The Time Capsule Proposal The Time Capsule Proposal

The Time Capsule Proposal

Let’s talk time capsules. What a great idea! Take some random artifacts from present day, bury them somewhere neighborhood dogs can't get at them and then wait a lengthy period of time to dig the capsule up. Hopefully, you live long enough to unearth a bunch of things you won’t actually remember burying in the first place. But that’s the point and why people love (at least the idea) of a time capsule. We know what you’re thinking, McFly: You don’t have a Delorean, a Flux Capacitor, or mad scientist-best friend who could easily be confused with being your grandpa. Guess what though, you don’t need a time machine to pull this proposal off...just a little bit of time and some preparation.  

By John Mihaly, Illustrations By Adam Stafford

Degree of Difficulty

4 on a scale of 1 (Easy) to 10 (Expert)

What You'll Need

  1. The engagement ring
  2. A good story
  3. A small dirty, old, beat-up box or storage container
  4. Some childhood items (both yours and hers)


Wherever you wish to open a time capsule (at home, in the park).

The Plan

This one is going to take some stretching of the truth (because again, no time machine H.G. Wells) but it’s all for the show of it. If you’ve got an older relative (a parent, grandparent) who has lived in their home for a long time this will be easy enough. If not, there will be a need for some further truth-stretching.

Inform your future-fiance that your parent/grandparent called and said they found a box in their backyard, one that you buried as a child and most likely forgot about (kids are forgetful!) and that they mailed it your way. Hype up your foggy memories and the excitement of what might be in the box.

In the meantime, you need to find a box or a metal container that’s old, dirty, and beat-up. Try an army surplus store or go searching for an old-timey toolbox or fishing box. Once you’ve got that, beat it up some more—slather it with mud, pound it with a hammer, scrap it with a chisel. Now fill it with some old, personal effects from your past: childhood drawings, a newspaper from years ago, or any personal memento that can tell a story that’s tied to you from your past to your present and into your future. You’re also going to hide the ring in here, at the very bottom of the box.

When the big day comes and the time capsule has been “delivered,” tell your lady that you’d like nothing more than to sit down with her and pop this thing open together. You might want to pick somewhere quiet and private for when you actually pop the question. As you go through each item, tell a little story about it and what it means to you today and how even back then you were always thinking about the future. As you dig deep to pull out the last item, drop to one knee, talk about starting your future together, and then speak those four words.

What To Watch Out For

  1. Dust and dirt.
  2. Keeping your stories straight.
  3. Biff Tannen (maybe, you can never be sure with time travel).  


Now the both of you can start your own real-time capsule from that day, just make sure to remember where you bury it for future generations.