Joe is a comedian and film maker; Michelle is an actress and comedy writer. They met at The PIT, which sounds kinky but is not: PIT is short for People’s Improv Theater. Joe knew he had to incorporate comedy and laughter into his proposal. But how to do so without ruining the intense romance of the moment?
“We first started dating,” said Joe, “I was working on a comedy screenplay about a guy trying to win back the love of his life by winning the World Air Guitar Championships.” Joe was an avid air guitarist himself—a fact that might make you wonder how he ever got a girlfriend in the first place. But Michelle was game: “I thought I was going to make fun of it no end,” she later wrote of her first experience watching her man rock out. But instead, she was impressed. “To see him up on stage shredding it like a rock star in his spandex and fake Mohawk made me swoon.”
Air guitar? Spandex? Yes, before you ask: they do live in Brooklyn. But don’t worry, Joe knew better than to go full hipster—he wasn’t about to propose to Michelle with a vintage spy decoder ring or something else equally kitschy. He realized that for this proposal, whimsy alone wouldn’t cut it. “I wanted to do something different, but not too outside the box.”
“I looked at some rings, and the process felt too impersonal,” says Joe, “but working with Zameer Kassam was an amazing experience. He helped me open up and remember aspects of my relationship with Michelle that made me feel even deeper in love.” Collaborating with Zameer, Joe designed a ring that perfectly captured Michelle’s personality and the couple’s shared history, including:
- A Sapphire center stone which Joe picked because it reminded him of Michelle’s blue eyes;
- A setting that mirrors the arches of the Cloisters Museum in New York, the site of the couple’s first real kiss;
- A small engraving of a sunflower, “the one thing I know will always bring a smile to her face;”
- 12 small diamonds on the band, representing Michelle’s lucky number as well as her late father’s birthday;
- 14 total diamonds, 14 being the day of the month her late-father was born;
- 3 hidden stones: a turquoise for March (the month they started dating); a sapphire (Michelle’s birthstone); and an emerald (a nod to Michelle’s Irish heritage).
The Ring: Decoded
Imaginary guitar, real ring
This is where the comedy comes back in. Having designed such a memorable, meaningful ring, Joe wanted to present it to Michelle in a memorable, meaningful way—at a big air guitar competition at New York’s Bowery Ballroom.
“I pulled her up on stage in front of a few hundred people, opened my shirt to reveal “Marry Me?” written underneath on my chest, dropped to one knee, pulled out an “air” ring box and put an “air” ring on her finger. She said yes but thought this was one of my comedy routines. Then I pulled out the real ring and she broke down in tears. We kissed on stage then half a dozen grown men wearing various air guitar outfits, think spandex, leather kilts, wigs, hoisted us on their shoulders while the crowd went wild chanting “Rock n Roll”. It was an epic night.
As Michelle wrote; “It was the perfectly fitting proposal for a perfectly unusual relationship.”