Friday, December 18, 2009

Atheist Wedding Proposal

So, as many of you know from the Atheist Experience blog, the other night at Threadgills I proposed to Russell Glasser, in a less-than-traditional move. Here's a picture of the happy after-glow.

There were several reasons why I wanted to be the one who proposed - to spurn tradition, because for me it was a one-time chance, and mostly because I wanted to do an amazingly fun job of it. Russell and I had talked about it before-hand and we had agreed that I would be the one to do the official asking.

Russell and I are both huge nerds, and I wanted to ask him to marry me in some sort of nerdy way. I mentally tossed over many nerdy possibilities actually, ranging from a Back to the Future proposal (ring in a flux capacitor?) to writing a text-based adventure game proposal. Some I threw out right away: a World of Warcraft in-game proposal would have seemed too immaterial, and the only way I could conceive of a Quantum Leap proposal was to wait for him to say 'yes' and then ask and argue with empty space about why I haven't leaped yet. Russell not being a Lord of the Rings fan, there was no way he'd enjoy a LOTR proposal (the One Ring baked in Lembas bread?).

All of these didn't seem to be all that fitting, and anyway I didn't want to propose with a ring because I wanted to give us both a chance to choose our own rings.

After thinking about it for days I settled on Doctor Horrible and it was too perfect to give up. We are both Doctor Horrible fans, and love singing to it in the car. My favorite song is "A Man's Gotta Do" while his is "On the Rise". Of course, the song that would have worked best was the "Bad Horse Letter", so that's what I went with.

After some creative use of rhyming dictionaries, I finally came up with a good song.

Bad Horse, Bad Horse, Bad Horse, Bad Horse

She flew across the nation
To consummate the sin
She wants a life together from just now herein
It needs an affirmation
So don't you wait, chime in
A gentle nod, a grin endorse
Big 'Yes' would be nice of course

Bad Horse, Bad Horse, Bad Horse, Bad Horse

The Godless League of Godless is watching so beware
The answer you give now will be the last we swear
So Make Lynnea gleeful
Or she'll make you her mare...
You'll marry up, there's no divorce
It's hi-ho silver!
Bad Horse

To explain the song a bit: I met Russell by being a fan of the Atheist Experience show, when I lived in California. I have since been living out in Austin for the past several months, and we just got a place together a few weeks ago. I wanted to propose at the after-show Atheist Community of Austin dinner at Threadgills, in honor of the thing that initially brought us together.

I told most everyone involved with the show that this dinner was going to be special and why, and thanks to all of them for keeping it a secret.

Unable to keep such a big secret, (and a little bit nervous about getting that 'yes') I did also mention to Russell that I'd be proposing to him at Threadgills, but I gave him no more details than that. It was hard keeping such a secret. There was a lot of 'don't look in my trunk!' lest he wonder why I kept 3 cowboy hats in there, and 'don't read that [sheet of lyrics]!', and plenty of secret text messages.

The trickiest part was getting cowboys. Three of my coworkers graciously agreed, which was perfect as they wouldn't be expected to be there or missed. Cowboy hats and fake mustaches with awesome suspenders and plaid shirts and scarves made the outfits. I think they turned out perfectly, and I want to thank them again for doing a stellar job.

When the day came, I have to admit I was nervous. Despite being in studio, I was not able to focus on the show as much as I would have liked and I was checking my phone every minute at the dinner. About 10 minutes into the dinner, I excused myself to the 'bathroom' to go actually round up the cowboys. Of course, when we returned, the waitress was taking orders, bah! I had to wait for the waitress to finish Keryn's order before going to make my announcement, which was stressful with three cowboys on my heels waiting around the corner.

Seizing my chance, I called for attention and turned to Russell. I told him "Russell, I love you very much, and there's something I want to ask you. I've written it down in a letter." and handed over a letter with the Bad Horse lyrics. Russell later told me he wondered momentarily if he was supposed to sing the lyrics himself. Right on cue, the cowboys popped out and sang the song. Russell was cracking up the whole time, and the singers did a perfect job. Afterward, everyone was clapping and laughing and I turned and thanked my coworkers, and in all the cheering I nearly forgot to get a response.

Someone else remembered, and asked Russell "Well?!? What do you say?" And then everyone turned to Russell, who impassively gestured to the letter, "Well, was there a question here?" After a momentary panic, and a collective boo from the crowd, I collected myself and said, "Russell Glasser, will you marry me?" to which he immediately responded "Yes". Later he told me that this was to help clarify what was going on for people (including his son, I'd imagine) who might have been confused about what was happening. Also, I think, just to give me a fright.

After that, we did some posing for the camera. Here's me on one knee, despite that not being how I proposed.

Here's us kissing in happiness.

We don't have any wedding plans yet, but as soon as there's significant enough progress I will let people know what's shaking.

And for those of you wondering where I've been, I'm writing a text-based adventure game. It's almost playable/winnable but nowhere near finished. As soon as it's ready I will let you all know.


  1. That was so great. How many men in the world get the opportunity to be the recipient of a creative proposal? Thank you so much for such a treat. As someone else pointed out, you are such a terrific nerd fiancee that I still have a hard time believing that you're real sometimes. :)

  2. That sounds like an awesome proposal. I just wish I had been there for that. You two make a great couple from what I have seen. Hope to see you both again when I come down your way again.

  3. Great proposal! Congratulations to the both of you.

  4. It sounds so awesome, I was smiling three forths of the time while reading this. I wish both of you the best and a heart-felt congratulations to both of you. *sigh* I wanna get a nerdy boyfriend too...

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Yay! I proposed to my now-husband, too :)

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. I loved the idea of the Quantum Leap proposal ... that has got to be one of the most original ideas I've heard ... and absolutely hilarious!!!

  9. Adorable. Clever. I love it.

    Congrats! :D

  10. Wow, kudos to you for one creative proposal, and for bucking the trend!


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