No joke. Throwing netiquette to the wind, my "friend" decided he'd take the plunge on a reply to a casual catch up email I had sent him, having not seen or heard from him in two years (I've always wanted to be swept off my feet through a computer screen with the compelling opener of, RE: Hey!). Perusing through his lengthy message, "I miss you's" suddenly morphed into love song lyrics ("You're so beautiful...") and then into a confession that he wanted to spend the rest of my life with me.
I once got proposed to in an email.
WTF???? An email...really? While meeting potentials online is no longer taboo, I hope to never live in a world where electronic proposals are considered commonplace. Upon realization that the email I just received was, in fact, popping the question, I started freaking out. I mean, this guy and I were just friends. We lived on different continents, had completely different lives and were not, by any means, close.
All the same, I figured this type of query had to have come from somewhere, so I frantically attempted to recall all of the encounters and conversations we had ever shared. While I don't think I appeared to express interest during the six months I knew him, I am all too aware that when one is completely smitten, every little action from a crush can be misconstrued as "confirmation" that said crush shares your feelings. You know what I mean: Grabbing a bite to eat at McDonalds suddenly becomes a "date." Wearing a dress the day you happened to run into him at the mall signals you were "trying to impress him." Oh yes...clearly.
In his defense, which of us hasn't read too much into a crush's actions? I'm certainly guilty. Over the years, I've come to terms with the (many) occasions I assumed intention where there was only platonic relationship. With a clear head, I can now see my friendships with these guys as they did. This whole crush thing, though, is quite the perception-twister. When I start practicing my new signature using his last name, or humming Natasha Beddingfield's I Wanna Have Your Babies as I'm scanning through his Facebook profile, I know all I need is a good friend to come and slap me in the face. Or at least put He's Just Not That Into You into the DVD player and make me some popcorn. (Reality check...)
Friends, the moral of the story is this: You know what happens when you assume. That's right. Not only did this circumstance serve to paint email man in a bad light, but it made me feel pretty cheap as well. What kind of a girl actually says Yes to a no-prior-relationship-electronic-proposal? Definitely not this girl. As a society, I hope that we have progressed past the Jane Austen-era, where women (like Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice) are forced to accept whatever offer comes their way just because they are already (gasp!) 27.
Speaking of progression, allow me to offer some advice to any men who might stumble upon this blog: Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Even computer nerds need to know that the traditional always trumps the technological. So, do the right thing: Get in a relationship, get serious enough to already know the answer, and then, get down on one knee. And please, please...don't do it through Skype.
(Progression = plane tickets).