Another day, another public proposal. This particular engagement, however, exposed the dark underbelly of the phenomenon: When the Turkish man's wedding proposal caused a massive traffic jam in Istanbul, it highlighted exactly how much of a nuisance these things are for anyone who's not either popping the question or giving their answer. Did I mention that everyone involved in this particular one subsequently got arrested? Because that happened, too. Congratulations to the happy couple? Or... something?According to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, the man and six of his least forward-thinking friends formed a seven-car convoy in the middle of the D-100 highway in Istanbul’s Bahçelievler district earlier this month, creating the most romantic of environments: A traffic jam filled with pissed-off drivers and a chorus of honks. Once all the surrounding cars were brought to a complete standstill, the man jumped out of his car and ran over to his unsuspecting girlfriend's car, where he proposed against a backdrop of ever-so-picturesque flares, presumably because he was already on a roll with terrible decision-making. Why not, right? With nothing else to do but watch this trainwreck of a proposal, bystanders filmed everything on their phones and posted it on social media. This footage was then used by authorities to track down everyone involved in the blockade, who were promptly arrested and had their licenses suspended until deemed "mentally healthy," because what sane person would think this was a good idea?
The incident, of course, brings to mind two questions: One, what were they thinking? And two, is Turkish Man the new Florida Man?
Only time will tell the answer to the latter. As for the former... well, I'm not quite sure of the answer to that one either. What I do know, however, is that the entire sequence of events is merely one of many, many (seriously, so many) public proposals gone wrong. Clearly someone needs to create a do's and don'ts of proposals illustrated by the variety of disasters available on YouTube, and I know just the cynic for the job: yours truly!
1. Don't: Cause a miles-long traffic jam on a busy highway.
For the various and sundry reasons why that's a terrible idea, see above.
2. Do: Propose somewhere that won't inconvenience hundreds of people.
Come on. Your relationship is cute, but it's not worth missing the first half of Pretty Little Liars .
3. Don't: Propose without being at least 85 percent sure of the answer.
We've all heard stories where people got married right after they started dating. They might sound super romantic at your grandparents' 50th anniversary, but in reality, it's super awkward for everyone involved if you publicly propose and get turned down.
4. Do: Talk about marriage first.
Which is more awkward: having an honest discussion about what you want in a relationship, or getting shot down in public?
5. Don't: Choose to demonstrate your pranking skills during the proposal.
This man dropped the "engagement ring" into the lake as he proposed to his girlfriend on a boat. After the ensuing freakout, he produced the real ring and popped the question again. Miraculously, she said yes, but she would have been equally within her rights to push him off the boat and drive away.
6. Do: Go for the old-fashioned route.
There's a reason the "down on bended knee" plan is a classic: it's simple, romantic, and won't leave you stranded in a lake as your would-be fiancee speeds off into the sunset.
7. Don't: Propose at a food court.
Seriously? No wonder she said no.
8. Do: Propose anywhere but a food court.
Literally anywhere. A graveyard. A Dave and Buster's. A laundromat, for heaven's sake.
9. Don't: Propose at work.
Even if you're a stand-up comedian. No — especially if you're a stand-up comedian with a live audience.
10. Do: Propose when you're off the clock.
If you can't find a time when neither of you are working, how are you dating in the first place?
11. Don't: Propose during a death-defying stunt.
You might survive, but you might give your significant other a heart attack in the process, rending your proposal moot.
12. Do: Stick to ground level.
Unless you're using skywriting, both feet should stay firmly on the ground.
13. Don't: Propose publicly for the Internet fame.
If you're not over public proposals by now, you're much more of a romantic than I could ever be. Is the risk of rejection and subsequent public humiliation really worth it? Besides, public proposals are so common now that you'll stand out more if you propose in private.
14. Do: Propose how and when you think it's right.
All jokes aside, propose in whatever manner you feel is necessary. For some relationships, that means flash mobs; for others, proposing in solitude is the way to go. That being said, no relationship justifies creating a miles-long traffic jam. Yes, I'm including Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, so don't ask.