I have been married to James now for over five years, and I have been wearing the engagement ring he gave me for more than six years. It is a beautiful ring, and I have loved wearing it from day one. But I don’t love it because it’s pretty. It IS pretty, but I love it because of what it means. The person who gave me this ring loved me enough (and still does) to want to spend the rest of his life with me. Looking at this ring every day reminds me of that and reminds me how wonderful it is to have my person.
Over the years, people have commented on my ring. Usually, the comments are very nice: typically variants of “oh, what a beautiful ring.” And that’s great and lovely.
But every now and again, I’ll hear the one that makes my blood boil:
“Wow, your ring is big. Your husband must really love you.”
LOOK OUT EVERYONE HERE COMES A RANT.
How dare you, a stranger (as this comment always comes from a total stranger) equate the amount my husband loves me with some perceived monetary value resting on my finger? The size of my ring has LITERALLY NOTHING to do with how much James loves me.
And my ring? Is NOT big in terms of diamond size. It just LOOKS big. You know what else? It came from the clearance section and cost less than your average engagement ring. And guess what? I DO NOT GIVE A SHIT.
Let me tell you more about my ring.
James and I had been dating for about three years. We had both graduated college. James had just gotten his first teaching job in Ellsworth, and I was living in Minneapolis. We had talked about marriage as a definite thing we were into, so I was casually browsing for engagement rings on the internet (as you do). I found this particular ring on the Helzberg website. I liked it a lot – it was different than all the other rings the internet had to offer. Plus, it was reasonably priced, and I love a deal. So I emailed the link to James, and that was that.
|This is the photo that I actually saved from the Helzberg website eight-ish years ago.|
Fast forward two years. I was living in Sioux Falls, and James was in Ellsworth. We went on a weekend trip to Rapid City, and James proposed to me in Dinosaur Park. And wouldn’t you know it? He had THE ring. The one that I had sent him years ago. The one that I loved the most. The one that had disappeared from the internet. The one that James had remembered.
So it turned out that, not too long after I had sent him that link, James had gone to the Mall of America with that ring in mind. And he found it. It was indeed in the clearance section, and it was the last one left in all of Helzberg’s stock. So he bought it.
Even though he didn’t have enough money at the time to pay the heating bill in his apartment, he bought me a ring.
James bought the ring knowing that it was the one I had loved. Knowing that this ring was just my style. Knowing that I would be thrilled that it came from the clearance section. Knowing that he could give me any damn ring at all, and I would love it because it came from him. Knowing that he wanted to marry me, and knowing that I wanted to marry him.
I do not know exactly how much my ring was, nor do I care. Whatever James paid for the ring has no bearing on how much he loves me. Why, oh why, do strangers assume that the number of carats directly corresponds to the amount of love? Is this to say that you can only really love someone if you have a buttload of money to spend on jewelry? NO. How can you put a price tag on love?
Answer: you can’t. I don’t, and I never will.