Tuesday, September 9, 2003

It's OK for women to pop the question



By Tanya Bricking
The Honolulu Advertiser

If you're tired of waiting for your man to ask for your hand, a new survey says it's OK to retire the time-worn idea of being a "lady in waiting."

About 65 percent of Americans welcome the idea of a woman proposing marriage to a man, and 77 percent of men say it's socially acceptable for women to pop the question, according to a new survey from Korbel Champagne Cellars.

The idea of reversing traditional roles is something Kolleen O'Flaherty Wheeler has been waiting for years to catch on.

She's a nondenominational minister in Hawaii who runs a wedding-planning business. She also proposed to her husband, photographer Bruce Wheeler, two decades ago.

"I don't know if it's currently popular," she says, "but I know 20 years ago it worked."

The one thing a woman planning to propose might want to be careful of is causing a blow to her guy's ego, said Jason Rich, author of Will You Marry Me? Popping the Question with Romance and Style (New Page Books; $13.99).

His book gives proposal tips to men and women in gay or straight relationships.

And in the case of a woman proposing to a man, there's definitely a movement toward more equal relationship roles, he said. Girlfriends are even buying their guys engagement jewelry instead of waiting for the man to pull out a diamond ring.

"Most guys would be totally comfortable having their girlfriend propose to them," he says. "They might even be relieved."

Role reversals

•  Almost half of women (48 percent) would propose to their significant others.

•  Four of every five men would accept a proposal from their significant others.

•  About one in every three Americans (31 percent) know a woman who has proposed.

Source: Korbel Champagne Cellars




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