Thursday, April 15, 2010

The art of proposing

I know a chossid (married for ten years already and with children, b"H) who, when the time came to propose to his kallah, asked her: “Would you like to go to the Ohel with me?” He thought himself incredibly smooth. His wife (as she confessed much later, with her husband sitting there) was thinking: “What a loser.”

Here is another excerpt from Three Men on a Bummel, this time regarding proposing. I must say, this method seems much smoother than the one above, although not without inherent dangers. It is also an example of how American English sounded to me (in terms of comprehensibility) when I just came to this here country:
A story is told of a Scotchman who, loving a lassie, desired her for his wife. But he possessed the prudence of his race. He had noticed in his circle many an otherwise promising union result in disappointment and dismay, purely in consequence of the false estimate formed by bride or bridegroom concerning the imagined perfectability of the other. He determined that in his own case no collapsed ideal should be possible. Therefore, it was that his proposal took the following form:

“I’m but a puir lad, Jennie; I hae nae siller to offer ye, and nae land.”

“Ah, but ye hae yoursel’, Davie!”

“An’ I’m wishfu’ it wa’ onything else, lassie. I’m nae but a puir ill-seasoned loon, Jennie.”

“Na, na; there’s mony a lad mair ill-looking than yoursel’, Davie.”

“I hae na seen him, lass, and I’m just a-thinkin’ I shouldna’ care to.”

“Better a plain man, Davie, that ye can depend a’ than ane that would be a speirin’ at the lassies, a-bringin’ trouble into the hame wi’ his flouting ways.”

“Dinna ye reckon on that, Jennie; it’s nae the bonniest Bubbly Jock that mak’s the most feathers to fly in the kailyard. I was ever a lad to run after the petticoats, as is weel kent; an’ it’s a weary handfu’ I’ll be to ye, I’m thinkin’.”

“Ah, but ye hae a kind heart, Davie! an’ ye love me weel. I’m sure on’t.”

“I like ye weel enoo’, Jennie, though I canna say how long the feeling may bide wi’ me; an’ I’m kind enoo’ when I hae my ain way, an’ naethin’ happens to put me oot. But I hae the deevil’s ain temper, as my mither call tell ye, an’ like my puir fayther, I’m a-thinkin’, I’ll grow nae better as I grow mair auld.”

“Ay, but ye’re sair hard upon yersel’, Davie. Ye’re an honest lad. I ken ye better than ye ken yersel’, an’ ye’ll mak a guid hame for me.”

“Maybe, Jennie! But I hae my doots. It’s a sair thing for wife an’ bairns when the guid man canna keep awa’ frae the glass; an’ when the scent of the whusky comes to me it’s just as though I hae’d the throat o’ a Loch Tay salmon; it just gaes doon an’ doon, an’ there’s nae filling o’ me.”

“Ay, but ye’re a guid man when ye’re sober, Davie.”

“Maybe I’ll be that, Jennie, if I’m nae disturbed.”

“An’ ye’ll bide wi’ me, Davie, an’ work for me?”

“I see nae reason why I shouldna bide wi’ yet Jennie; but dinna ye clack aboot work to me, for I just canna bear the thoct o’t.”

“Anyhow, ye’ll do your best, Davie? As the minister says, nae man can do mair than that.”

“An’ it’s a puir best that mine’ll be, Jennie, and I’m nae sae sure ye’ll hae ower muckle even o’ that. We’re a’ weak, sinfu’ creatures, Jennie, an’ ye’d hae some deefficulty to find a man weaker or mair sinfu’ than mysel’.”

“Weel, weel, ye hae a truthfu’ tongue, Davie. Mony a lad will mak fine promises to a puir lassie, only to break ’em an’ her heart wi’ ’em. Ye speak me fair, Davie, and I’m thinkin’ I’ll just tak ye, an’ see what comes o’t.”

Concerning what did come of it, the story is silent, but one feels that under no circumstances had the lady any right to complain of her bargain. Whether she ever did or did not—for women do not invariably order their tongues according to logic, nor men either for the matter of that—Davie, himself, must have had the satisfaction of reflecting that all reproaches were undeserved.

7 comments:

Yossi said...

I need google translate....
hatzlacha in all your endeavors!

The Real Shliach said...

Hopefully the issues are sufficiently out in the open so that a proposal can be a little shorter.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

A little shorter than the first version or the second? Something like: “So, umm, Ohel tonight, eh?”

The Real Shliach said...

The length of that is fine, but perhaps the phraseology could be altered a smidgen.

Altie said...

:) i understood it that is hysterical! sounds like scottish to me.

i hope mazal tovs are in order very soon.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Soon by all us (singles). Amein.

Yossi said...

amen