I still get this complaint every so often, as does pretty much everyone who works here, I imagine:
"You guys over at The Herald-Mail are just trying to sell newspapers."
I always tell them, "Oh no, no, no ... No. Selling newspapers is the furthest thing from our minds. Really. See, we in the newspaper industry are of the sincere opinion that the nation's landfills are in critical need of extra mass, so we are merely manufacturing the bulkiest product we can think of in order to address the shortage."
And so, I can really understand, for example, a diamond company is only "trying to sell diamonds" when it posts a fake news story on Digg.com's compilation of interesting quasi-news events.
The "story" was about marriage proposals and headlined: "Pop the question like a pro! 4 ideas that will have her head over heels."
Right off the bat you know that this ad copy was written by a dude.
Now, if you are a guy, you are thinking to yourself, "Wow, what mystical powers must Tim posses that would tell him that?"
If you are a woman, you are thinking, "Pop the question like a pro? Like a PRO!? How many woman has he married and then dumped? What am I, No. 56? Does he have a monogrammed leather-cased marriage proposal kit that he hauls out twice a year?"
No, I'm thinking when you propose there is a downside to being too slick. Don't ask her to marry you and then check your watch and say, "Can you make it snappy, 'Around the Horn' is on in three minutes."
But that's not what got me interested. What got me interested were the specifics of these four ideas that also had to be written by a guy, because they involve all the thought that is usually associated with shirt-buttoning.
One is to hang the ring on the Christmas tree, or hollow out the back cover of an album you have assembled featuring photos of your time together (and presumably not the one of you throwing up into the garbage can in the infield at the Preakness).
Fair enough. But a couple of the suggestions had me concerned, for example:
No. 2 — Ask a local bakery to make you a cake with your proposal piped in icing. Ask them to put the cake in the window, and then go on a romantic stroll and window shop. Stop in front of the bakery to let her see the cake.
Aside from the fact that this has broken tooth written all over it, I just don't like the combination of food and jewelry. Maybe women are different, but I don't want to wear anything that's been in icing. Jewelry shouldn't be sticky. Giving her a ring should be a sign of love, not a sign of Cracker Jack.
No. 3 — Have a destination proposal. Plan a trip to some place special and pop the question there or on the way. It does not have to be Paris (though Paris would be amazing) but even the nearest big city works. Book a room at a classy hotel and bring out the engagement ring on the ride over, after you check in, or attached with a ribbon to your wine glass."
Oh, right, like the state of Maryland is going to let us pop the question "on the way" to the nearest big city, by which I presume he means Frederick.
We have to wear our seatbelts, we can't be on our cell phones and pretty soon we won't be able to text. Just try getting down on one knee somewhere around the Myersville exit and letting rip with a half-carat rock and a bottle of Thunderbird.
Sadly, there are no instructions from the diamond importers as to how to propose like a pro from a jail cell.
Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video at herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.