How I Cheated, Lied & Held Secrets For The Marriage Proposal

As early as 2011, I’ve been thinking of ways to propose to Ruifang and I finally decided on how to do it about 5 weeks before the marriage proposal date on 18th August 2012.

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There hasn’t been a doubt that she will say “Yes” to marrying me as I do believe that I speak for the both of us when I say that we have a rock-solid relationship. In fact, we did the Singaporean thing by applying for a HDB flat way before the proposal. That is part of the reasons why I wanted to make this a big proposal so that she deservingly feels the romance despite the realities of getting a flat at an opportune time.

She had been hinting and sometimes even half threatening me about asking for her hand and her friends will nod their heads furiously in agreement about her readiness for marriage. I knew that she will expect it if I didn’t plan this correctly so I had to throw multiple bluffs/lies at her.

“We are going to get married anyway, so why do I need to ask?”

She knows that I don’t really believe in marriage so it was easy to plant the idea that I won’t ever propose since there’s no point to it. 2nd August is our anniversary so I purposely planned the marriage proposal date to be after that.

I knew her very well so I manipulated her into thinking that it was her idea at the very start to model for my fake project for Oasia Hotel. I just said that my “client” needed non-professional models for a corporate online video and she almost immediately volunteered herself and her two great friends, Josephine and Reena. This set-up ensures that she will be filmed for the whole time without the need to hide cameras. Using this approach, it was also easier for me to set up meetings and arrange for logistics for the video shoot. It was half the truth after all. icon razz

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Josephine & Reena were let in on the plan and they took it upon themselves to bring Ruifang on a roller-coaster ride of emotions as they pretended to be disinterested or have cold feet about the video shoot from time to time. They were also the one who managed to get her ring size for me. At one point in time, Ruifang was so angry at Reena for having cold feet that I felt really bad but I had to pretend to be all business like.

Ruifang and I live together at her parents place so communications was the biggest worry for me. We don’t look at each others phones but we know each of our passwords to them and to our email/social accounts. My iPhone was also a huge concern with the pop-ups of text and emails and I didn’t want to hide them to arouse suspicion.

I created a new email address and found a way to lock specific apps with a special way to unlock them so that there is no way of her stumbling onto the emails. Communications with Oasia Hotel, MINI Habitat (Story here), JannPaul Diamonds & all our friends and relatives were almost all done exclusively on that channel.

The biggest challenge of it all was to get 40 relatives and friends to attend the proposal without her finding out at all. Two weeks before the actual date, I contacted the guests and set very specific instructions to where and what time they may arrive at the 22nd floor of Oasia Hotel. An accidental text or Freudian slip from any of them could have foiled the whole plan but everything went well despite a few hiccups. I still had many sleepless nights though.

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There were other bluffs I threw like having a staff at the hotel send her an official email of work engagement, casually looking around at ring designs to show that I have not even bought one and asking friends to check if she had plans for the proposal date.


The Marriage Proposal Day

I barely slept for 3 hrs but I knew I was in good hands for the video and photo coverage with Derek Foo, Song and Melvin Ho leading the shoot. After doing a “car scene” at the hotel, I pretended to leave for another event so Ruifang and the crew went upstairs while I waited at the lobby till they are in the room.

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My Mum & Aunt came too early and spotted Ruifang from afar and headed in the opposite direction. Later, I was extremely lucky to catch them before they went up. I also had another group of friends who drove by too early and amazingly, Ruifang found the car familiar but did not think that it was her friends in it.

I wanted the beauty of the sunset for her walk-in but the clouds didn’t help me that day. Nonetheless, it was fair weather and I am grateful for that.

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She took a lot of time before she realised what was going on and at my sight of her reddening eyes, I couldn’t help but teared uncontrollably even before she stepped onto the platform where I was.

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I did plan what to say but my mind was blank and I could only say what I really meant while struggling hard to not choke on my own tears. The premise was simple; Love before marriage. Marriage is empty without Love but Love is never empty without marriage.

Our vows were taken before marriage and that is “to Love and Honour each other till the end of our lives.”

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I am thankful for all the extra miles that Oasia Hotel put in to ensure a smooth execution. I have countless queries from friends on where the venue was and how pretty it is. The venue is perfect for ROMs and small weddings. (Contact for the Oasia Hotel here.)

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I am thankful for all the relatives and friends who had to keep such a big secret and act along.

I am thankful for the wonderful photos that Melvin took (My future bro-in-law). He not only captured wonderful moments of the both of us but also of my guests. (Melvin’s Facebook Page, Melvin’s website.)

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I am thankful for the expertise of Derek and Song who refined upon my ideas for the video and added so much more dimensions and story telling to it. (Derek’s Facebook Page)

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I am especially thankful for finding a woman like Ruifang and her appreciation for all the little things that I do for her.

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This “big” thing was my gift for my fiancée, my dear Ruifang.


1000km in Vibram Five Fingers

It’s been 16 months since I first shared shared my experience in Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs) and since I just passed the 1,000km mark 2 weeks ago in these strange looking minimalist shoes (I refuse to call them “barefoot shoes”. You are either barefoot or in various kinds of footwear.), I’d like to share again on my journey thus far.

The two ailments I had in regular shoes prior to switching to VFFs were plantar fasciitis and knee aches/pains. Knee aches have been non-existent so far. As for plantar fasciitis, the only times when I will feel slight pain is when I haven’t been running for a period and I MIGHT feel a little pull under the left foot during the 1st to 2nd run. So I can safely say that I am rid of these two problems for good every since switching to VFFs

Besides the period of time last year when I went got top of the foot pain (suspected tendinitis), probably from switching to VFFs much too soon without a transition plan, I was completely free of any injuries. Apart from a good, progressive training plan, the most important thing for any runner is to be injury free. An injury can set you back for weeks, months & even years of progress in fitness and being free from that ensures that you can constantly improve even if you are just inching forward.

I wish I had found some way to measure my feet before switching to Vibram Five Fingers; especially the bridge of my feet because I can almost swear that the arches of my feet have risen slightly over time and they feel more muscular as well. I remember being identified by a “shoe specialist” that I am leaning towards being flat footed and I have not encountered any problems from “the lack of arch support”.

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I have 3 pairs of Vibram Five Fingers now. One pair of Classics that I use to walk in on an almost daily basis and 2 pairs of Bikila that I rotate for runs. Note that I don’t rotate them because of cushioning; I rotate em so that they have time to be dry from sweat and wet weather.

How long do these thin shoes last? I run mostly on cement and tarmac and manage to clock 600km in my VFFs KSO. I could have continued to run in them but I don’t want holes in my socks when a section of my socks started showing through the bottom of my KSO. I read of others like this dude who clocked over 1,200km in a pair and still going strong!

I really don’t see myself running in anything else but minimalist shoes and will recommend it to anyone. But along my journey, I have also came to a bigger understanding that the saying of “If it ain’t broke, do not fix it!” applies to shoes as well. If you never had a problem running in shoes or even landing on your heels, I’d say that you are a lucky man/woman.

Else, if you are willing to forgo the concept of cushioning and structured shoes or have been getting injured, I will highly recommend you to give minimalist shoes a try and run like how we humans are engineered to. Remember to transition slowly!

Here’s a screen-shot of a recent barefooting article by My Paper where I gave a short blurb on running with minimalist shoes.

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Lawrence Lin, the dude in the pic, plans to run the Sundown 2011 100km BAREFOOTED. I salute the man!

Link to article (Page A16)

Feel free to contact me to discuss about VFFs or running! I always love to make another friend who enjoys this misunderstood sport. I can be reached via my contact form, on Twitter and through Facebook.

The Inevitable Death For A Pair Of Vibram Five Fingers

My training has been smooth so far after making a full recovery from Pneumonia. Come tomorrow, I would have hit 146km for the past 37 days with about 420km to go before Sundown 2011 on 28th may, 2011.

Looking at my training data, I am very close to the peak of my fitness last year and the road ahead, beyond 240km, is pretty much uncharted waters for me as I have never ran this much before. Although I’ve been reading up on training, the journey of every training cycle is very much a learning process and an ongoing experiment on the limits of the human body. Single human body; my body to be exact.

History (for all of the past 2 years) has proven that I tend to hit a wall of bad health or injury before races but the same history also show that I push my boundaries of fitness each time I tried like the stubborn man I am. So with fingers crossed, I hope that I make it this time for a race and shatter the shameful personal best of 2 hrs 43mins for a 21km run in 2009.

On other news, my trusty pair of Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) KSO have accumulated 568km of mileage so far since I 1st wore them January last year.

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Pic taken before I put another 5km in them

The rubber of the “toes” are worn off in quite a few spots where I land and push off during runs and I will have to retire them as soon as my socks show through. As minimalistic as I am, I don’t need holes in my socks. Despite the sadness of the inevitable parting with my very 1st pair of VFFs, the KSO has served me well and seeing that the recommended lifespan of regular shoes are between 500 – 800km, this pair of KSO has lived a pretty good life.

Stay strong my Vibram Five Fingers KSO! With any luck, you’ll live to see yourself break the 600km mark.