It’s Not The Hangover: The Truth About Bachelor Parties

 

Women fantasize about their dream wedding; men dream about the Epic Bachelor Party. Columnist Paul Nakayama on what’s wrong with this age-old rite of passage, but also what’s right about it.


 

The bachelor party. A time-honored tradition of celebrating (and overloading) a groom with debauchery on his last night as a single man. You’re supposed to send the groom off with a bang (not literally, though there are those who believe a bachelor party isn’t a bachelor party until you test his commitment and fortitude to the lifelong promise of marriage). Speaking of “time-honored,” even the Spartans during the 5th century were doing it. But perhaps because partying was already too crazy in ancient Greece, the wild thing to do back then was to make the bachelor party a simple gathering for dinner and drinks. Though really, who can believe that? I bet the Spartans were the original inventors of the Bro Code and took the secrets of their actual ridiculous, orgy-like stag parties to their tombs. In present day, things aren’t so epic day-by-day for the average Joe, so the bachelor party is something of a male fantasy, seeded from their teenage years. We’ve all seen these wild fantasies come to life in movies like The Hangover, but most bachelor parties I’ve attended were nothing like these movies, and I’m here to point out why that’s unfortunate.

Before you think I’m advocating strippers and prostitutes, which I’m not, let me explain. I mentioned that the bachelor party is a man’s fantasy growing up, something like how some girls dream of a perfect wedding. But every man wants that EPIC party that he and his friends can reminisce about for years to come. With the acceptance that the groom is less likely to party after being married, the expectation to make the bachelor party grander than an average weekend bender is high, and therefore, the stakes are raised with as many trouble-causing elements as the groom finds comfortable. That said, most bachelor parties never go beyond drinking and strip clubs (notwithstanding the Mario Lopez scandal where he was accused of being unfaithful to Ali Landry at a beach party). I attended one where all we did was drink schnapps with old people on a cruise ship.

Now, what’s mainly wrong with bachelor parties these days is that many of the attendees have all but forgotten what the party is for — to honor their friend. Instead, it has become a convenient excuse for married men to crawl out of their sweatpants and party their brains out. Years of working, family time and raising babies must be a mental pressure cooker because you can feel their elation when an engagement is announced — not for the marriage necessarily but because they can smell the hall pass, like chickens being let out of the cages to become free-range birds if only for a few days. In my experience, it’s been the married guys who spur the party to darker and more perilous places, whether to live vicariously or, knowing what they know, to create a more memorable contrast to the world that the groom is headed for. When I see that gentle tear of escapist joy trickle down the cheek of a long-married man as he receives a lap dance from an exotic dancer lathered in coconut oil, and he’s downing his tequila shots like it’s his last night on Earth, I do remind myself that I haven’t yet walked in his shoes. I’m a newlywed myself and without kids, so who knows how I’ll be in a few years. I hope I can contain myself a little better.

Still, the bachelor party is for the groom and not the attendees, so I have to frown on the ones who choose to party selfishly. I was once at a bachelor party where 90 percent of the guys were in the strip club’s VIP section for hours, so it wasn’t so much a party as it was an alibi.

There’s also a second kind of bachelor party that I find distasteful, and that’s the sadistic send-off, where the main goal is to make the groom suffer for abandoning the herd. This might consist of binge drinking far beyond his capacity, placing him in embarrassing situations that require NDAs, and having strippers and random women beat the sh-t out of him. These are the parties I truly dread. I was once at a bachelor party where the groom sat on a chair placed on a stage, and the strippers (many of whom were more suited to construction work than dancing) would jump and land onto his body, like it was a Wrestlemania battle royale. Yeah, we were all crying with laughter, but I can’t imagine the groom had too much fun explaining why his body was massively riddled with pumpkin-shaped bruises. I know the point is to make his (single) life flash before his eyes, but I was sure that that flash was causing a booze-and pain-triggered seizure. If I could do it all again, I guess I would’ve jumped in there and guarded my friend from some of those body slams, but then again, no bachelor party is worth dying over.

But I don’t want the women out there to think that bachelor parties are evil and something to fear. Most are sensible and fun. Like my own. Now, I can hear all of you trying to call bullsh-t, but it’s true. A series of personal milestones (turning 40 and getting married) in the span of two months promised substantial damage to my internal organs from booze, so I dreaded my bachelor party. But I ended up celebrating my transition into being a married man very simply. My friends knew that I was beyond thankful to have found a woman to accept me and all of my bungling ways, and that I wasn’t going to risk any of it over whatever monsters lay in the dark. I had a fantastic time, at least from what my memory was able to retain: monk robes, an Oliver Stone cameo, Korean BBQ, obligatory karaoke and heartfelt toasts from some really good dudes. So maybe the Spartans weren’t lying, and they got it right after all. My bachelor party was everything I wanted it to be: an affirmation that nothing worthwhile was ending, but that some wonderful things were beginning.

 

This story was originally published in our Spring 2015 issue. Get your copy here.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Can Women Really Have It All? It Depends On Whom You Ask

 

It used to be that “having it all” meant you could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. And read to your kids. And engage with your partner. And get in an hour of yoga. But as more women are starting to realize, maybe the question isn’t “Do you have it all?” but rather “Do you love all that you have?”

 

 

Story by Teena Apeles

 

Last year at the Aspen Ideas Festival, when David Bradley, who owns The Atlantic, asked PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi if she thinks women can have it all, the married mother of two told the audience, “I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all.”

Her answer stirred a lot of dialogue around the subject, as recent generations have been saying that American women can indeed have it all. But when seemingly more liberal companies like Apple and Facebook are offering such benefits as elective egg freezing for female employees, these gestures seem to be signaling the same thing that Nooyi expressed: You can’t have it all. For one, you may have to wait to have a family in order to have a career, or at least that’s what many of the women in these organizations may be feeling.

It’s true, ladies, you have to make hard choices — choices that your male counterparts generally don’t have to make.

Even President Obama touched upon these points in his January State of the Union: “Today, we’re the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. … And that forces too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home.” And here’s another painful reminder from our Commander-in-Chief: “Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.”

Welcome to America, where it can feel like so many forces are against you when it comes to being — or considering becoming — a working mother. In Canada, working mothers are guaranteed one-year maternity leave. Imagine that.

Granted, Nooyi, who is of South Asian descent, runs a billion-dollar company with thousands of employees — that’s a whole other breed of busy — but many career-driven women and mothers often talk about being pulled in many different directions. Because let’s remember that having a family doesn’t just mean being a mother, which Nooyi’s own mother told her and whose words Nooyi recounted to the Aspen audience: “Let me explain something to you. You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you’re the wife, you’re the daughter, you’re the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother. You’re all of that. Nobody else can take that place.”

I understand this well. It’s actually 12:30 a.m. as I write this. My 2-year-old has finally fallen back asleep (my husband went to bed two hours earlier), I did the dishes, put toys away, paid some bills, did 100 crunches, fed the animals, folded the laundry; and earlier in the day, I walked the dog with my daughter, got her bathed (but not myself!), took her to her classmate’s birthday party, had my parents over and much more. And now, I’m working. This is what I call Saturday. Thousands of other women, including Nooyi, probably did even more — and maybe even got in a shower and blow-dry.

Is this what I consider having it all? Or pretending to have it all, as Nooyi put it? That’s not what I’d call it. I’d call it having it all … to do.

 

SUCCESS DEFINED

When you hear the phrase “having it all,” what comes to your mind? Is it having a career, a life partner and a family? Hell, tons of people have those. But let’s add a few words and see how that changes things: a successful career, a supportive life partner and a loving family. But defining what successful, supportive and loving are is very subjective, as is defining “having it all.”

 

“I think that at the end of the day, everyone has his or her own definition of what it means ‘to have it all,’” says award-winning and bestselling paranormal romance/urban fantasy author Marjorie Liu, speaking by phone from New York. “For some people, that means being a mother and having a career, having the perfect home, the perfect husband or partner. But I happen to believe in the beauty and power of imperfection and not always getting everything you want — staying a little hungry, growing and learning; and, most importantly, being humble and grateful for what you do have.”

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Another New Yorker, Christina Seid, owner of the popular Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, believes “you can have it all … at different times.” And while Seid doesn’t run a big operation like PepsiCo, her daily schedule could probably compete with Nooyi’s. (She actually spoke to me by phone at 11 p.m. her time, because that was the only time she had free.) A former board member of the organization Asian Women In Business, the Chinese American is very committed to various causes — she’s been known to serve on 10 committees or boards at a time — in addition to running her own business. She is also the author of the bilingual children’s book Saturdays in Chinatown, has a small consulting firm, occasionally teaches at the Metropolitan College of New York, plus is a wife (she met her husband when she served as a board member on the American Cancer Society), a daughter (her dad originally founded the ice cream business), a sister and a mother to a 2-year-old. Oh, yes, and she often manages to get to the gym for an hour a day and will soon be serving as a judge on the popular Food Network show Chopped. Phew. If there’s ever been a woman who can do it all, Seid is it.

“There are times, when my business is slow, when I get to spend more time with my family,” she explains. “There are times when I’m on vacation when I have more down time, but I don’t think you ever have it all on one day at one time.” Seid goes on to add that while she does spend a lot of time with her family, maybe she’ll miss what many would consider big moments: her daughter’s exact birthday or celebrating a major holiday together on the exact day, which her family has adapted to. “I think when you have a business or you’re a career woman, you have to be very flexible, and your family has to be very flexible.”

 

Meanwhile, Daria Yudacufski, cofounder of feminist magazine Make/shift and executive director of the University of Southern California’s arts and humanities initiative Visions and Voices, questions the notion of “all” that society has put forth. “This concept of ‘having it all’ is just kind of weird and problematic. It just depends on so many factors, who we are, which we can’t really define, and what people want,” says the biracial Japanese American. “I think that the way it is being defined is having a successful career and family, and that is not for everybody,” she says. (I should note that her 5-year-old daughter and mine, who both have school holidays on the day of our meeting, periodically interrupt us. This is called juggling — or perhaps enjoying it all at once?)

“I think that there are people who can very easily choose to not have a family and have a successful career and have it all,” she adds. “Or they can have a family and not have a job and also have it all. And there are also class and privilege issues with all of that, too. I think that if you are a working single mother, you are dealing with a whole other set of issues.”

But if you ask Yudacufski simply if she’s happy, her answer is simple. “I am really happy where I am at. I feel incredibly lucky that I have a job that I really like, and I have this amazing daughter. And I am still able to publish this magazine that is so important to me.” That says a lot from this working mother, who is also a breast cancer survivor. (She had a double mastectomy two years ago.)

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As for Liu, her answer is also simple, albeit different. “Yes, I do have it all,” says the biracial Chinese American, who, in addition to penning more than 17 novels, teaches writing at MIT, writes comic books and makes appearances all over the world; and whose partner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Diaz, very much understands the demands of a writer’s life. “But having it all doesn’t mean being content to just be in my place. Having it all means being content with where I am, but also thinking what is going to happen next. Success in my mind implies that the game is over, that there’s nothing left to dream about or accomplish.”

 

STRIKING A BALANCE

What I found really interesting about these women is that the words “sacrifice” and “compromise” never came up. They all seemed to own their, at times, difficult choices without lamenting them. Though Seid does share she’s “actually taking more time to be a mother,” overall, she feels great about her relationship with her daughter. “We have very full days together, so I have no guilt about not spending enough time with her,” she says. And Seid truly loves working. “If I don’t have my job, and I don’t put energy into my career, I can’t give my daughter the things that she wants, so it’s hand-in-hand in a way.”

Likewise, Yudacufski doesn’t necessarily have to juggle motherhood and two jobs — she had been planning to just work on the magazine before the USC opportunity presented itself — but her well-being depends on it, she says. “I think that the work that I do with my daughter, just being there as a parent, is so critical, but really I need all of those things [running the feminist magazine and directing the USC arts program] to have my own happiness.”

After a whirlwind writing period of eight years, Liu, on the other hand, who used to call a 14-hour workday the norm, realized that she wanted more than her work. “I did an excellent job of being alone, all in the name of work — but I woke up one day and realized that if I wasn’t careful, another eight years would pass, and I still wouldn’t see my friends at all, except for once or twice a year. I wouldn’t have a family of my own, unless it was a family of five cats and a bunch of little dogs. Which isn’t so bad, but also not what I wanted for myself.”

 

THE ROAD AHEAD

So what to think? Are these women the exceptions? Are they just “pretending” to have it all? If I talked to these women again five months or five years from now, would their answers be different? Perhaps. If you asked me if I had it all a year ago, I would have a different answer than I do today, though I believe that I can have my “all” again and again.

Perhaps it’s time to redefine what “having it all” means. It’s not about having the career and the partner and the children and the fill-in-the-blank, and managing each and every one of them perfectly. It’s about how you feel about what you do have.

 

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Daria Yudacufski. Photo by Marie-Reine Velez.

 

Yudacufski’s advice for women just starting to cope with these issues is what we’ve heard before, so simple yet seemingly so unattainable: “Do what you love. Do what makes you happy. Not what makes you more or less money, or what everyone else tells you that you are supposed to be doing.” And specifically addressing Asian American women, she says, “It is not about getting the job that your parents want you to have, but it is about following your heart and figuring out your passion.” (Honestly, for me, since becoming a mother, I’ve forgotten just what that is, but I’m up for the challenge.)

“It’s a balancing act,” says the ever-striving Liu. “Staying grounded and satisfied, while also looking forward — dwelling in possibility.” Her words of wisdom? “I think the key to making it all work is gratitude. If you appreciate what you have, that creates a healthy space for growth and exploration.”

Think on that, and perhaps you’ll find yourself having it all, and so much more.

 

This story was originally published in our Spring 2015 issue. Get your copy here.

 

Watch This Adorable Marriage Proposal from Space

 

Jason Hakala, a Seattle native who works at Cut Video, decided to propose to his girlfriend Stella in 2012. We know what you’re thinking — what could be so impressive about a proposal. After all, it feels like we’ve seen it all. We’ve seen elaborate proposals, uncomfortable proposals and even Frozen-inspired proposals. But trust us when we say Hakala really wanted his proposal to be out-of-this-world.

Cut Video just released the proposal video on YouTube this month. Why did he wait until two years later to show the video? Watch to the end to find out.

 

Jason and Stella met in high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ten years later, they met again in Seattle and started going out. When he and his friends planned to honor John Glenn’s orbit around the earth 50 years ago, he realized it was the right opportunity to honor his love with Stella as well.

“Initially that is what it was — a tribute video to space exploration with the addition of my proposal video,” he told The Huffington Post via email. “But later it became more about the proposal. I think there is something romantic about it, in a very nerdy and unique way.”

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The launch materials, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/21/space-marriage-proposal-weed-grannies_n_6194322.html

The technicalities of it? Jason and his team used a PVC pipe, a weather balloon, an iPhone, a GoPro and a GPS unit. The built structure was launched from a field three hours east of Seattle. The GoPro was pointed towards the iPhone as it played a looped video of Jason’s marriage proposal, as well as the John Glenn tribute.

The balloon was found in a landing spot many hours later and 200 miles away from the original launch point. Stella was present to watch the launch and landing, but the hidden message in the middle was unknown to her the entire time.

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The couple after landing, courtesy of Jason Hakala (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/21/space-marriage-proposal-weed-grannies_n_6194322.html)

It wasn’t until the next day, when Jason, Stella and her family went on a hike, that he played the footage back to her. As she sat next to him in the snow, she saw him from space saying, “It took me a trip to space to finally get the balls to do this, but I love you so much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

The answer was a jubilant “Yes!” Jason and Stella married in August 2012 in Hawaii and are now parents to 13-month-old daughter Suvi.

 

 

How Men REALLY Feel About Trading Bachelorhood For Married Life; Columnist Paul Nakayama Spills All

In his regular column for Audrey Magazine, published in the Summer 2014 issue, Paul Nakayama talks about dismantling the man cave and other life changes he’ll have to make as he (finally!) bids farewell to bachelorhood. 

 

In my 20s and early 30s, I did my share of dating. Mind you, I didn’t have one night stands or a monthly swap-out of girls, but rather a steady string of long-term, monogamous relationships. I was generally considered a Nice Guy, and while Nice Guys do often finish last, I met some Nice Girls who found me at the finish line. But then I debunked the myth about Nice Guys being nice, and when things got hard I ended up screwing up the relationship. Now after a few years of mostly being single, I’m hanging up my bachelor hat again. I’ve met an amazing girl who makes it seem easy — I mean not easy easy — but easy. In fact, it’ll be the first time I live with a woman other than family. And therein lies my new dilemma: as I approach 40, I’ve kinda settled into the bachelor life.

For example, I’m a writer and I tend to keep graveyard hours — less people to bother you at night and it doesn’t seem so weird to drink during work. While most of the world is sleeping, I’m sitting at my computer thinking of new ways for evil masterminds to destroy the world or, in my most ironic of gigs, doling out really bad relationship advice to all of you. For a few more months, my girl is in Japan so our hours coincide. When I go to bed around 8 a.m., it’s midnight over there. But when we start living together, I have to start functioning like a normal human being. She even says that I need to be under the sun occasionally, despite my complaints that it’d be impossible to look at my iPhone or iPad and then I’d spontaneously combust from digital withdrawal.

I’m also deprogramming my brain and eyes to not check out girls anymore at restaurants and bars. After years of conscious and subconscious honing of my babe radar, I realize I’ll need some time to shut it off. It’s certainly not a deliberate action when I leer at a girl, particularly one that is exposed to the elements, but I don’t want to risk having my girl think I have eyes for anyone but her. To counter the programming in my internal detection systems, I have started to spend a lot more time reading menus, counting ceiling/floor tiles, staring deep into my girl’s eyes without blinking and ignoring all peripheral motion. Sadly, the only thing that seems to work well is to take excessive photos of my food and drinks. And my leftovers and empty dishes even.

 

 

The biggest visible change is probably going to be the dismantling of my man cave. Over the years, I’ve collected a serious treasure trove of video games, comics, DVDs, books, CDs and geeky art prints — and I love all of it. I can’t just abandon them when I make a new friend. That would just be wrong. But spatially there’s no way for her and her supposedly essential goods, like clothes, to fit into my apartment with all of my stuff. So in trying to be a good, accommodating boyfriend, I’ve come up with an alternate plan. I’ve studied the blueprints, sketched out some ideas and will be constructing a secret man cave by tearing down a wall in the broom closet. That way I can sneak in a few minutes here and there to spend with my precious lovelies. UPDATE: I was informed by my neighbor that he doesn’t appreciate me busting a hole into his living room; he said I was encroaching on his personal space. I suppose he may have a point, but I think that’s why he doesn’t have friends.

Speaking of living together, I’m told it takes a system of compromise and sharing to make it work. I’ve heard a competing theory that it’s more about giving up all personal freedoms and just saying yes. But let’s operate off an optimistic presumption for now. That means that I probably can’t watch Game of Thrones in my underwear while swinging a sword anymore. (I’ll try subtly tossing out the idea, but I have my doubts.) It means I’ll have to give her at least half of the DVR space, which is why I’m convinced that most BitTorrents are downloaded by husbands and boyfriends and not cheapskates. Meals will now have to be more nutritious than my usual fare of beer, steak and Red Vines. I’ll now have to take my music playlists more seriously and not “experiment” with One Direction and Taylor Swift songs … or maybe include more 1D and Taylor. Or something. I don’t know what the “good” boyfriends are doing these days.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to consider in the days ahead. I’m getting all of the cautionary tales from my friends, and there are a lot of them. But somehow, I’m still really excited. I’m looking forward to having a partner in my life. You know, someone to watch movies with or have spontaneous cocktails with or share my meals with, other than my pal Netflix. Someone to bring me toilet paper instead of having to waddle into the hallway. You know, really romantic stuff that’ll change my life for the better. Thankfully, I’ve been writing these columns for Audrey for 10 years now, talking about my bachelor life, so I’ve got a whole record of how I’ve messed up with girls … and I can save all my successes for this one.

 

— STORY BY PAUL NAKAYAMA

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here. 

How Technology Helped a Chinese Soldier Marry the Love of His Life

 

In this day and age, with the rapid development of technology, pretty much anything is possible. We’ve seen everything from hologram waiters to virtual girlfriends in Japan, and it seems like each latest device or invention is even more bizarre than the last.

But sometimes, technology can also be used to fulfill a man’s simple wish to get married to the love of his life when he can’t physically be there on his own wedding day. Now this we can definitely appreciate.

Xinjiang army soldier Liang Tao was set to marry his fiancée, surnamed Yang, on July 26. Sadly, though he was already on leave, Liang was called into a mission that required him to stay in Xinjiang, as he was the only leader available. Deciding to put his duties first, Tao and his fiancée called off the wedding — only to be surprised by the commissioner of the army, Zhang Jiang Guo.

 

 

Having heard of Tao’s plans to marry, Guo decided to throw the couple a surprise video wedding. Guo and Tao’s fellow army soldiers were able to connect Tao to his wedding via satellite, where he appeared on a screen at the wedding ceremony.

Though this was nowhere near ideal for the bride, Yang reportedly burst into tears as she saw her husband’s face on the screen. She expressed her gratitude to the Xinjiang army, saying, “Thank you for everything you prepared for me. Although my husband is not with me here right now, this is a more meaningful and unforgettable wedding than others.”

Check out the happy couple’s wedding pictures below:

 

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Photos courtesy of Shanghaiist

 

Possibly The Most Uncomfortable Marriage Proposal Ever

Are we a fan of marriage proposals here at Audrey? You bet.

So far, we’ve seen quite an interesting array of proposals. For instance, there was the adorable one that happened in the middle of a sing-along to Disney’s Frozen. Then there was the elaborate, 27-minute video proposal that contained music videos, flashmobs, and even movie trailers.

And then there are the people who do everything in their power to stick out from the rest. Who can forget the young lady who decided to defy gender roles and propose to her boyfriend instead? And surely we all remember the uncomfortable live marriage proposal that angered feminists everywhere.

Well now, we’ve uncovered a marriage proposal that aims to be even more uncomfortably awkward.

This past Valentine’s day was an opportunity for everyone to embrace their romantic side. This certainly seemed to be case for this Chinese woman in Xiamen, Fujian who made special arrangements at this movie theater. She then waited for her boyfriend to appear.

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After giving a proposal speech, she gets down on one knee and reveals a ring to her boyfriend.
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This is when things get a little awkward. Pictures of the boyfriend show a man who doesn’t seem to be very enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. Or maybe he’s just expressionless because he’s surprised?

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Here he is seen placing the ring on her finger, but he definitely appears reluctant to do so.
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And here we see the happy couple. Well, she certainly seems happy. His half-hearted hug and sour expression is questionable.
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Very little is known about the couple so our optimistic side says he may just carry that expression naturally. However, if our instincts are correct, we may be looking at the most uncomfortable marriage proposal ever.

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(source)

Chinese Commercial Pressures Young Women Into Marriage

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, dating companies are seeing an influx of people who wouldn’t mind meeting “the one” before the romance-filled holiday gets here. Using Valentine’s Day to their advantage, many of these dating companies are doing whatever it takes to get more clients.

The Chinese dating company Baihe.com is no exception. They seem to have taken this determination to the extreme with a very personal commercial targeting young women.

In the commercial, an elderly grandmother keeps asking her granddaughter whether she is married yet. The young lady, who just graduated from college, is left to reply with a face of guilt and sadness.

As the grandmother gets closer and closer to death, the young woman decides that she shouldn’t be so picky and ought to make her grandmother happy. With grandma lying in a hospital bed, the young woman shows up in her wedding gown and with a groom. She has finally made her grandmother happy.

Cue the cheesy music and tear-filled smiles.

But wait. Is this commercial actually suggesting that one shouldn’t be picky with the person they will spend the rest of their life with?

Unfortunately, this commercial will probably make many young Asian women feel guilty. Even in America, Asian women feel this pressure. Often times, strict parents will warn their daughters not to date until they are done with school. The second graduation comes along, everything shifts and suddenly they are pressured to find a husband as soon as possible.

Confusing? You bet.

I don’t know about you, but we’re not really comfortable with a commercial using an aging grandma to guilt-trip young women into finding a man to marry.

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Watch the full commercial here. 

Calling All ‘Frozen’ Fans: The Cutest Marriage Proposal EVER

It’s been months since its release, but people still can’t stop talking about the Disney animated film, Frozen. The film has been gathering nominations left and right, has stolen the hearts of many, and has already slid past the $300M mark domestically and over $600M worldwide. Frozen is on its way to being the highest-grossing Disney Animation release in history.

Because the film’s popularity, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen fans everywhere cover the songs in Frozen. Young girls are belting out the lyrics to “Let it Go” and social media seems to have been covered with a single question: do you want to build a snowman?

In the midst of all these fan tributes to the film, it was difficult to find just one that stood out. But then we stumbled upon this.

Here at Audrey, we’ve seen our share of marriage proposals. We’ve seen uncomfortable ones, elaborate ones, and even ones which defy gender roles. Now, it looks like we’ve found the most adorable proposal.

Watch it below:

 

 

Live Marriage Proposal Makes Viewers Uncomfortable

A few weeks ago, we brought you the most elaborate marriage proposal in history and, as expected, we were met with mixed reviews. The proposal made some viewers sigh with envy while others sighed out of boredom.

Viewers simply could not agree on whether or not the 27-minute-long proposal was cute or too much. However, viewers all seemed to agree on their opinion of the following proposal.

This past Thursday, the Today show was about to interview Simone Jhingoor for her work in Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that provides services to low-income women and their families. Suddenly, her boyfriend Chirag Shah appeared to say a few words. He then got down on one knee and proposed to her on live television.

Cute right?

Apparently, the public doesn’t think so. While the idea of a public marriage proposal sounds nice, just about every media outlet has called this particular proposal “awkward.”  The Stir describes the whole ordeal by stating, “Before Simone got a chance to tell us [about her organization], she was interrupted by the most awkward proposal ever. Her boyfriend Chirag Shah apparently thought it was a good idea to show up, grab the microphone from Al, and give a pretty me-centric speech before asking Simone to marry him.”

Bustle described the inappropriate tactic of having Jhingoor believe she was allowed to speak about what she was passionate about.

Jhingoor was duped into thinking she’d just earned a shot to share her professional success and passion with the entire country, giving her a level of professional validation few of us ever have the opportunity to enjoy. It’s a dream come true for any one — man or woman — who’s thoroughly dedicated to their work. But before Jhingoor can even utter a syllable about her job or what she does to help the people of the Bronx, she’s whisked away to hear a diatribe about her now-fiancé and his boyhood dreams

 

Jezebel agreed with Bustle’s sentiments and seemed irritated with Shah’s “self-centered” speech:

Suddenly, her boyfriend, Chirag Shah, showed up with a rather self-centered (“I moved, MY dream”) over-rehearsed speech that turned into a marriage proposal. Bait and switch, dude.

As Simone realized what was happening, she tried to fix her hair. She had a tight-lipped smile on her face, but she seemed slightly annoyed. Still, Chirag got on one knee and Simone “yes.” Their friends were behind her, cheering. There was a stiff hug.

But immediately afterwards, when Al asked if she had any idea Chirag was about to propose, Simone said, “No! I thought I was here talking about my organization. I’m giving back to the community!” Right. You thought it was your moment — you were excited for your moment — and he made it all about him.

 
While the public had no problem analyzing the proposal and slamming Shah for his awkward methods, it may be important to hear what the couple has to say. Simone Jhingoor has openly stated that she is upset with the negative reactions and does not believe that her fiance stole her spotlight at all. In fact, the Today show posted a follow-up on Friday with some details about the organization. When YourTango asked Jhingoor to comment on the negative backlash to the proposal, she says:

I am unhappy about the recent backlash that was received from my on-air engagement to Chirag. He does not deserve to be labeled self-centered on feminist websites like Jezebel critiquing the entire experience when he is the most thoughtful person I know. I am moved by the beautiful proposal he arranged out of a genuine intention to make me happy. All of my close friends and family members cried when they saw it because of how sweet it was. My time on the show was never supposed to be about my work as it was about a proposal Chirag wanted to surprise me with on our four-year anniversary. Also, I am generally a very calm and centered person, which is a result of much of the personal change work that I have engaged in. It was disappointing for people to apply their own lens and cultural biases to interpret that I was pissed off and upset about not getting to speak about my work. Plus, Chirag has always been supportive of my social change work and activism, which is what I love about him.

Watch the proposal for yourself and tell us what you think.

 

MUST SEE: The Most Elaborate Marriage Proposal in History

Back in a time long, long ago, marriage proposals were simple ordeals. You would bring your partner to some place special, get down on one knee, promise the world to them and just like that you were engaged. Simple right?

Well the rise in social media has made marriage proposals everything but simple. Now that we can all see each other’s method of proposing, expectations have shot up. As much as we hate to admit it, we now have grand daydreams of the extravagant moment when our hand will be asked in marriage. This leaves our poor suitor to shake their head at every new marriage proposal that goes viral. What is it this time? A proposal via hot air balloon? A flashmob? Fireworks? Whatever it may be, you can bet it’s elaborate.

A few months ago, we posted a video that turned heads. A woman asked her boyfriend to marry her with her own elaborate planning. But now, we’ve found a proposal that gives the phrase “over-the-top” a new meaning.

Creator of history’s most elaborate marriage proposal is Justin Baldoni. He arranged for his then-girlfriend, Emily Foxler , to meet him at the restaurant where they had their first date. There she finds a giant projected video of her soon-to-be groom explaining that he is not standing her up. He’s doing the opposite.

And this begins a 27-minute long proposal including everything from music videos, flashmobs, and movie trailers. Is it squeal-worthy or is it cringe-worthy? Some women are left in joyful tears and ask if Baldoni has a twin brother. Others have commented, “It makes those last 12 scenes of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy seem positively succinct, and it crosses the line between devoting noticeable time and effort to something and wasting half of your soon-to-be fiancee’s evening.”

Whatever your opinion may be, Baldoni succeeded with getting his love to accept his very epic proposal. Baldoni tells Inside Edition, “I am someone who I loves grand gestures. I love expressing my love in big ways.”

Even more surprising is the guest appearance of Korean American actor James Kyson. The 27-year-old, who is most known for his character Ando Masahashi on the NBC television series Heroes, is a must see in this video. Kyson dancing to Nsync, Boy II Men and Dancing Queen? Check it out for yourself: