Claire and Hugo
How We Met
Claire and I met at Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago. She was a new employee in 2013 and I was a seasoned advertising creative. I was never the flirty type or the kind of guy that went out to pick up women, but I liked her and couldn’t hesitate to court her. We flirted and chatted from three cubicles away. We were secretive. I loved that she was “woke” and lived and studied in India, London and the Bronx. Claire is gorgeous and everyone goes to her for fashion and design advice. I’m proud of that. She loved the secret crushing while being concerned about her career. She was like, “you’ve got to stop talking to me.” via chat. So I said, “Ok.” I respected her healthy boundaries and stopped texting her, “Good morning, beautiful” every day. Soon after she was like, “Hey, why aren’t you talking to me anymore?!” Ha! Lesson well learned. We hit it off. I grew up in the inner-city and she grew in the burbs. She is short and I am tall. The “opposites attract” scenario was everywhere and hella-legit. I fell head over heals for her and realized I had the best partner anyone could ever have. I love her dearly and she loves me right back. I am the luckiest.
how they asked
Graffiti is my jam. I have been writing graffiti since i was 12 in Chicago and now LA. I paint letters, 3D and more with aerosol and sometimes acrylic and charcoal. Our engagement was going to inevitably be unique. I started juggling with the idea of spray painting my our marriage proposal. I electronically traveled the streets of LA via Maps-StreetView and ended up at Sqirl, our favorite breakfast spot in Silver Lake. I noticed they had wall-space and recently heard Jessica’s segment on how she started Sqirl and about her Jam recipes. My mind was made up. I was going to get up early that morning, paint my “Bella” with a “will you marry me” message, then race back home before Claire woke up from sleeping in. Then breakfast at Sqirl, then hello, a surprise mural marriage proposal. That is exactly what happened. On Oct 23rd I woke up at 5a o’clock and gathered my art supplies. I drove to Sqirl and got down like Donkey-Kong. It took me two hours. No caps clogged and no spray-cans exploded. Whew! I drove home and tried to nonchalantly suggest breakfast at Sqirl, even though we had eggs and food in the fridge. I drove a different way than usual so that she wouldn’t see the mural driving in. I parked kind of far which she noticed but fortunately got over quickly. She saw the massive line and was practically pulling me to round the corner to get our spot in like. She would’ve seen the mural and the surprise would have been ruined. Fortunately Sara from Sqirl coordinated a phony surprise meet in front and she took our order right away, cutting like 20+ people in line. We ate and Sara was nice enough to bring us a surprise sweet pastry treat. Claire and I were done and it was time. I had to convince Claire to come with me to thank Sara as a way to ask Sara to take a picture of Claire and I. Sara followed Claire and I as we turned to corner to take our picture.
That was my moment. We were steps away from wall. I asked the people in front of the wall to excuse us as Claire recognized my graffiti hand-style above their heads. I pulled her in, got down on one knee and bladow. I said sweet little somethings, told her I loved her and more in Spanish and asked her to marry me. She was shocked regardless of the red flags. (Red flags = route, parking, ordering) She cried a bit, hugged and kissed me and said yes. Fortunately we documented the making of the graffiti and the actual proposal. I am grateful and thankful to all.