder then that expectations have been elevated. With such extravagance portrayed in the media, standards are rising.
But this seemingly innocent change in the nature of proposals apparently has a dark side. Sometimes expectations run so high that even a perfectly respectable wedding proposal can result in a flurry of complaints by the bride-to-be. This is exactly what happened recently on Mumsnet on a now-deleted thread where one of the users complained about the small size of the engagement ring she received from her fiance, leaving some people outraged.
The woman said that she was initially excited when her fiance knelt down one knee and presented her with the ring, a diamond solitaire encased in white gold. But when she took a closer look at it, she couldn’t help but feel a twinge of disappointment: it just seemed so small. There was nothing else she found offensive about the ring: not its shape, design or the relatively chunky shoulders around the diamond - just the rather unimpressive rock sitting in the middle.
To make matters worse according to the woman in question, her fiance’s salary was more than six-figures, and he was usually so generous. She wondered why he had chosen to be stingy on this occasion, spending just £1,300 (AUD$2,100) for the ring, when he could have spent significantly more.
The Mumsnet user then went on to state that her husband-to-be would be disappointed if he found out about her misgivings about the ring since it fits perfectly. She also noted that her partner had been told by somebody at work that if she made the engagement all about the ring, then she probably wasn’t the woman for him.
The woman was clearly disappointed. Given that engagement rings are such special pieces of jewellery, she would have preferred it if they could have both chosen the ring together. That would have guaranteed that she would have loved it.
The reaction on Mumsnet was predictable: people were outraged that she had been so ungrateful. Though the cost of the ring was small relative to her husband-to-be’s income, users reminded her that a £1,300 (AUD$2,100) engagement ring was out of most people’s price range and that she was lucky to get what she did.
For other users, the actual cost of the ring itself was irrelevant. One user wondered whether the reason she was so disappointed was that she was more interested in showing off her engagement ring than the man she was marrying. Another agreed that the person at her husband's work was right and that he shouldn't marry her.
Some users, however, were more sympathetic. They said that the woman did have a point about the ring and that if she didn’t like the size of the rock, then that would reduce her enjoyment of her wedding.