Proposing to your girlfriend can be a terrifyingly bewildering experience full of tragic missteps and tears that aren't even hers -- but thanks to the Modern Bride collection exclusively at JCPenney, at least buying the ring can be a simple, can't-miss proposition. To get you over the hump and on to a lifetime of bliss, here are Thrillist's 10 Rules for Popping & Locking That Down.
1) Use Modern Bride & JCPenney's "The Notebook", an online tool that lets you save, compare, and share, ideally with people who know about rings -- i.e., girls.
2) Ask her dad for permission. It seems old-fashioned and awkward, but considering that at family dinners he'll be the one deciding whether you get "the good Scotch" or "that junk the Hendersons gave us for Christmas last year", it's probably a good idea.
3) No matter how eager you are to get this over with, be careful to fall to just one knee; otherwise, she'll assume you're begging -- which might get you 35 cents, but not a lifetime of devotion.
4) When proposing at a restaurant: if you're not a Champagne guy, don't just out-of-the-blue order Champagne and say something lame like "oh, I'm just in the mood for it". She will immediately sense the imminent question-popping. Besides, are you really in the mood for Champagne, or are you in the mood to spend the rest of your life with someone who accepts that you prefer beer?
5) Try not to do anything to make her angry in the
week day hour seven minutes before the actual proposal.
6) Don't keep the ring in your pocket. You could send it through the wash, or accidentally pop the question to the cocktail waitress.
7) You should totally start working out in the weeks leading up. Don't get too jacked -- she loves you for your mind, or at least your face -- just enough to subtly reassure her you won't turn into a dump-truck after you're married and no longer have to try at all.
8) Even after a highly successful proposal, don't expect to end the evening with drinks and cigars with the boys. You're going to need the goodwill you just earned for future with-the-boys outings, so don't burn through it now.
9) If you're planning on surprising her with well-wishing friends & relatives afterwards, make sure there's a buffer period so she can redo makeup that's now running due to her tears of joy.
10) Ask her to please not pose the ring next to a quarter on Facebook. Some girls actually do this. They shouldn't.