Daniel was not in the mood to leave his house the day his niece begged him to give her and her friends a ride to the Orlando Pride Parade. Once there, he doggedly followed them as they walked all the way to the end of the parade route, where the crowds had thinned to a scattering of people. One of those people was Dale, sitting on the grass alone as she waited for a friend who would take hours to arrive. For reasons known only to the fates, Daniel's niece chose to plop down on the grass only a foot away from Dale, putting Daniel right beside her. His niece and her friends then proceeded to spend the rest of the parade moving further and further away from the adults, pretending to the world that they were mature and independent enough to be downtown without supervision. Eventually they were a dozen yards away, leaving Dale and Daniel as an impromptu pair. They struck up a conversation that continued the entire parade, through text messages that night and onto a dinner date two days later. The rest was history.
Daniel's first instinct was to propose to Dale after one her shows at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, thereby guaranteeing both their families could be in attendance. Before that could happen, though, Dale mentioned that she hated the idea of a public proposal, so worried was she that she'd ugly cry in front of everyone. This led to a lot of brainstorming before Daniel realized that he should recreate one of their favorite date activities: escape rooms. After several weeks of preparation, he turned the entire house into an escape room. As Dale solved puzzles, unlocked rooms and built a remote control robot (because, you know, one of the floors was lava and the clue was on the other side), she kept finding popsicle sticks with marks on them. By the end, she had enough to start assembling the message on them. Unfortunately Daniel hadn't realized that Dale would be able to figure out the message after only a few letters, forcing her quietly complete the puzzle knowing full well what was about to happen. When the message finally spelled out "Will You Marry Me?", she turned around to find Daniel on one knee with a ring. Sadly, there was no ugly crying.