On December 17th, Firefighter Michael Blohm called us up in dire need of a Halligan Bottle Opener engraved “Will You Marry Me? 12/19/15”. NY to California is normally a 3-day postal service, but with a little bit of hustle and the power of rush shipping, we managed to get it to him just in time. The anticipation was killing us… Did she say “Yes”?!
HBO: How long have you been a Firefighter?
MB: I’ve been in the fire service since I was 18. It’s my full-time career. I started in Turlock and then moved to Stockton Fire Department where I’ve been since 2003.
HBO: Tell us a little bit about your fiancé.
MB: Maria is a Learning Director at Denair Elementary. We’ve been dating for almost two years. We had decided we wanted to get married, but I was waiting for the right time to propose.
HBO: What was your plan?
MB: Initially, I conspired with some of our family and friends to set up a Secret Santa gift exchange where I would surprise her. The guys at work joked about having Maria go through a fire evolution [a training drill] to find the ring. This idea ultimately evolved into her using the Halligan Bottle Opener — wrapped with electrical tape to conceal the engraving — to pry open a small crate that I had made and filled with decoy gifts.
HBO: What kind of decoy gifts?
MB: One of the decoy gifts was the wedding ring box… with a cigar band in it. This was sentimental – my Grandfather gave my Grandmother a cigar band as a wedding ring because he couldn’t afford a real one. Back then, cigar rings were made of metal.
HBO: When did you finally propose?
MB: After the decoy gifts, I proceeded to have Maria unwrap the electrical tape from the Halligan Bottle Opener. As she was unwrapping the tape, I fished the real ring out of my pocket and knelt down. As she finished exposing the engraving, I asked her to marry me.
MB: Happily she said “yes”, and we celebrated a wonderful engagement with friends and family!
Congratulations on your engagement, Michael and Maria! Cheers to a lifetime of love, laughter, and cold beer!