When I first started watching the video, I thought it would get repetitious really fast and drag on endlessly. But soon, I realized that the repetition and length is actually its charm, and soon it got giddy fun. And not just for the repetition, but the wild inventiveness of its creator, Ray Smith from Grimsley, England.
For 148 days in a row, Mr. Smith took selfies of himself and his girlfriend, Claire Bramley. And in each of them, he hid a note asking her to marry him. And she never caught on.
"I had no clue," she told a reporter, after this video became public.
She was the only one without a clue. Her family and friends knew, and even participated in some of the selfies. To me, the most stunning part of the video is not that she didn't have any idea, but that their two little children from previous marriages knew -- and participated, as well, from the very start -- and never once spilled the beans. For almost five months!
Smith was able to take the selfies without tipping off his girlfriend by telling her at the beginning that he wanted to document her pregnancy. He was also prescient enough to know that she might occasionally ask to see the photo he'd just taken, so he'd often take a duplicate, but without the proposal card in it. (I say "occasionally," because some were taken when she was asleep, so no second photo was necessary.)
Most of the selfies are quite funny, but many are just outright freaking clever. One has the proposal on a TV monitor behind her. The brazenness is a joy, as well, with some having the proposal card mere inches from her eyes. All she had to do was turn her head slightly. For one, she actually has her hand on the card. Finally, Smith put together a slideshow of the proposal photos and asked Ms. Bramley directly on Christmas Day.
As I said, the fun of the video is the repetitious build-up, and how Smith dates each one, so you can follow along. It's also a game, trying to find where the proposal card is hidden. (Several times, I had to stop the video to look.) Part of the fun, too, is realizing that showing this video to her is how he proposed and trying to imagine her reaction as she watched. (And wondering how many times she asked, "How could I not have seen that??!") And also appreciating his whimsy and innovation. And clear love of what he was doing.
I watched this a second time before posting this,just to remind me of certain points before writing about them. And it remained just as fun, clever, and often hilarious.
And I still can't figure out how he got the two little kids to keep the secret and for so long...