Day 1: The Proposal
Updated: Sep 12, 2019
June 13, 2019 | Hayley Ablott
Picture this. It's lunch time in the CBD of Sydney, Australia. Everyone is out and about, wandering the busy Sydney streets. The perfect opportunity for attack on not one but two unsuspecting 'victims' (but who is the real victim here? I mean, who can say no to THIS)? Apparently women can, and quite quickly in fact. I mean, at a rapid pace. I was terrified. It took me a good 10 minutes just to talk myself into this one. I am about to walk up to a complete stranger and ask her to marry me.
Hayley selects the first one. I swallow my pride and approach her. Before I even have a chance, she is already saying no. She doesn't even know what I want yet! But down I go, on one knee. I didn't know women could move that fast. It was a failed first rejection, if there even is such a thing.
This just isn't good enough so I try again. I spend another few minutes gathering my pride, ego and let's not forget my dignity, and off I go. Attempt number 2. She is sitting down taking selfies as I approach her and tell her how beautiful she is. I tell her I want to spend the rest of my life with her as I get down on one knee. She doesn't feel the same. She says she doesn't want to spend the rest of her life with me, but thank you.
What did I learn?
Proposing to strangers is REALLY REALLY HARD. But not as hard as being so stuck in your head that it takes you 40 minutes to get it done. The longer I put it off, the harder it was. I'll take this as a lesson in preparing less and taking action faster.
Now, it's Hayley's turn.
With absolutely zero time to prepare, Ed points his finger at a man across the street and simply but firmly says 'Him. Go' without a moment to think, I find myself crossing the road wondering what the hell is about to come out of my mouth. His name is Andrew. He is from Melbourne, visiting Sydney just for the day. What says "welcome to Sydney!" more warmly than a woman, a complete stranger, down on one knee, asking him for his hand in marriage?
Although Andrew didn't directly say 'no', he did laugh in my face. But it was out of sincere flattery. No one had ever done anything like this to him before, but let's face it, who in their right mind WOULD? Yes, that's right. Me. Hayley.
This challenge made me really nervous, but the warm response and pleasantries made it feel quite good in the end. Although I did ask why he said no (besides the fact who would actually say yes to a random asking for your hand in marriage). Andrew's reason was 'I have a girlfriend'. You win this round, Andrew.
What did I learn?
I learned that men have a sense of humour and will still introduce themselves even after you've made a fool of yourself. Don't be afraid to do something embarrassing. You may come across a little weird, unstable or even crazy. You will most definitely be judged. But this is exactly the point. Do it anyway, knowing you're not invincible to the fear of rejection and judgment. Because whilst it may be scary, you may just make someone's day.