By TYESHA VINSON, Student Life Editor
Love is in the air on the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus and no one is feeling it more than Finance major, Michael Hodges.
Just a day after Valentine’s Day, Hodges proposed to his girlfriend of five years, Sheriesha Henderson.
One month ago, Hodges walked into the Michigan Journal office hoping to do something special for his girlfriend. He said that he wanted to propose to Henderson where they shared their first kiss, the Chancellor’s Pond.
Even then, his love for Henderson and his nerves were very apparent. Hodges was relieved to find out that the first part of his plan, publicly declaring his love, was already complete. The next step was to get the ring.
Anyone that knows anything about proposals knows that the ring is kind of a big deal. If the diamond is too small, you’ll be the butt of every joke. If the diamond is the size of a blue raspberry Ring Pop, you’re either trying too hard, showing off, or secretly the heir to the Burger King Empire.
Hodges bought two rings from Zales before he decided on the perfect one to give to Henderson.
When the big day arrived it was clear that Hodges was nervous, even if he wouldn’t admit it. His biggest fear was that she would figure out he was proposing before he could finish his plan. Hodges said, “She probably already knows.”
The walk to the Chancellor’s pond was a long and cold walk. Hodges quick steps could have been from his nerves or the cold wind whipping us in the face as we walked to meet his friends that had been helping him.
Longtime friends, Jasmine Edwards and Linda Rayburn, helped Hodges with the romantic scavenger hunt he sent Henderson on to buy him some time.
Each clue of the scavenger hunt led Henderson to a location that played a significant role in their relationship.
The first note instructed her to go to the place where they had their first date, AMC Star Theatre. When she arrived at the theatre, Hodges’ friend was there, holding another note and a single rose.
The second note told her to go to the where they had their second date, Dairy Queen. When Henderson got there, another friend was there with the final note and a rose. The final note led her to the Chancellor’s pond where her soon to be fiancé was waiting.
Hodges told Henderson that they were taking professional pictures. She had no idea that he would propose. We took a lot of pictures of the happy couple while the friends that helped get her there were standing in the back observing.
The big moment had finally arrived and everyone was waiting to see Henderson’s reaction. Would she have the classic hands to face, “OMG”, and back up reaction? Would she cry and run away from embarrassment? Or would she just laugh in his face and say no?
Hodges held her hands, looked into her eyes, then he reached for his pocket and dropped down on one knee. He hadn’t even opened the box and she already shouted and turned the other way.
It took her a moment to compose herself, but then she finally stood up to see the man she loved kneeling on the cold, hard ground with a ring in his hand. Henderson couldn’t help but smile as she listened to him declare his love to her in the place where they shared their first kiss.
During his speech the only thing on my mind was the lyrics to “Take a Chance on Me” by Abba.
Hodges said, “I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me?”
Henderson took a chance on Hodges and said, “Yes!”
Hodges was so excited and nervous that he put the ring on the wrong hand. They hugged, shared a few kisses, and Hodges put the ring on the correct finger.
After Hodges’ proposed Henderson revealed that she did not expect him to propose. She said, “When I got here, I was expecting everything except this.”
After the excitement died down, the newly engaged couple realized how cold they were so we met up in the library so Henderson give her reaction to the whole thing.
Henderson laughed and said in a very regal tone, “I have to update my marital status on Facebook.”
She also said, “ I’m really shy around people. If had proposed in front of a large group of people I probably would have ran away.”
After getting engaged, Henderson said she was still in shock. Being proposed to by her boyfriend of five years was the last thing she was expecting the day after Valentine’s Day.
Hodges was still surprised by Henderson’s emotional response. He said, “ I thought you’d just be like, ‘I already knew you were going to do this.’”
The joyful couple joked about the last thing Henderson said to Hodges before she left his apartment Saturday morning. She said, “I said, ‘I’ll see you later or whatever. Make sure you get everything. Even if it’s a ring, make sure you get the ring.’ And he said, ‘I don’t have a ring, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”
Hodges said that was the conversation that made him think she already knew about the proposal. Instead of proposing in that moment, he decided to continue with his plan and it’s a good thing he did.
Henderson had a few words she wanted to share before they went to show off her ring to their families and eat their dinner at Coach Insignia, a restaurant on the seventy-first and seventy-second floors of the GM Renaissance Center.
Gazing into her fiancé’s eyes she said, “I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.”