A marriage proposal doesn’t have to be a fairy-tale moment, argues Amy Schumer.
Thanks to impossible societal standards, pretty much every woman in the world knows what her life is supposed to look like. To quote the infamous rhyme: “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes mummy with a baby carriage.”
With so many movies and television shows cashing in on this narrative, though, we don’t just know that we should have tied the knot before we’re… ooh, let’s say, 30 years old? No, we also know exactly what the proposal should look like – right down to the very last detail. Someone should get down on one knee, obviously, and make a bold declaration of love. The other person should be surprised to tears, before graciously accepting a diamond ring. And everyone gathered in the vicinity (because, as we’ve learned from the likes of Love Actually, the question should be popped in front of as many people as possible) should offer up a smattering of applause.
But what if your proposal isn’t a bit like that – or, god forbid, you don’t get engaged at all? Well, then you’re wrong, apparently. Sorry.
That’s why it is so refreshing Amy Schumer has used her own “worthless” proposal story to underline the fact that reality is very, very different from the stories we’ve been force-fed by the media.
Taking to the stage for her opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, the comedian began by detailing her and Chris Fischer’s surprise wedding, which took place earlier this year.
And, more importantly, how her life is different now that she can no longer draw on her dating experiences for comedy.
“Some of you may have heard I got married this year,” she said.
“Some people are like, ‘What are you going to talk about now in your stand-up? All you talked about was getting railed’”.
Schumer continued: “I’m a little sad. I’m never going to get a ‘u up?’ text again. Not like they were rolling in, but it was nice to know someone was thinking about me.
“I once got a ‘u up?’ text and I wrote the guy back, and he texted me, ‘Sorry, wrong text.’ I was like, ‘Me too, I’ll just cancel my Uber, who cares?’”
Proving that she isn’t out of material just yet, Schumer continued to reveal that she was in bed sleeping, wearing ear plugs and a night mask when the chef woke her up to pop the question.
“The way that my now-husband proposed was so worthless. It was such a dumb proposal. It was morning, I was still asleep, he threw the box at me and said, ‘I got you this.’
“But that’s a realistic proposal,” she said, comparing it to movie and TV proposals when women are “shocked” to find out their partner liked them.
“I feel like in all the movies and TV shows, it’s always a guy getting down on one knee and the girl’s always shocked. She’s like, ‘I didn’t even know you liked me!’ You’re going to spend your life with this dude, and you didn’t even know if he liked you?”
Schumer went on to throw some subtle shade at the media’s obsession with women’s reproductive choices, joking that she and her friends are all getting married in their mid-to-late 30s despite the fact they “probably can’t have kids” anymore.
“The girls I know, I’m from New York – we all got married in our mid, late 30s. So the guy would propose and all my friends are like, ‘Oh now? Now you’re ready? That I probably can’t have kids? Great. Cool.’”
Feigning displeasure at her partner, Schumer added: “You’re not in love, you’re tired. And I know all your passwords, that’s what’s happening.”
The comedian’s comments have since sparked something of a debate, with many butting heads on social media.
“You can base a whole marriage on the engagement proposal,” wrote one incensed viewer. “If it had no effort or no romance, then your marriage will have no romance and no effort from your partner. Sorry Amy, good luck.”
Another added coolly: “The marriage won’t last.”
However, there were those who agreed with Schumer, and insisted that love was more than a perfectly-choreographed proposal scene.
“This is amazing,” tweeted one.
Another added: “Morning’s suck – bad breath, messy hair. That’s some strong love!”
And still one more said: “This is so true and relatable.”
Of course, Schumer is not the first woman in the public eye to rally against the idea that getting engaged is a huge life achievement.
Earlier this year, Sophie Turner – who plays Sansa Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones – pointed out that, while being engaged is “lovely”, it doesn’t equate to the thrill she gets when she reaches a major milestone in her career.
“I’m still like, ‘Holy s**t! I’m engaged,’” Turner explained.
“[But] there’s this weird misconception that being married is the greatest thing that’ll ever happen to you.
“I’ve always found that my career is something I work for, and when I achieve something, there’s a sense that this is the greatest thing I’ll do in my life.”
The actress added: “It’s lovely to be engaged. Not like I achieved anything, but I found my person, like I’d find a house that I love and want to stay in forever.
“There’s a sense of peace that comes with finding your person. But there’s a drive that comes with your career.”