Guy Proposes To His Girlfriend By Hanging His Own Painting At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

"I am very thankful that the guard let us finish the proposal and a little hug before intervening."

Twenty-seven-year-old graphic designer Chris Narine is a big fan of creative proposals, so he knew he wanted to do something unique when he popped the question. Considering his proposal was literally a work of art and broke a rule or two in the process, we'd say he succeeded. 

Narine and his girlfriend Mary Elizabeth O'Haire, 26, had first met in college and were friends for years before they started dating in their senior year of school. "I asked Marybeth out numerous times throughout the years and was rejected on more than one occasion," Narine told A Plus. "It wasn't until we were paired up in a collaborative studio in our school of Art + Design that our relationship really came to fruition." 

The couple has now been dating for five years and actually currently work at the same company. He's a graphic designer there while she's an interior designer. "So we've yet to stop collaborating," Narine said. 

When Narine started thinking about how to propose to O'Haire, he knew he wanted art to be involved. He thought New York City's famous Metropolitan Museum of Art would make for a great backdrop for their continuing love story. 

"With art and design being the foundation of our relationship, the Met seemed like the perfect place to propose," he said.

Narine decided to take O'Haire on a trip to the museum and get on one knee in the same room as her favorite artist's work, Picasso. 

So, Narine came up with a plan. He'd take O'Haire on a trip to the museum and stop into a room with her favorite artist's work, Picasso. But next to it would be a big surprise. 

Courtesy of Chris Narine. Taken by Kelly Joyce.
Courtesy of Chris Narine. Taken by Kelly Joyce.

Narine painted an image of himself proposing to her while she wears a red polka dot dress. With a little help from his friends, the painting would be hanging right next to a Picasso at the museum. 

"The idea of the painting called out to me because she's always been supportive of me and I knew something I made would mean that much more to her," Narine said. "After I figured out the painting and where I wanted to propose, hanging the artwork was the most creative and memorable thing I could think of."

In September, on the day of, Narine and O'Haire walked the aisles of the Met exploring ancient and contemporary art. O'Haire was wearing a red polka dot dres,s which Narine cleverly planned out by asking her mom to buy it for her weeks in advance. Getting her to wear it, however, turned out to be harder than he thought. 

"The hardest part [was] when I had to convince her to wear the red dress," Narine said. "Getting a woman to wear something she doesn't want to wear is not an easy task, but with persuasion from her sister and mom we were able to get her in the red dress."

As they toured the museum, Narine's brother and sister-in-law covertly placed Narine's proposal painting on the museum's wall and let him know it was ready. Soon, the couple found themselves in front of it. 

"When we turned the corner, I think I blurted something like, 'Oh! I think I saw a Picasso over here!' She quickly realized the painting was of us and immediately began crying," Narine said. "People [online] think it was staged because her reaction and the painting are identical, but after seeing her in tears more times than I can attempt to count, I was well aware how she would react." 

Narine got down on one knee and, through her tears, said 'yes' to his proposal. All the while, O'Haire's cousin Kelly Joyce, a photographer, was secretly capturing the beautiful moment. 

"Soon after I rose back to my feet, we were greeted by a less-than-happy guard who told us to remove the painting from the wall and suggested that we leave," Narine explained on Reddit. "After a few more quick photos, we left the building and the rest is history or should I say ... art history." 

Everything went as well as Narine could have expected. "From leading her to the painting, the proposal taking place and the guard asking us to take down the painting, the whole thing must have been only a minute long," he said. "I am very thankful that the guard let us finish the proposal and a little hug before intervening." 

Courtesy of Chris Narine. Taken by Kelly Joyce.
Courtesy of Chris Narine. Taken by Kelly Joyce.

So is O'Haire. She was blown away by Narine's efforts. 

"I thought Chris' proposal was perfect and really captured both of our personalities. It was honestly better than anything I ever imagined. He has always been insanely creative and thoughtful, but the amount of planning and personality that he put into our proposal is just amazing to me," she told A Plus. "With Chris, I always knew I would have a unique proposal and something out of the ordinary. But this exceeded all my dreams. I can now say that I not only have a fiancé, but a fiancé featured at the Met, even if it was illegal!" 

However, she admits she had an idea a proposal was coming. 

"I can't say I was completely surprised that he proposed, with everyone making me wear the red dress and my mom taking me to get my nails done. But I can say I was 100 percent surprised with HOW he proposed," she said. "The first thing I said was, 'How did you do that?' To see his art hanging next to a Picasso was just such a cool thing, even if it was just for a minute."

And, while she fought it at first, she's so glad she wore the red polka dot dress after all. "I had bought a new outfit but I'm so glad everyone talked me out of it!" she said. 

Narine shared the couple's story on Reddit on Monday evening where it went viral. "I knew it was a cool idea, hence why wanted to share it and hopefully make a few people smile, but I wasn't expecting quite the reaction we got," he said. 

As with anything popular on the internet, he was also met with some negative comments which made him think twice about having shared it. "Ultimately though I think we both just think it's a cool story and whoever enjoys a bit of romance and rebellion will get a kick out of it," Narine said. 

O'Haire hopes that sharing their story with others will encourage people to get out of their comfort zone and do something special for their loved ones, too.

Courtesy of Chris Narine. Taken by Kelly Joyce.
Courtesy of Chris Narine. Taken by Kelly Joyce.

"I know we broke a few rules, but we made sure to leave no mark and tried not to offend anyone," Narine said. "When this idea came about I knew I had to go for it, even with the possibility of being arrested in the back of my mind. If there comes an opportunity in life to do something spectacular for the person you love, why not do it?"

Cover image courtesy of Chris Narine

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