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Watercolor illustration of a man about to propose marriage to his girlfriend in a restaurant.
**click illustration to enlarge**
(watercolor on paper, 9X9, 2003)

"Proposal"

I had no idea as a child that a marriage proposal could be such an affair. In the Soviet Union a marriage proposal amounted to two Soviet citizens deciding to create a common family unit… Soviet men were not required to get on their knees or get engagement rings for their beloved and Soviet women were oftentimes the ones proposing to make relationship official. Not very romantic, right?

If it weren't for American movies and the access I had to the Western literature I probably wouldn't have known that romantic proposals even existed. I pictured them as something very natural, and almost spontaneous. I had no clue how far I was from the actual truth. It was only after I came to the United States that I found out that Romance is an industry. Granted it caters to the needs of true romantics and allows them to go all out for their beloved, but it also creates dissatisfaction among women who feel that their men could've done a better job at proposing... I can only hope that the young lady in the 'Proposal' illustration will be completely satisfied when her boyfriend asks for her hand in marriage.

"I'm afraid I was very much the traditionalist. I went down on one knee and dictated a proposal which my secretary faxed over straight away."
Stephen Fry

"I am about to be married, and am of course in all the misery of a man in pursuit of happiness."
Lord Byron

"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
When Harry Met Sally