Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Carrot costumes to declare his love

In Eastern China a young man proposed to his sweet love in the middle of Center Qingdao. To woo and impress the love of his life, he decided to go "all out."  Because the young women's favorite color is orange, the suitor wore a carrot costume and recruited 47 of his friends to also don a costume for the spectacle.  The news reported that his proposal cost $15,000, which led me to ask some questions.

1) Is that really a carrot?  The ones we grow in Minnesota don't look like that.
2) If she loved the color orange that much, would she have appreciated some other orange-colored gift for the same price?
2) Does she like the taste of carrots? 
3) Did it really cost $15,000 to rent these costumes?  (If so I need a new job).  Maybe some of that was to pay off his friends for participating?  Ha.
4) Did he need a permit?  I have become a master at filling out permits after World Peace and Prayer Day.  Did he need a proof of insurance? 
5) Supposedly it took him "three weeks to plan the proposal."  Hmmm.  At what point in the planning did the thought "rent a ridiculous amount of carrot-ish costumes" come to mind?  I wonder how much time he spent driving to every costume shop in Eastern China to get all these matching costumes?  Did they deliver?
6) How did he end up with 47 friends in carrot suits? Was the number determined by how many friends or how many costumes he could find?
7) Would the international news tell the story if there were only 30 carrot costume wearers for the event?  Only 15?  What magic number made this story go viral and grab international news?

Joking motivates people to do some pretty crazy things.  Some just silly like carrot costumes or making videos or getting tattoos.  Love has the power to drive someone to do something completely out of character like parachute, serenade, ride horseback or other activity that demonstrates their ultimate devotion; other love-stricken gents have gone to great financial expense to rent planes, helicopters, stadium signs and print hundreds of t-shirts to deliver the message "Will you marry me?"  Men have stared wars for love. 

May my husband of 15+ years still love me enough to do outlandish, crazy things to show his love... like wash the car after we have obtained a cross-country covering of bugs, like drive to the gas station to fill the gas tank while I get dressed to leave, like get up super early in the morning to attend a breakfast program with me that he's not particularly interested in hearing.  He still blows me kisses, leaves messages on my work phone, turns up the music and sings to me.   I have come to know that I'm cute in small doses -- but he chooses to spend his time with me anyway.  That's love. And now I can add another dramatic demonstration of his true love to the list:  my husband would NEVER spend that kind of money on carrot costumes!

I've been thinking a lot this week about what motivates people to do certain things. People are motivated by the love of their spouse or their children.  By their love for God.  By the love of their country.  By their love of a certain way of life.  All these things that we love can trigger people to take extreme steps to help ensure that the things we love are protected.  For some people, they choose to invest in peace and nonviolence to protect the things they believe in and what they love. For others, they choose to take up arms and physically fight for what they believe in and to protect what they love.  Both sides desire the same things -- to protect what they love -- but take completely different paths to try to arrive at the same goal. 

My prayer is not that we have more love in the world.  I don't believe that what we need is simply more love...what we probably need is more wisdom and guidance and insight to know how to express that love...