As I ascend ever higher into my twenties, more and more of my friends are starting to get engaged.
This is quite a bleak prospect in many ways; friends will inevitably fall by the wayside as the magnetic pull of marital staying-in-and-choosing-what-colour-to-paint-the-wall-ism exerts itself over even the most stoic and reliable of pub-goers, while others start referring to themselves as a collective ("we didn't like Ratatouille, did we? Rats that can talk? The whole premise is just ridiculous").
In short, the whole rigamarole of congratulating distant acquaintances on getting engaged, or having to actually be there, fixed smile plastered rigidly on my freezing cold face, is making me acutely aware that the remorseless swing of the grim reaper's axe is scything ever closer to all of us. Anyway, congratulations on the engagement. Yes, I'm delighted for you, yes I dare say I can come to the engagement party and yes, a Madagascar 2 themed wedding will definitely be a refreshing and fun event to attend in March.
Despite there literally being innumerable ways to propose, most people seem to essentially opt for the same few methods, which we might break down thus;
- Picturesque views atop a famous monument/ tower.
- Novelty lobster-with-a-ring-on-its-claw dinner.
- Walk by river, they turn around, you're down on one knee, all your friends emerge from behind a lamppost yelling "WELL DONE" at you for some reason.
- Doing it on New Year's Eve in front of 200 strangers so they have to say yes.
- Doing it at halftime in a basketball/football game so they really have to say yes.
These are the five accepted norms for proposing to someone, and most proposals I hear of tend to fit loosely into one of those categories.
However, one couple firmly broke the mould by getting engaged at Cincinnati Zoo.
What's more, Nick Kelble chose what would turn out to be - literally - the picture perfect moment, after the couple had been queuing up to meet the zoo's internet famous hippo, Fiona.
Girlfriend Hayley Roll told the Daily Buzz;
"Nick and I were waiting in line to get our photo taken with Fiona and I gave my cell phone to someone to take the photo and when I turned back around, Nick was on one knee proposing."
Hayley took to Instagram to share the hilarious photo that followed; her boyfriend Nick down on one knee, her look of delight, and Fiona the hippo watching on, giving her seal of approval.
And it appears that, for the happy couple, Fiona's presence in the midst of their special moment was the icing on the cake;
"We're so happy Fiona could be there on our special day here's to many more years of going to zoos with you".
I've got to say, this up there with the very best proposal photos for me; kudos to Fiona the hippo for getting involved, and congratulations to Nick and Hayley - with a photo like this to look back on, you'll never forget the moment you decided to get married.