A good friend called as I was driving back from the airport with the exciting news that she’s engaged. Her boyfriend had proposed in the most romantic way while they were on a skiing holiday by writing “Will You Marry Me” in the ice on a lake. That’s some precedent for him to live up to.
The prize for the least romantic proposal goes to the Scot who took his girl to the family tomb and asked her whether she would like to have her named engraved on it. I thought this a good joke at the expense of the Scots until I leant that in Japan a traditional way of proposing marriage is to ask “Will you share my grave?” A variation on the theme is to say “Let’s grow old together”, although the most common way of proposing marriage in Japan is to ask “Will you make my miso soup?”. Japanese girls despair of finding a romantic streak in their men. Valentine’s Day is big in Japan, but the presents (which are usually chocolates) all come from the women. Once married, however, the women will invariably insist on separate beds. It seems that its all right to share the same grave, but never the same bed.