Amazing how much a sparkly rock changes things

Do you guys mind if I get a little self-indulgent for a few minutes? Wait, this is a blog, which is by definition self-indulgent. Never mind.

Last night I did something that made my girlfriend, SGL, scream and ensured that the next six months or so are going to be by far the busiest in both of our lives: I proposed. And at the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, I’m going to give the guys out there a list of dos and don’ts when it comes time to pop the question.

Do: a ton of research before you actually go anywhere where engagement rings are sold. Because let’s face it, we’re all dudes (unless we’re chicks, right bro?). The last thing we want to do is go to a ring store and walk away without buying something, prolonging the process. But you also don’t want to end up buying some ugly ring that a pushy salesperson thrusts upon you, a ring that after you get home you realize is actually a piece of aluminum with a half-eaten Jolly Rancher as the gemstone. Sure, that’s a tasty ring, but your girlfriend won’t be hungry. And my girlfriend doesn’t even like Jolly Ranchers (which is insane, I know).

Don’t: buy a ring in the middle of flu season. I purchased mine at a store in downtown SF (two blocks from where I work: score!), and planned to propose two or three days later. Then the girl’s stomach pains turned into a full blown virus, meaning I had to pretend I had come home from work early in the afternoon to make her vegetarian chicken noodle soup, when in fact I had planned to surprise her with a dinner of crab, sourdough and champagne, with a diamond ring for dessert. Tough to propose to someone who can’t hold down solid food.

Do: take Emergen-C, Airborne, Zicam and whatever else you can think of to prevent getting sick yourself. I had planned to wait out the lady’s flu bug, then as she started feeling a little better got slammed with a wicked cold and bronchitis that floored me for four days.

Don’t: wear a shirt you care about when proposing. After I got down on one knee, my girlfriend screamed, and either her body got flooded with more adrenaline than Patrick Swayze had going in Point Break, or I squeezed her too hard, because she got a bloody nose. And not just a minor one, either. SGL’s face looked like a vampire crying in True Blood. It was awesome. Talk about a blood diamond, you know what I’m saying?!?! Anyone? Hello?

Do: charge your phone. If you’re like me and you keep your phone conversations short and infrequent, the amount of time you’ll spend on the phone after getting engaged will boggle your mind.

Don’t: tell your girlfriend to show the ring to her friend who’s married but never got an engagement ring. Because the friend will say something like, “Oh, that’s a nice ring. But you should see Tina’s ring! IT’S THE HUGEST ROCK I’VE EVER SEEN! HER MOM’S A JEWELER! YOU SHOULD COME WITH ME TO LOOK AT IT!”

Do: remember to eat in between bouts of celebratory post-proposal drinking.

Don’t: end any night of drinking with champagne. Just don’t. Trust me.

Do: get your ring at a unique place in the city.

Don’t: buy the ring from a street vendor.

Do: buy a ring that has a band made of platinum or gold.

Don’t: buy a ring with a band made of hemp. Even if your soon-to-be fiance went to UC Santa Cruz or Humboldt St., she’s probably not going to be impressed.

Do: get down on one knee when you propose. Women like this. Even women who say it isn’t necessary. Can’t even count know how many times SGL or I have been asked if I got down on bended knee like Boyz II Men.

Don’t: write a self-indulgent post about proposing to your girlfriend on your sports blog. It’s unbecoming.

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