Chapter 1 - The First Proposal

They say the first time is always the most difficult one. Making the first step, taking the plunge into the unknown, but is it so? Do we all have the luxury of making a decision the way this digital age works? Where everything is driven by algorithms, one leads to the other as programmed, and the other to the next. I was once told the future will be all about algorithms, with the best writers dominating the new age, and in my mind I thought, no one will be as good as God. The way the world was “written” can never be duplicated, not even near. Life doesn’t really work like computers and digital chips and processors isn’t it? Especially with us, homo sapiens. It may be difficult to make the first move, but it also doesn’t guarantee what will happen next. We may decide to start something for the fun of it, or pure interest, or just on trial, but to continuously stay interested and committed, that will be the determining factor. No program or algorithms will be able to assist us to maintain our consistency and persistence.

A hundred proposals. A challenge that if a man would propose a hundred times to the woman he loves, that, would be true love. It didn’t come natural to us, it wasn’t anything we ever thought of, but it came as a test of us, if we were even meant to be in the first place. And that is just the beginning of our journey. It may seem as a trick or even just a game for two persons whom had just known each other couple of months, but what is there to lose? How many actually knows if they want to be together if not for one decision made, one choice? We were about to find out.

Valentine’s Day 2015

14 February 2015. Celebrated our first Valentine’s Day in Langkawi, and perhaps being together is all about making the effort to spend time with each other. As said, time is the currency of love. As a matter of fact, time is the variable that determines existence of everything. I recall this in the movie “Lucy” and it does make sense. What is everything without time? Nothing exists without time. This wasn’t the first movie that hinted theories, prophecies, discoveries and techological breakthroughs. Many came as norm these days, and some still down on wish lists.

Valentine’s Day in real life is nothing like in the movies. Never was. And for all logic, it shouldn’t be. I asked her to join me in Langkawi, as I was working. And we could have a romantic candlelight dinner in a nice restaurant here, and it would be sweet. She agreed and she came. I made arrangements for some surprises anticipating her arrival. Don’t we all want like surprises. Good ones that is. With five Starbucks Limited Edition Cards, I set five difference messages and hid them all in different locations in the room. She had a good time looking for them, and even better one putting them together.

On our flight back from Langkawi, we talked about getting married, and it occured to me this is something perhaps everyone should think about. Have you ever wondered how did your friends who got married proposed? This is not about the fancy choreographed proposals with memes and flash mobs and a bunch of friends (and strangers), is there any room to even think of a “no” as answer marriage decision, but the prelude that leads to the 110% confidence to pop the question in public. It could have been a special case for us, that at this day, we were only two months together, it was perhaps extraodinary for us to consider marriage.

But why not? I have been through many relationships, it wasn’t that I do not know what am I looking for, it wasn’t that I am not ready. It was just lacking of a single decision, a choice to be made. And I did.

Will You Marry Me No. 1

I asked that during our chat about marriage. At that moment it was, of course just brushed off, not that it should mean much at that time. But more was going through my mind. Am I sure what am I getting into, is this the way to do it, do I even know enough about her, and so on. And yet again, it was one single decision to be made. And we did, that’s when along the way the challenge was set, for her to believe I do want to marry her, to be with her, I will have to propose a hundred times. I agreed. And the condition is that these will not be a “will you marry me X 100” type of proposal, there had to be meaning to each of it, there had to be sense in it, there had to be love.

The condition was of no concern, it was also a check and balance for myself, to be sure of what I want. I trust the same was going in her mind, she wasn’t sure of me, as much as I was sure of us. Our journey to a hundred proposals will determine our fate. And so we started our journey. I will not deny it, that till that day, there were many things that I couldn’t figure out about her. Perhaps it was the mystery surrounding her that intrigued me.

Will you marry me? Because you gave me purpose in life. Daily routines seems lively now that you’ve become part of it.

Will you marry me? Because you gave me love, something that had been missing in my life, not that I do not have options, but it never gave me the same feelings.

Will you marry me? Because you are the complete person I want to be with. A perfect one doesn’t exist, but a complete one is here.

Four down, ninety six to go.

You & Me

Think again. Marriage is never about two person and only two persons. 99% of us had been asked “When are you getting married?”, “When is your turn?”, and you’ll be tempted to ask the same at the next funeral you’re attending. By the time anyone realizes that marriage is not just about two person, that’s just the beginning. Trust me, the list will only grow, to a certain point where you will need to trim it down back a little.

There’s no guideline who or how, but it’s more of a question of how many is there in the family, both sides. It is however, very important that the couple makes a firm stand, and decide where a decision is much needed. More of that later. So, parents. It’s no secret that one needs to ask for permission to marry one’s daughter, from the parent, and so did I. Only after two months.

16 Feb 2015. I was challenged to ask her mom. This is something that I never thought of, but I wasn’t going to back down either. So what is this all about? A long forgotten tradition and culture to actually ask the girl’s parents for her hand in marriage in full respect instead of a lavish display of pride & ego in front of hundreds of strangers, of which eventually gets posted on YouTube and Facebook in the race of likes and praises? The next person reading this thinking of impressing the world, do it to the girl’s parents instead of the girl. Seriously.

And so I was told, I need to ask her mother. First thought that came to my mind, I am not marrying her mother. Ok so I had a second or so to think, if I don’t, she’s probably thinking I am not serious about it, should I even ask myself if I am serious? If I do, there’s no way out of it. Ever. The clock was ticking. I should have known, the day I proposed to her, I will propose to anyone and everyone I need to. And I did.

“Aunty, I want to marry your daughter.” It wasn’t even a question. I said it. She was shocked, of course. To my surprise, she wasn’t surprised. Instead she asked me, am I sure, are you both sure what you want. 

To be continued..

The Author - Lip Seng Yap

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