The beginning of this decade was a simpler time. People eagerly awaited the first Avatar sequel, Texans fans wondered if this would be the year that Matt Schaub finally led the team to the Super Bowl, and no one wondered what “covfefe” meant. In those days, it was possible for us to grouse about things as inoffensive as flash mob marriage proposals. That was what passed for a real problem a few short years ago.
It seemed that no one was immune to such grousing. “Flash mobs, scavenger hunts, costumed events: there seems to be no end to the race to finding the most shamelessly saccharine way to pop the question,” Brenden Gallagher of Complex wrote in 2014. There was something about seeing all of those happy young people surrounded by friends and families and perfect strangers, perfectly willing to make the beginning of their happily ever after go viral. It’s impossible to remember why, exactly, this offended everyone so.
Time has passed since then. Tony Romo is a broadcaster now, and Beyoncé’s twins shall be with us any day now. It’s time to reassess our values.
Here’s an ideal opportunity to do so:
Let’s meet our heroes of this video, Baylor students Samuel Azide and Anitiria Flores. Azide, utilizing the tiniest of white lies, led Flores to believe that the couple would be going to dinner to celebrate his graduation. The two met at 1424 Bistro in Waco and—with the cooperation of the staff, as well as both of their friends and family—Azide began the real plan: to play Chris Brown’s “Forever” at a louder-than-normal volume as he tried to appear mildly surprised to hear it. In the well-produced video documenting the evening, Azide begins to dance to the song to Flores’ apparent embarrassment, before a server arrives with flowers. The couple’s loved ones stand up from other tables in the restaurant to begin their own choreographed movements.
Flores, for her part, seems to figure out what’s going on pretty early on into the performance, as she’s quickly overcome with emotion even as her soon-to-be-fiancé demonstrates some clearly practiced moves. The performance unfolds with aplomb—additional faces, including some that Flores clearly didn’t expect to see—emerge from the wings, and the other patrons at the restaurant, phones out to document the experience, seem delighted. The entire affair proceeds outside, at which even more dancers in the Azide-Flores entourage gamely participate in the number before Azide re-emerges, takes one knee, and produces a ring.
A surprise of this magnitude doesn’t come easy, and Azide had been developing the idea since Christmas—the process, he told Waco’s KCEN, involved recruiting Flores’s entire circle of friends, creating tutorial videos for the dance moves, and coordinating with the restaurant.
Watching the video, and the joy on the faces of the couple, it’s really hard to remember that this was a thing that we were ever sick of. Good luck to these crazy kids—they sure seem to like each other a lot.