The best reminder that I’m single.

My last two posts have been rants more or less. I’m sure anyone who has read them has thought, “Gee, this Beth chick sure does have a lot to complain about.” Well, contrary to what my posts may lead you to believe, I’m actually quite the sucker for anything sweet, cute, romantic, or heartfelt; I am a woman, after all.

Today, when I was alone, using Mashable to distract me from the fact that I’m single on Valentine’s Day, I found a story about a man who proposed to his sweetheart with the help of strangers he met on Instagram. Not only did the story prompt me to pour myself a glass of wine and chug, it restored a little bit of my faith in humanity.

Carter Moore, a freelance photographer, decided to propose to his girlfriend, Brookelynn Howe in December of last year. The two had always loved the idea of visiting the Pacific Northwest, right outside of Portland, Ore. Moore knew he wanted to propose along the Northwest coast, but he knew nothing about the area. Instead of asking a travel agent or googling popular tourist sites, he decided to reach out to Branden Harvey, a fellow photographer he actively followed on Instagram–a complete stranger.

Moore just called him up.

Harvey had his number posted on his Instagram profile, so Moore contacted him right away and asked for his help planning the perfect proposal. Harvey, touched by Moore’s story, gave him as much advice as he could as far as where to pop the question and what restaurants to hit in Portland.

“I got to hear his story of how he met Brooke and why he wanted to marry her. It was beautiful.”

Harvey was so moved and inspired by Moore’s love for his wife that, unbeknownst to Moore, he planned a surprise engagement party for the two. After their romantic day on the coast, Moore and Howe arrived at Harvey’s to a room full of champagne and strangers shouting, “Congratulations!”

My God. How beautiful.

As much as I like to remain a brick wall of emotion, I’m a sucker for romance. I can’t think of anything more romantic than Moore’s proposal. He did it perfectly. It was personal, it was private, and it was all done with the help of strangers who supported him blindly. I’ve done some pretty romantic things in my day, but god-damn it…I can’t top that.

I’ve seen so many articles about how to make your YouTube proposal go viral, or how to use social media to make the perfect valentine gift. For some reason, we’ve decided that something so intimate and personal should be displayed for the whole world to see. I struggle to find the romance in that. We’re talking about a life-long commitment you’re preparing to make to one person–why should the whole world be privy to that scene? Given, there are some pretty epic proposal videos. For example, that live-dub proposal? Epic. I might have cried when I watched it…

But what’s more romantic, to me, is being alone with someone, totally vulnerable, without the pressure of cameras around, and asking very sincerely, “Wanna get married?” Moore may have used social networking to make his proposal perfect, but he shared that moment with his wife, and his wife alone. A proposal is probably one of the most significant moments in a couple’s relationship. I don’t see America’s fascination with letting everyone in on such an intimate question.

I’ve never liked social media very much…

…but now I see how fantastic it can be to connect with people around the world. I think I’ve looked at so many mean comments and stupidity online that I forgot the whole point of social media: human connection. We usually use social media to be heard or to make a point; like this post, for instance. Why am I typing this? Because I have a point, an idea, or a voice that I want to be heard. We focus so much on our own intent of a message that we forget what else we could use this amazing outlet for–connecting with people around the world. Moore used social networking to plan an absolutely perfect proposal for the love of his life, and complete strangers thought enough of his story to support him entirely. Not only did Moore’s proposal warm my heart, but the people that made it happen did as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day, world.

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