A Decent Proposal

MIRANDA JOHNSON thinks you should be taking more chances.

family Fate marriage Miranda Johnson proposals sisters taking chances weddings

I am used to missing phone calls from family members. Perhaps occasionally it is deliberate. And sometimes very necessary. But when I woke up on Valentine’s day this year to eleven missed calls from my elder sister I felt vaguely obliged to ring back.

In fact after that the conversation became quite ring-focused in general. My sister’s boyfriend had taken her on a surprise visit to Barcelona and proposed to her in the Gaudi park. Over a romantic picnic. In all honesty it did sound pretty good. I was slightly disappointed he didn’t organize anything with a flash mob of dancers and singers but I didn’t voice that. I didn’t want to rain on her (lack of a) parade.

I get on very well with my brother-in-law elect. We don’t have an enormous amount in common but I’m glad he is going to be joining my family; he is very cool, good-looking and knows quite a lot about continental philosophy. Excellent work sister Johnson. I suppose one of the other things I like very much about ‘Tucy’ as a couple though concerns the origins of their relationship here in Cambridge. My sister studied history at Newnham, and bro-in-law elect was a grad at Jesus. They met at a friend’s dinner on his birthday five years ago and he didn’t like her that much. To begin with. Obviously. Nervous laughter.

Despite essays, finals, job applications and other fun thing like electricity bills they have managed to keep the show on the road. I am now in fact a year older than my sister was when they started dating which feels quite strange, particularly as I haven’t yet found a grad student I would like to marry (all offers welcome).

While I have been caught up over the last few months in negotiations over flowers (blue hydrangeas, white roses NOTHING ELSE OK?) and was strapped into various monstrous satin bridesmaid’s gowns this weekend (my personal favourite looked a bit like something Cha Cha from “Grease” might model) the wedding has also inspired me to start thinking about my last year at Cambridge in a different way.

The choices people make in their time at University really can set them up for the big life events to come. My sister could have quite easily slacked off the fateful dinner with excuses of tiredness or work deadlines. Not to freak anyone out but actually bothering to go to a new society this term, attending some union events or meeting more friends of friends could change things for you in a big way. And I don’t mean just romantically either. A friend of mine was offered his first job at a cricket match.

As it is near the beginning of the year then, I wanted to use this article to exhort people to change things up a bit, meet some new people, do some different stuff. I am currently flirting with the idea of going to a dance class; quite rash considering I was politely asked to leave ballet lessons as a small, ungainly girl.

I can’t promise you employment or a spouse if you take a little bit of notice of this piece, sorry. But I can tell you that sometimes things just don’t work out the way you’d expect. First impressions aren’t everything. And if you don’t bat you can’t score. In many senses.