It takes most men until a few years into their marriage to realize one should always listen to their woman.
Apparently Sandy Lake volunteer firefighter Stephan Shewchuk is ahead of the curve on that one.
When he and his then-girlfriend Michelle Truijen discussed the possibility of getting engaged earlier this year she had only one request - "I told him he needed someone there to videotape it".
A few months later, Stephan took that advice and not only ensured he had someone videotaping the proposal, but that he also took to his knee on the grandest stage Sandy Lake has to offer - the Sandy Lake parade.
The seven-year volunteer firefighter with the Sandy Lake Fire Department had been planning and waiting for the day since this past June, talking to his Fire Chief to get the okay to go ahead with the plan and arranging the specifics of the proposal.
Meanwhile, the girlfriend he celebrated his one-year dating anniversary with only a day before the parade headed to Sandy Lake's annual attraction expecting to see little more than her boyfriend dressed as Sparky the Fire Dog, as he had told her he would be.
"I had no idea when we first went to the parade," Michelle explained, noting she had gone early to the parade with friends and family at about 9:30 a.m. to ensure they found "a good seat" on the corner of Sandy Lake's main street.
About an hour later Sparky the Dog and the last vehicle in the parade, the Sandy Lake fire truck, pulled around the corner.
Michelle went up to the mascot, trying to make conversation with who she thought was her boyfriend, but was then briskly carried from the crowd to the side of the fire truck by Stephan's mother.
"I started to figure it out when his mom started dragging me along," Michelle said with a chuckle.
That's when Stephan emerged from the fire truck, and proposed to her – or at least tried to.
"She was excited, she wouldn't stop talking," Stephan warm-heartedly recollected. "I told her I had something to say."
That's when he took to his knee, his fellow firefighters dropped a banner from the truck that read "MARRY ME", and he popped the question.
"Will you marry me?"
Without hesitation, Michelle replied, "Yes".
The two embraced, but with everything going on, it wasn't until a few seconds later Michelle realized she hadn't actually looked at the engagement ring in front of her. When she did – after already saying "Yes" - she told her new fiancee she loved it.
"I was laughing because I asked, 'Would that have changed the answer," Stephan said.
The two now plan to get married next summer on August 9, the two-year anniversary from their first date.
And that time around, Stephan promises to be dawning the more traditional suit and tie when he waits for his bride-to-be to respond, "I do".