• Cheaven Roberts (left) with fiancé Lauren Lyon. Courtesy photo. Photo: "D" from Riverandrootphotography.com.

A Puzzle-Lover’s Proposal

By |2021-02-03T12:54:12-05:00February 3rd, 2021|Entertainment, Features|

When Michigan native Lauren Lyon sat down at a Colorado drag queen bingo event just over two years ago, she was eager to get to know the local LGBTQ community a little better. She started talking to a group of women and was quickly warned to avoid Cheaven Roberts who was sitting nearby.
“They had just been over at Cheaven’s vicinity and they were like, ‘Don’t go over there. She’s a therapist and she’ll pick your brain.’” Lyon said. “And I was like, ‘Oh! Who’s a therapist?’ I really wanted to talk to the therapist in the room because I’m also a mental health provider.”
Advice promptly disregarded, Lyon made her way over to Roberts, introduced herself and the two started talking. When they bumped into each other again at another LGBTQ event shortly after, phone numbers were exchanged and soon, it was clear they were meant to be. A few months later, when the couple started to toy with the idea of proposing to each other, each in their own special way, Roberts contacted Between The Lines Newspaper.
“Lauren comes from a family, in Michigan, of games. They do games all the time; they do crosswords all the time. I had never done a crossword until I met Lauren, but she does one pretty much every day before work,” Roberts said. “… All of a sudden it just clicked, and I knew: what if [the proposal] was in a crossword puzzle?”
Not even certain that Michigan had an LGBTQ-specific paper at the time, native Texan Roberts was pleased to find BTL and that the staff was eager to help in her efforts. She timed the issue, Aug. 20, to be out in time for a camping trip the two had planned earlier.
“Usually, we do crosswords on the iPad and we don’t do them in newspapers, but Cheaven was like, ‘Oh, I found this queer Michigan newspaper. I thought you would think it was cool.’ And then casually said, ‘Oh, there’s a crossword in this newspaper!’” Lyon said with a laugh. “And sometimes we’ll do paper, hand-written crosswords for the novelty of it instead of doing it digitally, so I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s give it a try.’”
Avid puzzlers as they are, it was tad harder than expected.
“It was actually pretty challenging,” Lyon laughed. “So, we started out doing a section at a time, and then we were like, ‘Let’s just scan through the clues and start by answering any of the ones we know, because this is hard.’ I got to the one about the Women’s World Cup, and I knew the answer to that one. I knew that was Lyon. So, in my head I thought of it as Lyon [the French city] and not Lyon [my last name].”
The next clue they got to was also about the women’s team, this time about a player with the last name Holiday.
“We were with a couple of friends who were also avid soccer fans who were on vacation and [one of them] happened to be walking by and I said, ‘Hey, what’s the first name of the player Holiday?’ Lyon said. “She kind of knew what was up, so she was just, ‘Lauren,’ and walked away quickly because she didn’t want to give anything away.”
It wasn’t until Lyon started writing the answer down that she began to put two and two together.
“I started writing Lauren and then thought, ‘Lauren Lyon? My name is in this crossword? What the hell is that?’” Lyon said. “And then I saw the diagonal, which had some of the words filled in. I sort of was trying to figure it out in my head before filling anything out, because I was not sure what was happening and then I was like, ‘“Will you marry me” fits. … Is this happening? Are you doing this right now?’”
“I tried to be subtle, but I’m not very subtle, so I was just staring at her,” Roberts said with a laugh.
As Roberts had hoped, Lyon said yes, and the two now have plans to tie the knot this summer in their home state of Colorado. They plan to keep the gathering to a small group of people of a few dozen at an outdoor venue. The two hope that even Lyon’s 98-year-old grandmother in Michigan will be able to make the trip to celebrate a love with many more camping trips — and crossword puzzles — to come.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
As news and feature editor at Between The Lines, Eve Kucharski's work has spanned the realms of current events and entertainment. She's chatted with stars like Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho and Tyler Oakley as well as political figures like Gloria Steinem, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel. Her coverage of the November 2018 elections was also featured in a NowThis News report.