When I was proposing to my wife, I had worked on some writing assignments to earn extra money because as far as she knew, I didn't have the money available to purchase an engagement ring - the one she had so kindly pointed out to me a month earlier.
So, armed with that hard-earned cash, I stole away from work and drove the three hours out to that little jewelry shop we had visited under the pretense of doing some sight-seeing.
Women can be quite sneaky when they want to be, which as far as I am aware is all the time.
So… I bought the engagement ring—I had wrapped some string around her finger to measure it while she slept—stuck it onto the trumpet of an angelic horn playing teddy bear and wrapped it up for Christmas.
I then bought her a coffeemaker that she wanted… and wrapped it in some Star Trek: The Next Generation wrapping paper that featured Captain Jean Luc Picard saying the word "Engage!" every few inches of paper.
|Set phasers on "Stunning".|
On Christmas Day, she never spotted the hokey message on the coffee maker, but loved the cheap present I had bought her… and then I handed her the boxed teddy bear… and when she opened it she began giggling hideously, as I leaned back on the couch and asked her: "So… do you want to get married?"
That happy hideous giggle went on for far too long… as I wasn't sure if she was going to say yes… but I did conveniently allow myself an out, because I didn't quite ask her if she wanted to 'marry me'.
Semantics, but if I was going to be rebuffed, I would allow myself that egomaniacal 'out'.
Didn't work. We got married… in Las Vegas, in fact… and I thought that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but apparently that's not true.
Anyhow… so this brings us to a story about Japan… and one Japanese man who loved his girlfriend so much that he created the world's largest marriage proposal.
Starting in July of 2008, Takahashi Yasushi (you call him Yassan, dollface) began his epic trek to see a country he loved and had never seen… and also to write the world's largest marriage proposal… at least I think it is…
Anyhow, rather than just lie back on his couch and hope that Captain Picard would help him get his message across, Yassan decided to use the skies themselves… or rather the satellites in the skies… via GPS.
In June of 2008… on his 31st birthday, Yassan quit his job and began a walkabout of Japan. Okay… he used his car or A car… and traveled around Japan for six months - finally completing his proposed journey on January 2, 2009.
Yeah… nothing beats the fact that absence makes the heart grow fonder… or weaker… sometimes it goes that way, too. So I heard.
So.. with the aid of his GPS, he marked out his route… all the while spelling out "Marry Me" in giant letters all across the main island of Japan… adding a heart on the northern island of Hokkaido.
It's supposed to have been the new Guinness World Record for largest drawing by GPS ever…which surprises me… no, not the fact that Yassan holds the record, but the fact that there's a need to have such a stupid record.
Guinness… can't we just go back to the halcyon days when it was all about who was the heaviest, shortest, tallest, deepest, smartest - whatever - person, place or thing?
Back to lover boy….
Yassan created a 7,164-kilometer (4,451-mile) love letter - or marriage proposal… and all it took him was six months of his time, one job, one car accident, lots of money for hotels, food and fuel…
You can watch a YOUTUBE video of Yassan's journey below, complete with English subtitles and a tolerable Japanese soundtrack of a romantic song:
While I admire the distance this man would travel for love… he did a couple of things I find unfathomable… namely
1) He LEFT his girlfriend behind while he went on this six-month journey!
Most people in love will tell you that being apart for hours is enough to strain the heart.. and he did it for six months.
2) He quit his job in order to undertake this… uh… undertaking. So… for a 31-year-old Japanese man… being unemployed is like the kiss of death! Unless he has some super skills that warrant his being hired again, Japanese employers might well be afraid to hire him for fear of what he might do the next time some romantic anniversary of his pops up.
She knows she is marrying a Japanese guy who is unemployed, right?
The gesture he made is incredible, to be sure… I mean I know I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more just to be the man who walk a thousand miles to fall down drunk and tired at your front door.
I meant meters. Stupid metric system. 500 meters is a lot, right? That's the problem of being of an age when one's country decided to 'switch' over. I know both equally poorly.
Oh yeah… and Yassan's girlfriend… she said yes.
Now… just one final thought to dwell on… he completed his trip by January of 2009 - she said yes… they got married… so… since we're at 2014… maybe three years after the actual marriage, we can assume that Yassan may have finally found a job, but he has surely found himself another woman to sleep around with.
At least the odds say that that is better than even possibility.
As for me.. I know I'd walk a mile for a camel (an old catch-phrase for the popular cigarette brand)… mostly because with a camel you can be sure of at least getting a hump. Maybe two if you are in central Asia.
As for Yassan… I really don't know what he's up to, but it doesn't really matter… his gesture, at the very least, was huge.
PS: Thanks to Matthew for the nod in my general direction.