Marriage proposals and my not-so-secret love for them

I have a confession.

Despite being nowhere near accepting a marriage proposal, I’m a sucker for unusual marriage proposals. For me it’s an insight into the human psyche: how exactly does one ask to stay together (in theory) forever? Throwing a website online and letting the proposed one find it? That’s been done. Proposal via Twitter? That has been done–several times, in fact. Proposal via LiveJournal? Done. Facebook? Unfortunately, that has been done, even through the ever-growing Mafia Wars.

But there’s something new out, something that won’t become popular until smartphones are the norm: Foursquare. It’s still new, and thanks to my lack of web data plan on my phone I haven’t had a chance to explore it yet. The gist of the site sounds silly to me: claiming places and checking in to places you’ve been. Today someone used it for a marriage proposal. Not kidding.

So what’s next? Going back to basic principles?


Where do the perks end?

I was away from home all afternoon and for the better part of the evening today, from 3pm to 10:30pm. Besides bemoaning my local public transit system for turning what was a twenty-minute trip by car into an hourlong trip, I then calculated how long I would be traveling on my evening outing and wondered if more time would be spent on the bus or train than actually out and about.

While approaching my front step, I concluded that the answer was no. However, this brings up an interesting question: at what point does the travel make the outing not worth the effort? If you’re driving, certainly you can’t get too many other things done while driving. Yes, there is a laptop desk for a steering wheel, but for humanity’s sake, please don’t use it. However, on a bus or train I can actually do many things: read, write, edit, knit (this assumes I have something to knit), the list goes on. That’s certainly a perk, but where do those perks end? Variables include desire to go to event, ability to do other things while traveling, length of travel time, and length of event.


Is life really that complicated, or did I just notice?

Is this decade really the decade from hell? This Time writer thinks so. I remember thinking that life was so worry-free when I was a kid, and the only thing I had to worry about was which crayon to color my drawing with. Then things got more interesting, and let’s face it, more worrisome. Then I got to hear about everything going on in my family, and I started paying more attention than a cursory glance at the news, and suddenly things just seem so complicated. Is life always this complicated and I grew to realize this, or did life actually grow more complicated as I grew up? No conclusions have been reached yet, especially when you consider the fact that somewhere out there, someone else is wondering the exact same thing. This is not an easy problem.


A makeshift bed

I returned to my parents’ house on a Thanksgiving visit today. My bed is gone, of course, as it’s in my current place of residence. My makeshift bed for the weekend is a folding bed that my grandfather gave me as a kid.

Sometimes you really do go back to your roots.

(Come on, after interning, traveling, and writing, I’m exhausted. You get a short observation today.)


What do I need to survive? From 10 to 1

When we left off last time, I had narrowed my list of twenty items for survival down to ten. The ten items are:

writing, math, friends, community, love, happiness, humor, books, peace of mind, growth

Now let’s cut this list again, this time to five.

Growth goes first. Yes, I will go stagnant, but change and intellectual challenge are already gone, so I probably won’t miss growth all that much after those two.

Community goes next, not because I don’t value it any less, but because in the right situation, community and familiy can be viewed as friends. This is the ideal situation. This is a pretty brutal cut. For those who don’t know, community is part of what keeps me coming back to NaNoWriMo every year and what keeps me so involved there.

Math is the next to leave. No departure is easy, especially now, but this one is the newest item to make a stronghold on the list. After all, math became cool to me just a few years ago, and now I can’t imagine life without it in some form.

Next goes humor. I have to be able to laugh at things, but what would I rather have, laughter or friends? or love? or peace of mind? or writing? or anything else that’s left? I think I’ll take everything else.

Next comes the big one: books. Ouch. Now I’ve lost most of my escape methods, and now I’m cutting off the last one? That’s harsh. Still, I’d rather write than read, and (believe it or not), I’ll usually go out with a friend over staying in to read a book, but I’ll still take a book or a notebook with me on the way to meeting them.

Now we’re down to five: writing, friends, happiness, love, and peace of mind. Love and friends go. This might be surprising. At the performance that inspired this series of entries, one dancer had love as an essential item, while another had friends. I’ve lived without friends, and I’ve simply existed before without feeling love for anything–people, writing, math, anything else.

Writing. Happiness. Peace of mind. And the winner is…


If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I thrive most when I’m happy, when I’m in an environment that allows me to thrive. And what makes me happy? The other nineteen items on this list and then some.