Last week, my friend John Jannuzzi, as his heart pounded, he asked his girlfriend Alex a question at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here’s how it went down …
John: We both knew we wanted to get married. But with the pandemic, there never seemed to be a good time to propose. Then we moved to Brooklyn dogand I was like I was going to do it.
At the beginning of the year, I started researching the ring. Alex loves sapphires. As it got more serious, I told my parents to look at the rings and it turned out that my mother had a sapphire. (It must be nice, Mom!) Her father gave it to her as she did 20 years ago.
I brought a sapphire to Brooklyn. It was the strangest feeling to walk around town with a gem. It was like Uncut Gems. I have a sapphire in my pocket. If they rob me, this is a bad day for it.
I brought the sapphire home and moved around the apartment a lot.
Alex: Wait, I’m hearing this for the first time.
John: Yes! I put it in my shaving kit, in various places in the bathroom, and kept moving it around the house. Then I reached for Laurel Pantin, jewelry consultant and Millie and Noah, jewelry designer. We started this crazy Instagram DM conversation. They go crazy, I go crazy, we send designs back and forth. We designed it all over Instagram. I was, wow, what a world!
Once I got the finished ring, I became very upset at the proposal. I correspond with all her friends. Everyone in New York, except Alex, knew I was going to propose to her.
But I had to come up with a plan. When we first started dating, we often went to the Met to see Degas ballerinas. It occurred to me that this would be a really good place to propose.
Alex: I always want to go to the Met to see my ballerinas.
John: Well, I said, I have days off, let’s go to the Matt.
Alex: I was like, respect.
John: I first went to Google Maps to look at the floor plan of the Met. There is a beautiful arched passage leading to Degas ’statue of the ballerina. And with him are two more Degas. Degas happens everywhere. So I knew I had to lead her to the arch.
In fact, the day comes when we go to the museum. I have a ring in my pocket and I was scared it would pat me on the security and be like WHAT’S IN THE BOX. But luckily we passed.
Then Alex says she’s hungry. We end up in Met’s basement cafeteria, which is the opposite corner from where I need to be.
The route I was planning – climbing a large staircase, through a photo exhibition, etc. – It won’t happen. So now we’re walking through the galleries, and I’m looking at pictures like, beautiful, beautiful, great, okay – I’m trying to find the one I’m looking for.
And then I see a guy sitting on a bench in the gallery wearing a black cloak and I realize it’s Hunter. I asked my old friend Hunter to come there to take a secret photo. But the inconvenience with Hunter is that they have long hair. So they are very recognizable. They wore a black hood to cover their hair. A demon-dressed hunter kept people away from the gallery!
Alex: I wish there was an inverted photo of them sitting there.
John: I thought, it’s either Hunter, or I’m going to die from this dark reaper. All we could see was the back of their heads. They had a big coat with a hood.
Alex: I am still completely unconscious. I didn’t notice Hunter. I was on the trail of ballerinas like a five-year-old.
John: By this point my head is obviously speeding up, but I’m cooling it down. Once we entered the gallery, I couldn’t speak. I said something like, oh yeah, this reminds me of when we first started dating, haha. I lead her slowly toward the arch. Everything I wanted to say I had planned. I take out the box with the ring and get down on one knee. At that moment, I realize that I HAVE NO IDEA of what is happening.
Alex: I immediately fell to my knees and the panda hugged him. I don’t even remember what he said, I was just starting to cry. I held him so tight.
John: It was great, I didn’t have to comment on my case!
Alex: I heard a click from Hunter.
John: And I said, it’s Hunter. And then she screamed LOUD.
Alex: I made a scene in Met.
John: People started approaching us. Even the assistant professor was like, congratulations.
Alex: It was like slowing down. It was an insane amount of happiness I felt.
John: It was euphoric.
Alex: I cried and took off our masks so I could part with him. It was like anything I could do to feel closer to him. It was a very intimate public moment.
John: We knocked down the masks for just a second! We are both fully vaccinated!
Alex: Afterwards we went to a nearby bar and drank a martini. I was like all the time, I feel so dirty! I didn’t take a shower for two days. I was like, why didn’t you tell me to take a shower ?!
John: But I told her if I told her she needed a shower, she would know something was going on.
Alex: The ring is so deadly. I’m just withdrawing from the excitement of it all and truly appreciate this ring.
John: There is always anxiety about whether a person will like the ring or not. But as soon as she put it on, I thought, that ring is Alex, Alex is that ring.
Congratulations, John and Alex !!! Read on John’s cookies i Alex’s organization here, if you want. And if you were engaged before, what was the proposal? Or did you just talk about it? We would love to hear.
(Photos Hunter Abrams.)