They say there's a lid for every pot. And when a geek has found his lid, there comes a time when he wants to take a soldering iron to it and make sure it's not going anywhere. But a true geek can't just hide a ring in the dessert and get down on one knee. Oh, no. He must pop the question with creativity and flair, to make it as memorable as possible for his geek princess in the only ways a geek knows how. And these days, that means he might just have to do a bit of coding. Read on for some of the geekiest marriage proposals ever.
I told you there might be coding involved. Our first geek proposal comes to us via PerlMonks, a site designed as "a cool Internet hangout for Perl gurus and semi-advanced users." User Falkkin wrote a Perl script called "propose" in the shape of a heart and posted it on the site. Naturally, there was only one way for Vortacist to respond:
There are those who come up with overly convoluted plans to spring their marriage proposals, and then there's this guy, who came up with an actual Rube Goldberg machine. The nearly 8-minute video explains the machine in a depth only a geek could appreciate.
Ground zero of the LOLCAT meme, the "I Can Has Cheezburger" site had "a very speshul valentines" in 2008, when a geek proposed to "Loretta" by means of a series of LOLCAT images, in "teh very furst lolproposal." Despite the shocking grammatical errors, she still said yes.
Artist Luke Jerram worked with a jeweler and vinyl record manufacturer Dubstudios to etch his 20-second proposal as a recorded message on an engagement ring for his beloved. If you have a miniature record player handy, maybe she'd play it for you.
Every geek has at least one O'Reilly book on his or her shelf. But only "PayPal Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools" has a marriage proposal right there in the acknowledgements, penned by co-author Dave Nielsen.
This one actually did not work. Maybe there wasn't enough overlap between the circles. Maybe he should have tried a flow chart. Or maybe he should have fleshed out a full PowerPoint presentation. Whatever the case, we give props to Paul for putting himself out there in the name of love, and for posting this innovative image on GraphJam.
A favorite among the geeky editors here, Slashdot is a great site for "news for nerds, stuff that matters." In 2002, Slashdot editor "CmdrTaco" had special news for a special nerd in a post entitled "Kathleen Fent Read This Story." It took only 15 minutes 30 seconds for him to receive a yes. And the commenters went wild.
Any proposal that starts out with "A little over two years ago I was standing in line for the re-release of Star Wars" is going to earn a place on a list of geeky marriage proposals. What earns it a place on this list is that it was included in a 1999 Web-based comic along with an illustration of the artist in a Pac-Man T-shirt.
Along the same lines, the producers of the "Joy of Tech" Web comic helped one of their subscribers propose. Not only are the subscriber and his intended immortalized in comic form, but the artists depicted a scenario where "angryjungman" calls his girlfriend over to look at some Python code that proposes via an ASCII text-art engagement ring - thus creating a three-layer geek-within-geek-within-geek dream that is blowing my mind at "Inception" levels.
As we have just seen, it helps if you have friends in geek places. Barry Schwartz had the awesome idea of getting the folks at Ask Jeeves (now Ask.com) to set up a search result to pop the question when his girlfriend's name was entered. And while it didn't go super-smoothly, we admire his ability to keep cool and make it work: "I open up the browser; she begins to type it in, while I grab the ring from a drawer in my desk, behind her. She turns around and says that she messed up. I stay calm, hide the ring in my pocket and fix the screen, which she kind of minimized (using a Mac). Then she continues her search and I reach for the flowers behind the file cabinet. She looks at the screen, probably read it twice, possibly more. I am kneeling behind her when she swivels the chair around."
Again, it's about connections. If you worked at Google, you could find out when a Google Street View picture-taking run was going to take place, and then you could stand there with your sign. Like Michael Weiss-Malik did.
Without connections, you may have to rely on your own mad hacking skillz and hack or even rewrite a video game. For inspiration, turn to this guy, who rewrote "Bejeweled" (his girlfriend's favorite game) on Nintendo DS so that it would present a picture of a ring when she got to a certain score. Or this guy, who hacked "Chrono Trigger" to display scenes from a relationship and then pop the question. Or this guy, who spelled out "Lisa… Will you marry me?" in Super Mario coins. Alternatively, for those of you who need a slightly lower bar, you could just create a custom level on "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" and leave it on your TV.
Bjorn gave Jenny his password, and then Jenny gave Bjorn her hand. In between there, she pressed F12 and a picture of a ring popped up on the screen.
Women love a guy who can design a Web site. Dave staked out DaveLovesElizabeth.com and built an online shrine to their relationship, complete with Google Maps mashup, eHarmony parody, slideshow, and rap music video (sadly unavailable at this time - UPDATE: Dave wrote in to let us know he fixed the video). After giving Elizabeth the URL and driving her to a PC, she clicked the links and came to this page.
If this site is to be believed, the webmaster in question proposed marriage on the site in late 2006. However, it took until June 2009 for "KC" to say yes. Why? Because she had no idea the site existed, and it took that long for her to find the site and then take the online quiz with answers proving that she was the one he was looking for.
Bryan Haggerty designed an iPhone app to guide his girlfriend to a series of locations. At the end, there he was waiting to deliver his proposal in person.
This one gets points for being both technically and artistically difficult and requiring many helpers. For four months YouTube user "chadwildclay" secretly composed a song for his girlfriend and created a proposal video to go along with it that was a bit like an iPhone commercial, only longer and more personal. He then got a movie theater to agree to show the "commercial" as one of the previews for a showing of "Going the Distance" and got their friends to play along. When the video ended, he proposed, she said yes, and then they skipped the movie - which is just as well, because it got mediocre reviews.
If you have a lot of geeky friends with iPhones, you could have them stand around pretending to surf the Web while they actually capture your surprise wedding proposal from a dozen different angles. Frank's friends helped him do just that, and here is the result. UPDATE: A disillusioned reader found that this one was a hoax - so we'll have to call it the geekiest FAKE marriage proposal.
There wasn't any coding involved, but "obiwan8403" reached geeky heights by proposing to his girlfriend in full Jedi garb at a Star Wars Celebration event, with the help of the Rebel Legion costuming group and lines like, "Ever since I first met her in the Outer Rim, I knew I'd always be in her rangefinder," which is at least as good as the stuff George Lucas wrote for Episode II.
The twentieth proposal could be yours! Now that you're inspired, send us your geekiest marriage proposal and we'll add it to the list. Good luck!
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