Growing up as a shy kid, when it came time to “pop the question,” you can guess that I was a bit terrified. How? When? Where? Why? Well, I knew why — but you married folks understand. Kind of a go/no-go decision. I spent countless hours trying to answer those questions and found too many ways to stumble, mumble, and fumble. So, I did what any self-respecting engineer would do: I worked it out in writing.
Request for Proposal
Personal Services and Sharing of Space/Property
Response Due: When you are ready
Mr. Sciarabba (the Offeror) is providing a proposal to you (the Offeree) to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.
The key objectives of this transaction include the following:
1. Get along with your family
2. Replace the toilet paper roll correctly
3. Keep the lid down
4. Put dirty clothes in the hamper
5. Remember anniversaries
Bachelor Party — 2 weeks prior to wedding (minimum)
Wedding Shower — Whatever date makes your Mom happy
Rehearsal Dinner — Remind me when that is again
Honeymoon — As soon as we can afford one
Birth of first Child — Whoa, don’t rush me
Birth of second Child — Whenever you say, dear
Anniversary — I’ll remember, I promise
Offeror understands that the proposal will be evaluated by a committee consisting of the Offeree, the Offeree’s family, and Offeree’s friends using a methodology that considers multiple factors, including:
• Commitment to provide services consistent with the objectives set forth above
• Financial capacity of Offeror to deliver the services he proposes in a sustainable way
• No prior successful experience with similar transactions
• Ability to commence services immediately upon saying, “I do”
Proposal submission guidelines
The Offeror’s proposal attempts to address his ability and methodologies for providing a good life for the Offeree. To be deemed “responsive” to this proposal, the Offeror understands he must meet all mandatory requirements and qualifications and must address all points and questions appearing before him from this day forward. In the event the Offeree is “non-responsive,” the Offeror is required by male ego, pride, and self-respect to:
1. Re-evaluate what he was thinking
2. Explain to Offeree that he was “just kidding”
3. State that he “wants to stay friends” and
4. Wake up to the reality that the proposal will not be re-considered for award.
Marital contract period
The term of contract relating to the provisions of personal services with respect to any rights herein to be: “as long as we both shall live.” This contract may only be revised upon mutual consent of the parties in writing. Such written consent will not be effective until signed by both parties under direction of legal counsel.
No claims or rights
If a contract is entered into, Offeree agrees that she will not make any claims for, or have any rights to monetary or emotional damages because of any misinterpretations, misinformation, misunderstandings, misgivings, missed birthdays, missed anniversaries or general lapses in judgment by the Offeror.
Offeree further understands that at various periods during the term of the contract, Offeror will do things that are beyond explanation and just plain dumb. Offeree agrees that justification for such actions will not be necessary, as the only possible excuse is, “I’m a guy.”
Attachment 1 — Proposal Acceptance Note (Check Yes or No)
Attachment 2 — Fidelity Agreement
Attachment 3 — Conditions, Terms, and Limitations
Attachment 4 — Proof of Purchase (Engagement Ring)
Well, my marketing efforts and proposal preparations were successful. I got the contract! And the client seems to be very happy with my services — so far.
Andy Sciarabba, P.E., is a principal with T.G. Miller, P.C., Engineers and Surveyors in Ithaca, N.Y. T.G. Miller, P.C. (www.tgmillerpc.com) is a consulting civil engineering and surveying firm that serves municipal, commercial, institutional, and private clients throughout central New York. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.