Penguin Waddles Up and Surprises Woman with Engagement Ring
How we met: Mitch and I met for the first time on Saturday November 27th 2009 outside of Mike and Tony’s Gyro Shop at 3:00am. I remember the date because it was my mom’s birthday and my friends and I took her to see the new Harry Potter movie. Afterwards, her birthday festivities continued into the South Side walking down East Carson Street for a continued night out. As I was waiting for my friends, Mitch approached me. I wasn’t interested in talking to him because it was after the bars had closed and I felt he might not have had the best of intentions in mind. A year later we bumped into each other at 3:00pm at H&M and he asked me out again. Since it was during the day, I took him up on his offer and here we are about to get married!
How he asked: If I gave you all the little details I would have to write an essay, but here is a short and sweet version. I received a letter in the mail from the zoo. I thought it was junk mail and I put it in the recycle bin. That night, Mitch asked me if I wanted to have his family over for a bon fire and if we have any paper? I told him to check the recycle bin and he came out with the letter from the zoo saying, “I can’t believe you threw this away!” We won a behind the scenes visit to see the penguins! Some might find this suspicious, but I am notorious for throwing away stuff in the recycle bin because I can’t stand clutter. Additionally, we just went to the zoo a month ago with my brother and his boyfriend and Mitch is notorious himself for signing up for all kinds of drawings hoping to win free stuff. I was very mad at myself in that moment because I almost missed out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. I think I even yelled at myself in my head to stop and look at things more closely before throwing it away which is very funny.
We were off to the zoo on Friday July 18th and I was filled with excitement. I was not only to see the penguins, but because were finally on vacation. I noticed Mitch was looking a little ill and extremely sweaty. He said he had to use the restroom; he seemed a lot better once he came out, which made me happy that he would be able to enjoy this cool event that we won. He kept trying to grab my hand on the way up to the penguin exhibit, but he was still very sweaty and I kept saying “Eww you’re so sweaty”. I think back about that moment and laugh out loud because he was trying to be sweet and I kept shooing his hand away.
We were listening to Katy the penguin head trainer for about 20 minutes giving us fun facts about the different penguin species and we got to meet Clark one of the King penguins. I was surprised how solid they are and he felt like velvet.
Then out came Mickey and I saw the little bow she had been wearing. I take one of my dogs to the nursing home to visit patients and I always put bows in her hair, so seeing the bow wasn’t out of the ordinary for me and I just figured they were dressing her up for this event. Then I saw the ring and everything turned into slow motion! I have been waiting for a very long time for Mitch to propose to me to the point that I gave up on thinking about it. I absolutely couldn’t believe what was happening. I just started shaking and as everyone heard on the video… I screamed! I was that surprised! Then, I noticed everyone around me, and the cameras were exposed and my first thought was, I almost didn’t shower this morning! I figured Penguins smell like fish and they might poop on me, so why shower. I am very glad that I did! The females know what I am talking about.
When Mitch proposed, it made my heart stop. He had a hard time gathering his words and that fact that he was crying on top of it really hit me. My mom always said to me, “That boy really loves you!” in her lovely West Virginia and Baltimore accent because he consistently showed me acts of love throughout our whole relationship. Not just the beginning. I know he loves me, but it was becoming official right in the moment.
Afterwards he had one more surprise which was the helicopter ride around Pittsburgh. It was scary at first, but once we got over the tree tops it was like being in a car on the highway. It was stunning! When we were done, we went off to tell close family and enjoyed our week vacation sharing the wonderful news.
Had he not done all that stuff I seriously wouldn’t have cared. I just wanted the man and that was the best present of all. As he puts it, that is your birthday present and Christmas present etc.
Credits: Shofilms // The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium staff specifically Katy Wozniak and David Mintz for helping my fiancé arrange everything // Clark and Mickey the Penguins //Verona and Oakmont Fire Depts for providing the safety parameters for the helicopter/ / Oakmont for allowing us to land at the park for free // Ron Spiker from Spike Helicopters