Love online: Tim Lockhart, Michelle Coonen engaged, planning a 2014 wedding

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 22, 2013

SALISBURY — Before I even sat down with Michelle Coonen and her boyfriend Tim Lockhart for my feature on couples who met online, I was rooting for them. In all honesty, I’d spoken with Michelle prior to our Jan. 29 interview.
I’d posted on my Facebook about talking to couples who met via an online dating site. She immediately called me. I was excited at the quick response. Michelle told me the two were heading out of town for a cruise and hinted that could possibly be it.
Most women know what I mean when I say IT. You know, the proposal.
When I sat down for our January interview, ever the observant (nosey) reporter, I noticed a pretty ring on Michelle’s left ring finger. I asked if that was it, to which she quickly said no. I was a little disappointed and said, “Oh, I thought that was it.”
I don’t think Tim knew what we were talking about. Post Photographer Jon Lakey was certainly confused. The conversation was like one of those “Gilmore Girls” episodes where the only two people who know what’s going are Lorelai and Rory. If you’ve never watched, you should. But I digress.
Michelle sent me an email Tuesday with the subject line: Tim Lockhart and Michelle Coonen … She said Yes.
Before reading the email, I knew what it meant. It meant he went to Jared. He did apparently go to Jared, Michelle confirmed.
I am happy to report the couple will wed on Dec. 13, 2014 — that’s 12-13-14.
Tim never really “popped the question” Michelle says. The two more or less had a conversation about marriage. Tim went to Jared to buy Michelle’s Christmas present and so she was no stranger to the signature brown bag. The couple had talked about marriage and Michelle once mentioned if Tim ever decided to propose, she didn’t want a traditional ring. Michelle, ever the straight-shooter, knew what she wanted — an opal stone. Tim bought the ring on Feb. 6, and on Feb. 14 the box was waiting to be opened on her desk.
Michelle had forgotten about rings and marriage and figured her Valentine’s Day gift was some “dangly earrings” she’d wanted. The box contained an opal ring with blue stones around it. Blue is Tim’s favorite color, Michelle told me.
The two had a nice dinner on Valentine’s Day, and as days passed friends asked about the ring, which Michelle had placed on her left ring finger. When a friend asked about the ring, Tim told her it was “open to interpretation.” He later said to Michelle, “Let’s make it official.”
Hearing Michelle describe Tim, I believe him to be an even-tempered kinda guy, a guy who doesn’t like a lot of fuss.
“It was more of a conversation than a question,” she said to me.
I must admit Tim was pretty slick with the ring, I thought as she described to me how he picked it out. He knew her size, which from what I know of men and rings is one of the hardest things to figure out, next to the stone and maybe the proposal. He took one of her rings and placed it on his finger and used his own finger to measure. I thought that was pretty genius.
“He had no help with the ring,” Michelle told me.
Now picking out a ring could score a man brownie points or put him in the dog house. Tim did good from what I can tell. He told the saleswoman he was looking for a Valentine’s Day present, but told the woman if it was an engagement ring, it had to be opal.
“I couldn’t have picked it out better myself,” Michelle said.
The couple is in the midst of some planning, mostly looking for a location. Apparently Dec. 13, 2014, is quite the popular day for weddings. Who knew? It seems lots of couples plan weddings around dates. In 2007, Eva Longoria married her then-basketball hubby on 7-7-07. I’m almost sure there were a lot of couples who got married on 12-12-12. Someone Michelle knew was getting married in December next year and Tim said “why couldn’t they do the same.” So they set the date.
Just think, they only have 559 days until they say, “I Do.” How’s that for a happy ending to a Valentine’s Day love story?