If you love avocados just about as much as your partner, you'll get all the feels for an engagement idea taking off on Instagram after a post by food stylist Colette Dike topped 10K likes last week: using an avocado in lieu of a ring box during a marriage proposal.
Here, two men who used the fruit to pop the question – before the Internet fell for the schtick – explain how they pulled it off, and why:
How did you propose?
Randy Gonzalez, Westbrook, Connecticut: In September 2016, five years after we met on West Beach in Connecticut, I brought my fiancÃ©e, Kimberlee Brosnan, back to the same spot. I packed an avocado for us to share and put an engagement ring, which had a diamond from my father's mother and a new white gold band, inside. A photographer, Kim Tyler, happened to be shooting something else, saw us, and captured the moment.
Ben Stevenson, Stamford, England: For Christmas of 2015, I surprised my then-girlfriend Taylor Selby with a trip to Bali and the surrounding islands, a place she'd dreamed of visiting for a few years. I planned to propose within the first few days of our trip, but Taylor fell ill, so I decided to wait until later on when we'd be on the Gili Islands beach at sunset. I found the perfect spot for a picnic, and we took a few photos. Then I told Taylor how much I loved her, got down one knee, and gave her a box holding an avocado with the ring inside.
What inspired you to use an avocado ring box?
Gonzalez: The very first time we met – by chance, at a beach cookout – Kimberlee told me she'd never eaten an avocado, and I was like, "Are you kidding? Give it a go, and if you don't like it, I'll eat the rest." We started dating a week later. I wanted to use an avocado to propose to commemorate the day we met.
Stevenson: The idea honestly just came to me a few months before our trip. I'm a jeweler, so I'm around jewelry boxes all the time, and I truly wanted to give Taylor a proposal that was special and unique to her that also spoke true to our relationship – we both love avocados.
Logistically, how did you stick the ring inside the avocado?
Gonzalez: I bought the avocado specifically for this and let it ripen in a bag. About an hour before we left for the beach, I halved it and removed the pit. Then, I covered the ring in saran wrap – no one wants a ring that's covered in avocado – and stuck it inside the fruit. I used a rubber band to keep the two halves together and make it look nice and neat. Then I put the whole thing in a plastic bag and packed a spoon, so it looked like I'd precut it for us to eat.
Stevenson: At our first hotel's restaurant, I asked for their best whole, uncut avocado. But by the time we reached the island and Taylor was feeling better, it wasn't looking as perfect as I'd hoped – I'd lugged it around for two days in the heat, and there were no alternatives available. I was determined to stick with my plan and knew the proposal part was the important bit – not what the ring was in!
I cut it open while Taylor was getting ready for the evening. In place of the pit, I stuck the ring right into the avocado's flesh. Then I put the halves together and placed them inside a little bamboo box we'd bought in Bali. I put the box in a bag with the right side up. Thankfully, the ring managed to stay upright in the avocado until I proposed. It did get some avocado on it.
How did your partner respond?
Gonzalez: When she opened it, she was like, "What is this?" She didn't know what the hell was going on. After a long nervous pause she said, "Yes" – she was just taken aback by the whole surreality of it.
Stevenson: She instantly said "Yes," and we wiped off the ring to put on her finger. She thought the avocado was the most creative thing I had done for her and absolutely loved how thoughtful it was. She also made sure that we were going to eat it at some point.
What did you do with the avocado after the proposal?
Gonzalez: We ate it with the spoon I'd brought. What else would you do with it?
Stevenson: We didn't want it to go to waste, so we gave it to the hotel restaurant to keep in the fridge overnight and then had avocado toast with it the next morning.
What's your response to criticism that this is a millennial trend or wasteful?
Gonzalez: I’m not some guy who saw a trending picture – I thought of it.
Stevenson: When I proposed to Taylor two years ago, I never would have guessed that this would become a trend, nor that avocados would become so popular! On our end, it wasn't wasteful considering the fact we ended up eating the avocado. I think people should propose to their partner in whichever way that is meaningful and speaks true to the two of them.
Got any advice for others who'd like to use an avocado ring box to propose?
Gonzalez: I'd recommend against doing this. Think of something creative on your own.
Stevenson: Have a good solid box to keep it in.
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