"Let's go pick some rocks."
As a suggestion to one's significant other, Ben Lynch's was about as unromantic as it gets.
It was a ruse. When Lynch suggested his girlfriend, Amber Patterson, join him for some maintenance out in her father's soybean field, the only rock he had in mind was attached to a ring. Lynch and Patterson, both 25 and living in Des Moines, Iowa, had been together going on four years. He decided Sunday, October 2, was the right day to pop the question.
A few days before, Lynch and his friend Tyler Loveland, an amateur photographer, staked out a hidden spot in the woods adjacent to the bean field. When the moment came, Loveland would be waiting out there, ready to capture it forever.
Why the field?
"Her dad's a big farmer," says Lynch, "and I like helping him out with farming. I knew I wanted it to be something with farming."
And so, he lured his would-be bride away from the house with the promise of some hard labor. Not one to shirk her duties, Patterson tied up her brown hair in a double-bun and followed Lynch into the field. After a little while, Lynch lifted one particular rock he'd planted earlier, unveiling the ringbox hidden beneath. He dropped to one knee.
"She was just shocked," Lynch says.
"She said yes!" as Lynch explained in a post on the photo sharing site imgur.
About 10 minutes later, it all started sinking in, and Patterson started crying.
"She's a very good person," Lynch says. "She brings out the best in me. She's very intelligent, and nice, compassionate. Our families love each other. She's a good person -- and a huge Vikings fan."
About that. The tank top Patterson happened to be wearing when her beau proposed was random , but bespeaks a deep shared love of Minnesota's football team. They're season ticket holders.
With his back to the camera for the moment of truth, the only identifying feature of Lynch's is his tightly wrapped man bun. His mane's almost always tied up like that. Patterson, he thinks, probably would've preferred the chance to do a bit more prepping for the picture. But then, that would've ruined the surprise.
Lynch isn't worried his mug didn't make the shot.
"That was the whole point, I didn’t care about my face," Lynch says. "The thing is, I wanted to get her face front and center."
He eventually turned around, and the two posed for a reaction shot for Loveland.
Spoiler alert: They're quite a handsome couple.
They'll be sticking around in Des Moines for at least a while. Patterson just got a "really good job" in health promotions there, and Lynch, a recent graduate of Drake University Law School, has interviews lined up to land a job in town. They'll be in and out of Minnesota, too, for fishing trips and football.
"We're getting season tickets next year, too," Lynch says.
A little later Sunday night, family members (who were in on the surprise) gathered around for a joint celebration.
They've started planning another one for around this time next year, when the two families will get together once more to watch Ben put another ring on Amber's finger. Here's hoping she makes that face again.
Previously, in This is a good thing:
- This is a good baby announcement photo
- This is a good obituary photo
- This is good Minnesota graffiti