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Navigating a way to her heart
September 5, 2011 3:17 AM   Subscribe

New York based Google engineer decides to go 'a little bit over the top' and propose to his girlfriend via Google maps and a treasure hunt. Awww....geek love. [Via]
posted by Duug (62 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm an old romantic, but this is lame.
posted by fairmettle at 3:23 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hope she made him do a treasure hunt to get the answer.
posted by Segundus at 3:40 AM on September 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


I knew I wanted to do something meaningful

Too much first person pronoun.

*Look at me. See how clever and "romantic" I am.*

I gotta say, these things always come off to me as though its all about the proposer and less about the proposee - look at what **I** did for YOU - which is sorta, kinda of completely assbackwards and nothing at all like romantic. At least to my way of thinking.

Go someplace where you can be alone, someplace private, someplace you can go back to years later to remind you how it all started when you need to (and you WILL need to), look her* in the eye, speak from your heart, make it clear it is all about her - that you are nothing without HER, and you cannot go wrong.

YMMV.

*Or "him" as appropriate.
posted by three blind mice at 3:41 AM on September 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


When she got to the checkered pin that marked her last destination, her seventh and final rose also came with a question—but this one was from me, and it wasn’t any ordinary question. I’ll leave it to you to guess what her answer was!

"Here's your phone back, you irritating weirdo."
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 3:42 AM on September 5, 2011 [17 favorites]


Just like back in the old days, this guy wants us to know that he proposed...rather than the focus on the fact that some girl got suckered into marrying him.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:51 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is somewhat cute, but this frankly felt like an advertisement for Google Maps.

Anyways, its probably been done before.
posted by HermanoBluth at 4:43 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wish them mad and everlasting joy.
posted by Sauce Trough at 4:44 AM on September 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


I gotta say, these things always come off to me as though its all about the proposer and less about the proposee - look at what **I** did for YOU - which is sorta, kinda of completely assbackwards and nothing at all like romantic. At least to my way of thinking.

Too much first person pronoun.

I gotta say these kind of comments always come off to me as though its all about the commenter trying to shit on someone else's parade: confident that its fine (on the basis of a single blog post) to judge someone as a "lame", "irritating wierdo" whose fiance (who we know nothing at all about) has been "suckered into" marrying him.

I guess it is disappointing to me to see a place so full of missfits, wierdos and geeks decide that its A-OK to mock someone else on the basis that they had a proposal that was geeky, weird and didn't fit in with your own definition of romance. Worse, *oh the horror* they had the gall to tell people about it because they thought it was cute. Newsflash: he wasn't asking to marry you, and quite often some people like having a cute proposal story and telling the world about it without it necessarily worrying about whether some bitter strangers are going to think is all a sinister ego-trip.

YMMV.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 4:44 AM on September 5, 2011 [22 favorites]


Wow. Of course, we aren't in this relationship, and if they are right for each other maybe she found it touching and sweet. Personally speaking, if I loved the person I'd cry with happiness for both the proposal and the effort in making it.
posted by jaduncan at 4:44 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bet they're gonna have a hobo-themed wedding reception.
posted by kinetic at 4:45 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I gotta say, these things always come off to me as though its all about the proposer and less about the proposee - look at what **I** did for YOU...

The ones we hear about from the proposer are pretty much fated to be that way by definition. If we either don't hear about them or hear about them from the proposee, they'd sound a lot nicer.
posted by DU at 4:46 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, what do we expect? Movies and TV (and romance novels, to some extent) have taught us that the important thing is to get the audience to root for you. Then she'll have to say yes.
posted by Gator at 4:47 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Boy, I think of myself as a guy who shakes my head at over-the-top marriage proposals, but you guys make me sympathize with the groom here! It's not like he made her answer in front of 35,000 Knicks fans or something.
posted by escabeche at 4:51 AM on September 5, 2011


My girlfriend just held out some flowers she'd picked and said "Will you marry me?".

This feels contrived.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:23 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it was charming until he put the entire thing online for his employer's blog. I hope she agreed to have her engagement made into an ad for Google.
posted by jeather at 5:24 AM on September 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


.... a place so full of missfits, wierdos and geeks decide that its A-OK to mock someone else on the basis that they had a proposal that was geeky, weird and didn't fit in with your own definition of romance.

Hey now! Sorry I touched such a raw nerve.
posted by three blind mice at 5:32 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


...And you know what? Using Google Maps isn't "geek" anymore. Using web-based map services is totally within the popular culture. If he had written a proposal website in HTML and uploaded it to a web server, that wouldn't make it "geek love", either.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:34 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


These sorts of things always seem to just reinforce the stereotype that geeks simply can't communicate through normal human channels, and have to resort to some veil of technology.

And, I'm a bit put-off by the "lead her by the nose and force her to find you" nature of the thing. But, if she's a geek, too, she'll probably dig it.

In a geeky way, though, it's sweet.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:35 AM on September 5, 2011


Everyone thinks the way they proposed or were proposed to is the best-and-only-right-way-to-do-it.

Reminds me of a colleague who ranted against another colleague who went all-out when he proposed to his then-fiancee, and then without missing a step or stopping to breathe, continued to brag about the way she was proposed to.

Kinda like people who think only their kids are the most beautiful and most talented, while other people's kids totally suck.

The only right way is the way that works for both you and your beloved. Whether it's on a crowded bus, drunk in your apartment, flowers in a meadow, on top of the Empire State Building, a formal dinner in front of the family, at a football game in front of 35000 people, or on the Interwebs, the proposal is about you two and only. about. you. two. (not polyamory-ist)

Congrats to Faigy and Ari.
posted by bitteroldman at 5:58 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it here where I can start complaining about the Android cult?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:12 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I gotta say these kind of comments always come off to me as though its all about the commenter trying to shit on someone else's parade: confident that its fine (on the basis of a single blog post) to judge someone as a "lame", "irritating wierdo"

I can only speak for myself here, but my "Here's your phone back, you irritating weirdo" comment was meant as a cheap joke, not a judgement.

Accordingly, here's an edit of my post.

When she got to the checkered pin that marked her last destination, her seventh and final rose also came with a question—but this one was from me, and it wasn’t any ordinary question. I’ll leave it to you to guess what her answer was!


"I believe it would be darkly humourous to respond to a clearly heartfelt and meticulously planned wedding proposal with a very callous and insensitive comment. Therefore, here's your phone you irritating weirdo."
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 6:14 AM on September 5, 2011


I wish them all the best. I once helped a friend of mine attempt something like this - he registered a cryptic domain (I put up a web site for him), tried to kick off a treasure hunt which progressed as a series of riddles, etc... as far as I know he wasn't planning on blogging about it, and it really was sweet.

But it's also making a lot of assumptions about the proposee's 1) Catching on at the start and 2) willingness to see the game through. I don't think it really worked in his case and in the end, he wound up just straight-up popping the question.
posted by usonian at 6:29 AM on September 5, 2011


dunkadunc - he built a mobile app too as part of the stunt. That's pretty geek. :)
posted by Duug at 6:54 AM on September 5, 2011


This bodes ill for someday when he wants to play with his children, and spends two years' worth of evenings designing them killer fun buggety-boo apps to play with, finally emerging from his basement laband finding that they barely remember who he is.
posted by hermitosis at 6:58 AM on September 5, 2011


make it clear it is all about her -that you are nothing without HER,

All these over the top proposals strike me as a oneupmanship game and make me roll my eyes, too, but this part of your comment just strikes me as pathetic.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:59 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am nothing without METAFILTER
posted by hermitosis at 7:01 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



dunkadunc - he built a mobile app too as part of the stunt. That's pretty geek. :)



I think that mobile app could easily be sold to every kidnapper, drug dealer, spy, and anyone else who needs to send someone to a particular point and release the next piece of information only after they are there. I expect to see GoogleThug in the menu next to GoogleMaps, GMail, etc, within weeks.
posted by Forktine at 7:08 AM on September 5, 2011


Because nothing says love and marriage like a tedious assignment.
posted by crunchland at 7:39 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, I thought this seemed like fun, in the same way that I think geocaching and other treasure hunting adventures would be fun. But I see I've been outvoted.
posted by pemberkins at 7:43 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


My propposal was All About Me. I said, "So, um, I need health insurance."

No regrets.

(To be fair, I also mentioned it might come in handy to be married if my now-spouse ever ended up in prison or brain-dead, so it wasn't totally unromantic.)
posted by kyrademon at 7:44 AM on September 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sorry, but this is the greatest geek-love marriage proposal ever.
NOTE: Must be watched to the very end.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:52 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's true, that was awesome (not so much because of the proposal itself, though).
posted by Gator at 8:13 AM on September 5, 2011


Because nothing says love and marriage like a tedious assignment.

Yes, it must be so tedious for her to re-live the most precious memories of their relationship together - in a deeply personal way - and then get engaged. I can't imagine anything more tedious.

Seriously: f*** off . Here are two people who love each other so much they are going to take a huge gamble and try to live the rest of their lives together - and all take out of it is that you see a tedious assignment?

Even if you meant it as a joke that kind of comment is so far out of the proverbial ballpark I can't help but be annoyed. This kind of reaction is so cynical and negative I can't understand at all why someone would respond in that way unless theyonly interested in any story to the extent it provided an excuse to make a cheap jibe.

p.s I'm an english Cricket fan, I wince everytime I have to use a word like "ballpark" - please don't make me use it again!
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 8:16 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


How many engineers does Google have? I am one degree of separation from one of the other engineers mentioned in the article, which surprises me given that Google is a big company. Smaller than I think, or do my friends just have friends who like to do awesome things, and thus get more visibility than the average Google engineer?
posted by Alterscape at 8:31 AM on September 5, 2011


Seriously: f*** off . --- I've been happily married for 11 years. If I told my wife to go to all these places, even if they were crucial to our relationship, and check in with people, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what she'd say to me.
posted by crunchland at 8:41 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well bully for you, its almost like you are a different couple from the guy featured in the article and shouldn't be assuming that your personal relationship is the only acceptable romance in the entire universe.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 8:46 AM on September 5, 2011


marriage is a heteronormative and inherently fascist institution
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:57 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


When she got to the checkered pin that marked her last destination, her seventh and final rose also came with a question—but this one was from me, and it wasn’t any ordinary question. I’ll leave it to you to guess what her answer was!

"Bleeeurrrgheahahahgghghaghghgaghgh! I've just eaten shit!"
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:59 AM on September 5, 2011


Sounds fun and memorable to me. Then again, I like going outside and visiting places.
posted by czytm at 9:03 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


@thefinger

i guess you'd say this is pretty Faigy!!

i mean, you'd probably say that
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:03 AM on September 5, 2011


This, of course, alludes to you: marriage is a heteronormative and inherently fascist institution

Hey, look, it's a troll in thhe wild! somebody catch it.
posted by misha at 9:12 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


i'll die in captivity misha :(
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:17 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just bump in to people and ask for their hand in marriage. No tedium!
posted by the mad poster! at 9:20 AM on September 5, 2011


I think this write-up happened after-the-fct, specifically to submit to the Google blog, and that's why it centers on the Google products and tools used rather than the more romantic side. He probably left a lot of details out precisely because they were too personal to share publicly.

People express love in different ways. In that final photo, she loks delighted. That's what counts when you're proposing, right? That the recipient will cherish the memory.
posted by misha at 9:21 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


the only acceptable romance in the entire universe. --- So you can say that without a hint of irony, and still get to tell me to "f*** off?" Interesting.
posted by crunchland at 9:28 AM on September 5, 2011


Some people really, really love scavenger hunts. How do we know this guy's girlfriend is not one of those people?

Also, what with the roses and the assembled helper-friends and the relationship-specific questions, I'd say it's a fair bet the proposee knew what was going down by the second scavenger stop. I'd also wager that the proposer knew that she would know. Which means he probably had a fair idea that she would answer yes to a proposal. Which means he probably went to all this trouble already knowing it wasn't necessary to convince her with any grand romantic gesture, and he was just making one anyway because he thought she would think it was cool.

That's what I'd like to think.

Of course he could just be an egotistical jerk, or it could all be just viral Google maps marketing. But I, for one, would prefer not to assume the worst about every nice story I read on the internet.
posted by BlueJae at 9:55 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


[Please can it with the eff-off stuff, folks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 10:11 AM on September 5, 2011


I think that mobile app could easily be sold to every kidnapper, drug dealer, spy, and anyone else who needs to send someone to a particular point and release the next piece of information only after they are there. I expect to see GoogleThug in the menu next to GoogleMaps, GMail, etc, within weeks.

I doubt that. It'll be a free app!
posted by me & my monkey at 10:49 AM on September 5, 2011


This story reminds me a lot of the "genius" kid's solar tree -- it's not nice to piss all over someone's creative effort, but it's hard not to when it's getting played up as an astounding achievement.

Look, it's a scavenger hunt. I think there's a pretty clear "standard" for a creative scavenger hunt -- leave clues to the next location that are tailored in some interesting way to the person doing the hunt. If it's your intended fiancee, say, you might leave clues involving your personal history, such that s/he alone could answer them.*

This one doesn't seem to involve any puzzles or problem solving. It sounds like it's just a triggered navigation -- when you get to one location, it triggers a GPS-guided route to the next. The fiancee doesn't need to do anything except walk.

Consider this: if the people handing her flowers at each location instead handed her the name of the next location, would that really change anything? (Does she really need directions to these personal landmarks?)

ISTM the main "creative" part of this is that it leverages Google's tools. Considering that this is appearing as an ad for Google, I don't really see how this isn't straight-up Google Blue.

* I find this especially ironic since Google loves puzzles, and I know that Google employees are (or used to be) all over "The Game" in the Bay Area, which is just about the best scavenger hunt I've seen.
posted by bjrubble at 1:00 PM on September 5, 2011


but it's hard not to when it's getting played up as an astounding achievement.

Well, that would seem more the fault of secondary media / the poster here than the proposer. All he did was make a blog post on his employer's blog. Not exactly trumpeting.

And of course this is the kind of thing companies always ask employees to share. They love these sorts of stories.

(It would all sound much weirder if he didn't work for Google, to me, since then the product-placementness of it would be strange, rather than fairly straightforward).
posted by wildcrdj at 1:18 PM on September 5, 2011


A friend of a friend comments, "he's created a treasure hunt where he is the treasure."
posted by zippy at 1:18 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Considering that this is appearing as an ad for Google, I don't really see how this isn't straight-up Google Blue.

An ad for Google what? Search? Mail? Maps? Apps? Blogger? This does not meet the definition of an ad unless what I am trying to be persuaded to do is poach three engineers from Google and hold them hostage until they build me my own custom app they way they built his.

This is a blog entry. The only way to argue that it is an ad is to argue that it's a really bad one since Google Maps doesn't actually do what they've done with it without.... yes, three engineers and a custom app. That's about $270K. Would you like to pay with Google Checkout?
posted by DarlingBri at 2:28 PM on September 5, 2011


Raised on Amile and twee indie romances, this sounds romantic.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:01 PM on September 5, 2011


It's an ad for Google engineers as potential romantic partners, clearly ;-)
posted by Maias at 4:13 PM on September 5, 2011


it's not nice to piss all over someone's creative effort, but it's hard not to

I love challenges! Here, let me try:








Hrm. That was much easier than you'd led me to believe.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:21 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


look at what **I** did for YOU... ... ...make it clear it is all about her

That proposal is all about her. It is way over the top all about her. It could not be more about her.

Maybe you are getting the blog post about the proposal mixed up with the actual proposal.
posted by BurnChao at 6:37 PM on September 5, 2011


This one doesn't seem to involve any puzzles or problem solving. It sounds like it's just a triggered navigation -- when you get to one location, it triggers a GPS-guided route to the next. The fiancee doesn't need to do anything except walk.

No, it said that when she entered the answer to the question she got at each point, that triggered the directions to the next point.
posted by jacalata at 10:01 PM on September 5, 2011


Well, that would seem more the fault of secondary media / the poster here than the proposer. All he did was make a blog post on his employer's blog. Not exactly trumpeting.

Yes, that's why I made the cite I did -- I don't blame the proposer, except insofar as he set up his story to be trumpeted.

An ad for Google what? Search? Mail? Maps? Apps? Blogger?

For Google in general. It's a combination of "look what Google can do" (aimed at engineers) and "look what Google employees can do" (aimed at general technophiles).

No, it said that when she entered the answer to the question she got at each point, that triggered the directions to the next point.

No, she entered a password. (Maybe this was some trivia/personal question, but it's not really clear.) Again, there was a person at each location -- is the phone doing anything that the person couldn't easily (and more romantically) do?
posted by bjrubble at 11:44 PM on September 5, 2011


Some people really, really love scavenger hunts. How do we know this guy's girlfriend is not one of those people?

Because it was him that posted the article, not her?

Sure, maybe there are women out there who love treasure hunts, but if you had to bet cash money on one out of the two loving them, who would you pick?

I guess it is disappointing to me to see a place so full of missfits, wierdos and geeks decide that its A-OK to mock someone else on the basis that they had a proposal that was geeky, weird and didn't fit in with your own definition of romance. Worse, *oh the horror* they had the gall to tell people about it because they thought it was cute.

Get over yourself.

This guy posted it on his employers publicity blog. If he'd wanted to tell people that he knew and who cared about them and their relationship, he should of done it in person or by email.

By posting it where he posted it, he's inviting the consideration of the general public. Consequently, some of us will find it weird, geeky, self-centred or whatever. And we're entitled to express our opinions on the matter.

You don't like that? Tough titty.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:11 AM on September 6, 2011


I make my women track me by blood trail and spoor. If she can't recognize my scent, then how are we to be mated for life?
posted by Eideteker at 6:20 AM on September 6, 2011


"I provided each friend with a question to ask Faigy, tied to our memories of that particular place, the answer to which was the password. When Faigy entered the password..."
posted by jacalata at 10:05 AM on September 6, 2011


As a fan of both Google and scavenger hunts I thought this was totally awesome, but clearly YMMV is not a thing that applies to wedding proposals. No, they must be vetted for trollish potential, of course.
posted by divabat at 6:58 PM on September 8, 2011


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