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Gulp! She swallowed her own engagement ring

When Reed Harris planned his proposal to Kaitlin Whipple, he decided to hide the engagement ring in a milkshake. It seemed like a good idea — until she swallowed it. Fortunately, the crisis passed a couple of days later.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

A lot of guys try to come up with proposal scenarios that their girlfriends will remember forever. So give Reed Harris credit for accomplishing that goal — even if it turned out to be in don’t-try-this-at-home fashion.

The idea was a variation on a common theme: Put the ring in a drink and let his beloved discover it. Harris did his part, hiding the ring in a Wendy’s Frosty milkshake. But, as he and his girlfriend, Kaitlin Whipple, told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Monday in New York, she ate the entire shake and never found the ring.

Harris and Whipple had attended an LDS Institute class last Tuesday at San Juan College in Farmington, N.M., where they live. Afterward, they and a group of friends went to a Wendy’s for Frosties. The friends were in on his plans and recorded what they expected to be a heartwarming proposal on a cell phone video camera.

Ready, set ... gulp!
But the other women in the group, eager to hurry the discovery process, made the mistake of challenging Whipple to a race. Being rather competitive, she grabbed a spoon and wolfed down the entire contents of the cup.

“I felt nothing at all,” she told Lauer. “I was racing my friends, so there was no way I was going to lose that competition.”

Harris checked everyone’s cups and didn’t find the ring — gulp! This was not in the script. The video shows him hugging her and whispering in her ear that she had eaten her engagement ring.

Whipple’s gut reaction was disbelief, the story being harder to swallow than the ring.

“I thought he was joking,” she told Lauer. “I couldn’t believe that I swallowed the ring. I kept waiting for him to get down and propose.”

Harris couldn’t believe it either. “It’s not that small a ring,” he told Lauer, a bit defensively.

X-ray marks the spot
Instead of marriage, Harris proposed a trip to the local hospital for X-rays. It was only when the technician handed her an image showing the ring inside her that Whipple accepted the truth.

Image: couple

From the hospital, they went to Harris’ place, where one of their friends pointed out that Harris still hadn’t proposed. So, with X-ray image of the ring in hand, he got down on bended knee and asked for Whipple’s hand in holy matrimony. A friend captured the tender moment in a picture that shows him looking at the camera with a sheepish grin and Whipple sitting with a big smile on the couch — holding the X-ray of her ring.

Ever the gentleman, Harris took the blame for the accident. He had been waiting for the ring to arrive, and had planned to propose Wednesday night during a more formal date at a fancy restaurant. Whipple suspected that he set up the Wednesday dinner date to propose to her.

But Harris told Lauer that when the ring finally arrived on Tuesday, he was so excited he couldn’t make himself wait another day. So he hatched the Frosty plan on the spot.

‘This too shall pass’
The next day — Wednesday — Whipple posted the whole story along with pictures and video on her blog, Krazy Kaitlin. One of the pictures shows her posing with the X-ray along with a bag of prunes and a box of high-fiber breakfast cereal. Her friends, she said, assured her that “this too shall pass.”

On Thursday, she had happy news to report on her blog: “It arrived this morning and I have never been so excited about my bodily functions. Haha. It’s so beautiful and I love it. It was definitely well worth the wait.”

After getting it cleaned, Whipple finally slipped the elusive ring on her finger and posted another photo.

Image: couple

But that wasn’t the end of the story. A Salt Lake City television station got wind of the tale and interviewed the couple. Then TODAY called and flew them to Houston to appear on the weekend edition of the show Sunday, then to New York to make two more appearances Monday.

“When I woke up this morning I never thought I’d be getting a call from NBC!” Kaitlin wrote Saturday. “I look forward to it but am scared to death at the same time. National television WOW!” Sunday’s blog entry is headlined “Kaitlin & Reed are in NYC!!”

The couple haven’t set a date for their wedding, but have narrowed it down to either the last weekend in May or the first weekend in June. As for the honeymoon, Whipple wrote on her blog that she hopes more surprises are in store: “Maybe we'll get a cool honeymoon out of this crazy engagement story somewhere down the road ... we can only hope :)”