Photo Credit: Supplied

Love is still blossoming in the time of Corona; Michael Watson spent days working on his plan to propose to his girlfriend, Lara de Stadler.


Cape Town, South Africa (28 April 2020) – The lockdown threw a bit of a spanner in Michael Watson’s plans. He had been working on proposing to his girlfriend Lara de Stadler when everything was shut down. The final version of the rings he had made were about to be completed, and then nothing!

Feeling disappointed, Michael went on to spend the next few weeks in lockdown with Lara, knowing he had this grand romantic plan that couldn’t proceed. Knowing how much he loved her, how much he wanted to propose, Michael decided that he was proposing no matter what!

Michael started formulating a plan. He had been sculpting and had some spare clay at home. Inspiration struck! Sneaking around the house, he started collecting random objects, a bottle of nail polish, a razor and some paints. He had to be careful and make sure Lara didn’t notice his weird behaviour.

When she was busy, he started moulding her ring. Once he had it perfect, it had to dry out. Speaking to him exclusively, he shared just how he made their big day a reality. The pair are Catholics, and it was Michael’s project of sculpting the Mother Mary that aided in his DIY engagement ring.

“I decided I couldn’t wait, I had some natural clay at the house. I was using it to sculpt a Mary at our home. I made it with Holy Water”

“I thought there was no better material to create an engagement ring for Lara.”

He already knew her ring size, so was able to get started. Every chance he got, Michael snuck off to work on the ring. He quickly stashed the ring away every time she walked in the room. It became a game of chance, but thankfully, Lara never caught on to what he was up to.

Once the ring was ready, he placed it on the windowsill to dry out. In the mornings, he would rush to help Lara by opening the curtains, just to make sure she didn’t see the ring drying. He moved the ring around the house so it could dry properly.

“Once I had the final ring, I took the dried clay and used sandpaper and sanded down the sides to get everything to a final thickness. I whittled it down from the rough shape into something more refined. Cleaned up all the edges and made it nice and neat”

To be sure Lara didn’t know anything, he woke up before her and sat in the lounge working quietly as possible to get the ring sanded. Michael admitted that a few times, he heard a noise and would quickly get up to check that Lara was still sleeping soundly in the other room.

As the ring started taking shape, he snuck into the room and took one of her regular rings just to make sure the sizing was perfect. This meant he only had to paint and pop the question next. His plan was shaping up just right!

Michael tried to order some paints online, but as they are not classed as essentials, he had to make other plans. He remembered that Lara had gifted him a paint set for Christmas and dug that out to use. He wanted to paint the ring in their favourite shade, a beautiful teal.

The painting set didn’t have teal, so Michael had to do some colour mixing and testing. While he was supposed to be helping clean the house, he snuck off to the bathroom and managed to mix the perfect shade of teal. He painted the ring and placed it out of sight to dry. When it was done, Michael used some of Lara’s clear nail polish to seal it.

It was now time to pop the question. After four days of sneaking around and working on the ring, he decided he would propose after they finished streaming Sunday Mass. He hid the ring within arms reach and suggested that they wear their Sunday best for the church service.

In the end, as they were singing their final Hymn, he got down on one knee and proposed to Lara. Lara said she was moved to tears and that it was so unexpected. She confirmed that she is excited to see the rings he made before lockdown, but they will never compare to the effort and love put into the DIY engagement ring.

“It was the perfect time, we had music, we were in our happy space, it was a special space, it was the nicest place in the house with the light streaming in from the garden, so yeah, it was as special as we could make it under the circumstances”

The happy couple were eager to share the good news, so they shared it on Facebook. Someone from their neighbourhood group saw the announcement. While cooking a celebration meal together, a kind person had placed a bottle of sparkling wine on their doorstep – a gift to help them celebrate their engagement.

They were moved by the kind and loving gesture, especially as items such as sparkling wine are so rare during the lockdown.

Sources: Good Things Guy Interview
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

1 comment

  1. These are 2 of the most special people on the planet
    Congrats Mike and Lara.
    I love you both to the moon and back.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    May God continue to bless you . (I know Mother Mary is smiling down on you)

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