Shyrell & Joe

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“I had mentioned to him, ‘One of these days you’re going to be very disappointed. You’re gonna get on one knee and I’m gonna be like ‘No,’” Shyrell Cain starts, letting out a little laugh. Her fiance, Joe Downey, is “kind of a prankster. He would always pretend that he was gonna propose, you know get down on the one knee to pick something up off the ground.”

So, when after 15 years of dating—rolling years that carried them from high-school sweethearts at dances to adult partners raising their 11-year-old daughter—Joe decided to ask the big question, it’s safe to assume Shyrell stuck to her word.

“When I got home from work, he actually did it two times in 20 minutes and I hadn’t even turned around. I was cooking dinner and thinking ‘OK, whatever,’” she recalls.

Finally, she got the hint. She turned.

And there was Joe, on one knee, with a ring. “I was really surprised because it was always a lot of getting down on one knee and tying his shoe,” Shyrell says.

“We’ve been together so long it would’ve been so obvious if he’d taken me somewhere different,” she adds, calling the proposal a simple, perfect affirmation of what they already have: “I knew he was the one since I told him I was pregnant and he said he’d always be there.” —Morgan Mullin

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