By: Curtis Rush
Photo Credit: APARNA
Courtesy of: The Star
A 31-year-old Chicago advertising executive has written a marriage proposal that is one for the books, portraying himself as a tortoise and his girlfriend as the hare (or, in this case, bunny).
Jason Methner is the creative mind behind the illustrated account of his relationship with his girlfriend, Molly Lipsitz.
He had the book, titled A Hare-y Tale, illustrated by friend Yoni Limor and placed the bound volume among the “new arrivals” in a Chicago library for his 27-year-old girlfriend to find.
The book refers to some of the activities they have done as a couple in their 4½-year relationship.
In it, Methner is portrayed as the tortoise and Lipsitz as “Bunny” — because she has slept with a stuffed rabbit named Bunny since childhood.
In one sketch, Bunny is shown marching off to university with a bag of her belongings tied to a stick. The book even includes a sketch of their one-year-old dog Hammer.
Like the classic tortoise and hare story, Methner and Lipsitz each take life at a different pace. Methner is laid back, while Lipsitz is an A-type personality, very organized and constantly producing lists. She enjoys healthy food. He loves cheeseburgers.
However, they have plenty in common, including a love of adventure, food and jogging.
They also enjoy good books and libraries. So it was only natural that the marriage proposal should take place in a library.
For this special moment, Methner chose the Harold Washington Library Centre, the main branch of the Chicago public library system.
On March 23, he used “a lie” to trick Lipsitz into finding the 20-page book on a shelf in the branch’s Thomas Hughes Children’s Library.
As Lipsitz began flipping through it, she came to an abrupt stop on page 3: the narrative mentioned Sandy Springs, her home town near Atlanta. Lipsitz grew suspicious. Methner encouraged her to read on.
On the next to last page, the story read: “Although we don’t often run at same pace, do you want to slow down and spend the rest of your life with me?”
And on the last page: “And Bunny said …” This was followed by an empty space for her to say “yes.”
At that point, Methner got down on one knee, popped the question and pulled out a diamond engagement ring.
As in all good fairytales, this book had a happy ending.
She exclaimed, “Yes,” and a professional photographer concealed behind the bookshelves emerged to snap the delightful moment.
“I didn’t cry. That’s not really my style,” Lipsitz told the Star from Chicago. “I was just totally surprised and shocked in a good way. It was an amazingly thoughtful and creative proposal and in an unexpected place.”
The Chicago Public Library posted the photos on Facebook, which helped turn their proposal into a viral event.
Portrait and wedding photographer Aparna Paul Jain also posted photos on her website.
“I have known Molly for a few years now, and when Jason thought about this idea he asked me if I could photograph it. There was no way I was going to miss it,” she told the Star in an email. “I think it played out really well.”
Library staff helped her rearrange books so that she could have a clear view of Methner’s picture book.
“This is the first time I photographed a surprise proposal,” she said.
Lipsitz appreciated that Methner had arranged for her to go with a friend to have a manicure that morning, not knowing it was so she would look good in photos showing the ring on her finger.
No wedding date has been announced.
Methner made five more copies of the book so relatives would have the book as a memento.
“Most women have been very flattering to me with compliments about my creativity,” he said. “But a lot of men, especially in my friends’ group, have given me the eye roll … like, thanks for setting the bar so high.”