Flower and Mark | A Penguin Helps With this Proposal!

DSC03010How We Met: Flower and I met in high school, but it wasn’t until junior year that we actually started talking. I always knew her as an amazing singer who didn’t like her name. We became great friends senior year because of all of the activities and clubs we were in together and fortunately we continued on to the same college where we had a couple of classes together. It wasn’t until the end of my junior year that I finally had a chance to ask her to be my girlfriend. We dated for four years and I finally asked her to marry me when I finished my second degree in nursing and she finished her degree in nutrition.

How He Asked: Shortly after planning her 25th birthday dinner in January, I started on the proposal which was going to take place in March. I wanted it to be a surprise but knew it was going to be difficult. I also knew I wanted to do something that included her favorite animal, the penguin.

I contacted the penguin encounter at Moody Gardens who happily agreed to help with my plans of asking my girlfriend to marry me. I chose this place because in addition to meeting a penguin, the penguins created art on a canvass which visitors were allowed to keep. The planning was the most difficult part because Flower does not like surprises. I had one of her best friends, Nereyda, help me in coordinating the date. In trying to keep the date secret, Flower kept trying to plan something for that weekend such as a color-run or Hunter Hayes at the rodeo, so it was vital that Nereyda make up some plan so that Flower wouldn’t plan something else that day. We even decided to include another one of her friends, Evelyn, in order to help us and discourage Flower from making other arrangement. However, Nereyda may have been too excited about the up-coming day and Flower was suspicious saying that the day Nereyda had planned in Galveston seemed out of the ordinary from was she normally planned. In her words, the day seemed too perfect.

As a decoy I told Nereyda to cancel the plans and a day before then tell her that the day was still a on a day before. It seemed to work. We got to Moody Gardens an hour early and I was still debating whether or not to tell her about actually seeing the penguins, but at the entrance we had to sign a waiver saying that they were not liable for injury caused by the penguins so I had to let the secret out. We explored the aquarium for a bit and finally it was time to meet a penguin. The biologist took us on a short tour of the penguin habitat and kitchen where they prepped the food and I was surprised and relieved that the odor wasn’t too bad. We were ushered into a small room and finally got to meet a King Penguin named Watson.

The biologist told us about Watson’s personal story and about his penguin girlfriend of five years. Watson did some art work for us by stepping onto a sponge with paint and walking over a blank canvas. The biologist stated she was writing Watson’s name and date on the back of the canvas so we can remember and handed a canvas to both of us. She asked us to flip it over and my heart was racing. As soon as she flipped over the painting I got down on one knee and started speaking but with tears in Flower’s eyes, it made me emotional as well and difficult to think on the spot.

I was supposed to say, “Flower, these have been the best 47 months and 15 days of my life. You have been with me through the difficult times and we have celebrated through the best times and every time I spend with you is special. Will you make the rest of my life even happier by being my wife? Will you marry me?” However what came out was confused mess but I got through it, she accepted and now we are able to start the next chapter in our lives.

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