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Do Grand Gestures Actually Work in Real Life?

A quick recap of recent Cardi B-related events:

On December 5th, she took to Instagram to announce that she and Offset were no longer together.

On December 8th, she took to a Chicago stage to announce that they were getting a divorce.

On December 9th, he took to Twitter to announce “FUCK YALL I MISS CARDI.”

Which might be why on December 15th, he took to the stage at Rolling Loud music festival, where Cardi was making history as the first woman to headline, and bombarded her with roses arranged as both words (“TAKE ME BACK CARDI”) and bouquets to beg for forgiveness in front of the audience and the world.


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It’s that last incident I’d like to focus on.

A day after crashing his estranged wife’s performance, Offset took to Twitter again to announce that because all his indiscretions had been made public, his apologies should be too. Right?

And therein lies the question. On a scale of endearing romantic gesture to stalker-like harassment, I agree with Amanda Seales and Tarana Burke that Offset’s behavior is creepy and toxic and looks more like harassment than romance. But this… display (?) got me ruminating on the act of grand gestures in general: What’s up with them?

Asking this question aloud prompted Harling to bring up grand gesture-obsessed O.C. character Seth Cohen, with whom I was not familiar because of the simple fact that I never watched The O.C. — a tidbit which further prompted Harling to send me this YouTube clip of what she calls “THE grand gesture” with the commentary “most memorable line: ‘Acknowledge me now or lose me forever.’”

“Do you have any memory of thinking this was cool or creepy?” I asked.

“At the time I thought it was extremely cute,” she said. “But now I have secondhand anxiety watching it. Keep in mind I watched this show when I was 14.”

She followed up by sending this compilation clip, which she says is “also relevant.” (It is.)

So now I want — nay, need to know: What are your experiences with grand gestures? Have you ever stood outside of someone’s window, boombox in hand, professing your love à la that one scene in Say Anything? (And if so: Why? Did it work? Tell me everything.) Or maybe you’ve never John Cusack’d it up but instead were on the receiving end? Who’s gotten proposed to via a jumbotron — or, better yet — via a massive billboard in the middle of Times Square? Was it totally weird or super fun? I’m curious as to how the Hollywood-heralded “grand gesture” actually plays out in real life.

Meet me in the comments where I’ll be waiting to hear all of your grand gesture-related stories, from the romantic endeavors to harrowing tales and everything in between. I really can’t wait.

Photo by Scott Dudelson via Getty Images.

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