I'm a feministy lady and I don't hanker after a big white wedding with all the trimmings, so why do I spend inordinate amounts of free time watching videos of flash mobs murder Bruno Mars hits?
Hey. Hi. Oh, this? No, I was just watching that dog on a Roomba. Again, yes, ha ha. What am I like? Yeah. No, you don't need to borrow my laptop. Well OK, but don't look at tha-. Oh.
My name is Emmeline and I'm a YouTube proposal addict. Thank you, thanks. This is a safe space, right? Good. So what the flip is wrong with me?
Whenever you hear about a new clip of a dude who's coerced all his mates into performing on the Tube to pop the question to his lady love, or some guy who's managed to get an entire skyscraper to spell out the four crucial words, you can bet I've already watched it three times on a loop. Even the really long ones.
Also - and I'm glad this is a safe space, because this is pretty embarrassing - I cry. I cry at YouTube proposals. I cry a lot. I do that wordless sobbing when you're just hooting air out of your mouth and you get all that stringy saliva between your lips. My nose runs. I go all snotty. It's not an attractive look. No-one wants to see that. And I start crying before anything actually happens.
But here's the really weird thing: I don't even want to be engaged. And the idea of being in a massive crowd of people who suddenly whip out their cameraphones to film one of the most intimate moments of your life makes me swoon - not in a nineteenth-century literary heroine sort of way. In more of a… nineteenth-century you've-got-the-Consumption-soz sort of way.
Is it that look in his eye? Or is it that dancing juice? Sorry, sorry. JEEZ. I've tried weaning myself off them - once I went cold turkey for ten days straight, got the splitting headaches and the shakes to match. Then a friend sent me that clip of the couple at the five-star hotel, where she has no idea what's about to happen and they end up getting married there and then, you know the one? And he has her parents flown in? And there's a dress and everything and she's just sobbing her face off and you sort of feel like, well, this is a bit patriarchal isn't it, but maybe they've discussed it before and that's the way she wanted to and HOLY FREAK LOOK AT ALL THE SINGERS AND HE'S APPEARED IN A TUX AND HE'S DOING A DANCE AT HER EVEN THOUGH HE CLEARLY HAS TWO LEFT FEET THIS IS THE GREATEST THING HUMANKIND HAS EVER CREATED.
I think it speaks to the one tiny part of my brain that hasn't submitted itself to total cynicism. It's all too easy to become jaded about love and life when you spend every day hearing about Dave Berry and vajazzling. But then a show like The Proposers comes along and it's like a beacon of optimism to all the naysayers. Because here are people who want only the best for their loved ones. Here are people who are prepared to pull out all the stops to put a smile on their other half's face. Here are people who don't usually have legitimate access to marching bands, to skyscrapers, to desert islands where the native crabs can be trained to spell out MARRY ME IT'LL BE A REET LAFF in the sand with their crispy red exoskeletons. Here are people who are putting themselves out there, on camera, for the pleasure of the viewing public, and saying, I don't care about looking like a massive dongus - I just want to make her happy.
A BRIEF HIATUS WHILE YOUR AUTHOR GRABS A TISSUE TO GET RID OF WHATEVER SONOVAGUN PIECE-A GRIT IS IN HER EYE
Maybe it's not so bad, being a YouTube proposal addict. Maybe I can turn it into my Mastermind subject? In 2054, when I'm in that sleek black chair, and a decrepit 109-year-old John Humphrys is being wheeled out to rasp questions at me about the defunct little website that used to host proposal videos before we got rid of the institution of marriage and turned to Brave New World-esque baby manufacturing, I can chirpily answer, Yes John. She found the ring in the shell he brought her! It was a 2-carat princess cut, if I recall. They'd been together three years and she was sort of expecting it but not like this, never like this. He cried. They called her mum straight afterwards. They served prawn cocktail with an ironic twist on their wedding day.
Anyway, until then there are more outlandish engagement stunts to be pulled. More skywritten messages of love to clog up the stratosphere. More pet dogs bewilderingly roped in to present little boxes to their owner. But we'll always have YouTube.