Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and gives a behind-the-scenes look at how our journalism works.
When we asked our readers to tell us what they were grateful for in six words, we expected to see some themes.
Health, faith, love, family, marriage. Check.
Pets, grandparents, medicine, science, sun. Check.
Some people were grateful for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. Others for President Trump. Some were thankful for the Thanksgiving food; others were grateful for the delivery men.
Author Larry Smith popularized the six-word memoir for a year of Thanksgiving, a twist on a challenge someone may or may not have given Ernest Hemingway.
For Thanksgiving, we – the staff of The Morning, the New York Times daily newsletter – invited our readers to do a version of the exercise. We wanted to share the joys and gratitude that came through a year dominated by suffering.
And you, our readers, delivered.
Together, our team sifted through over 10,000 submissions – many funny, some sad, all genuine. Next, we found one of the most important and revolutionary questions anyone can ask.
There it was, neatly wrapped in six words: “Will you marry me, Taylor Hollenkamp?”
After a wave of excitement, we set out to see if this was real – and if Lauren Few, who submitted the proposal, really wanted to engage with The New York Times. Absolutely, she said.
Ms Few, 35, knew within weeks of starting their relationship that she had found her person.
“When we started to get serious Lauren said, ‘I would marry you now, but for the sake of everyone else we should wait at least a year before we get engaged,” Ms. Hollenkamp, 35, said. . “We did it 11 months.”
When Ms. Few saw the six-word challenge, she said, she almost felt it was a sign. His father, Harry Few, who died in 2014, loved Hemingway. Mrs Few said it was the perfect way to honor her
As we waited to hear the outcome of the proposal, followers drummed their collective fingers on Twitter.
“WAIT someone will tell me if the proposal in @NY Times has the briefing been accepted ?! Taylor Hollenkamp, what did you say ?! a person wrote. “Who is #TaylorHollenkamp? ” another demanded. “Did you say yes? We need to know !!! “
Long before Thanksgiving, Ms. Few had spoken to Ms. Hollenkamp’s family, which gave her the blessing. She had cleared the ring with two of Ms. Hollenkamp’s closest friends.
Unable to sleep, Ms. Few woke up at 5:30 a.m. for Thanksgiving. She grabbed Ms. Hollenkamp’s engagement ring, lavender sapphire, and phone, in case a excited friend calls her with inappropriate congratulations. She crept out of their San Diego home, leaving Ms. Hollenkamp to sleep, oblivious to what was about to happen.
Ms Few picked up a newspaper from her local cafe, buzzing with nerves.
She had originally planned to propose over dinner, but The Morning publishes in, well, the morning. With her family across the country – not to mention the soon-to-follow Twitter storm – she couldn’t really wait.
After her return with pumpkin and spice lattes, it was time to exchange their six words of gratitude. (Ms Few had challenged Ms Hollenkamp to create her own, as a setup.)
Still unaware, Mrs. Hollenkamp went first. “My life has never been happier,” she says.
Then Ms. Few handed him the diary – the print edition also published the collection – and opened it up to history.
Ms Hollenkamp said she read it five times because she couldn’t believe it was real. “I was like, ‘Wait, I am Taylor Hollenkamp, ”she said.
“I started bawling, and then Lauren asked me the question,” she added. “She put the ring on my finger. I cried and cried pretty much.
The couple plan to tie the knot in June, then honeymoon in Costa Rica. (They’ve already booked their tickets.) But first, Ms Hollenkamp said she was planning to propose again. “Lesbian benefits,” she laughs. “You get two engagements.”
PS We can’t promise marriage proposals every day, but what we can promise is the breaking news. If you would like to receive Le Matin in your inbox, register here.