Does size matter? No, not that!

Let me cut to the chase. Engagement rings are the female version of ‘whose got the biggest dick contest.’ The majority of newly engaged woman just love to shove their shiny rock in her friends faces for the good ol jealousy factor. When I see that, I am disgusted and certain of what that relationship is all about. There are the genuine cases where they guy wants to give her a token of his love and she simply takes it for what it is. A symbol of his love, not a requirement or status symbol.
This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves ever. So if you are not in the mood for a rant, then you best just move on. The entire idea of spending a ton of money on a shiny rock drives me insane. As you might have guessed, I have had several discussions around this subject with my better half. We married very very young. I was 20 and she was 18. I was in school and I bought her the best ring that I couldn’t afford at the time. What I mean by couldn’t afford is that being a student and supporting myself I lived very simply. But I took my $3000 limit credit card and bought the best thing I could find for every dime I had. It wasn’t much, but it’s what I could do.
Today, she doesn’t wear that ring. The reason, embarrassment. She still wears her wedding band but when people ask about the other ring, she proclaims that she lost it. She tells me that this is easier on her than seeing the faces of her friends (spoiled ungrateful bitches whose biggest worry is which starbucks to meet at), when they see her small ring. I tell her that to me, the ring is a good symbol of how we struggled through tough times, made it past when all people doubted we could do it. And her argument, is that if I loved her I would work hard to give her the very best.
I have, never in our 16 years, worked less than two jobs. I happily work these jobs so that we can live in the best school district, in a nice house, and so she can drive a nice car.
On our 16th anniversary, the light finally clicked for me (yes I am slow and yes I was in denial). I took her to a great restaurant, gave her a box from the finest jewelry store, and she began to glow with excitement. She opened the box to find a very nice David Yurman ring that was just a smudge under $1k. Her response…”oh Susan has this one, but she has the bigger one, can we go look at that after dinner?”
Are you fucking kidding me?
But it was our anniversary so I agreed. She went in, handed the ring back and started looking at rings in the $10-15k range. When I asked why she was looking at those, she broke down in tears and said (with volume and drama) this, “will I never be good enough for you to treat me like I deserve!?!”
So I walked out after her…oh yes, she stormed out if the store. When I caught up to her she continued with how selfish I was. Now, understand that in 16 years I have never once raised my voice, treated her poorly, or denied her any luxury I could afford. But at this moment, I was a volcano. I have no doubt I could have put my fist through a brick wall. But I didn’t. I said nothing while I calmed my most basic and instinctual thoughts. Once I calmed I said, “you know what. If I had $100,000 in my pocket right now, I still wouldn’t buy that fucking thing. We have two kids, we have no real savings, and I never complain about how much I work. But if that’s something you really want, then you are not the person I thought you were. If that diamond, the one that was likely mined by an enslaved 9 year old, is more important than the education of your kids, is more important than being happy about what gifts I give you, then shame on me for not seeing what you are long before now.”
That exchange has changed our lives..I’m not sure if it’s for better or worse. But men, my advice to you is to step back and see what is expected of you. Is it the token of your love, or is it just the token? And women, I know that society says that we should spend 2.5 months of our salary on this ring. You do understand that this standard is given by the same people who sell such items….how convinient. I expect men and women of low intellegence to accept this standard, abide by it, and become that useful consumer that is indeed needed. But I expect men and women of intellect to question such expectations. When is enough, enough? When can I stop paying the toll and expect a partnership? When can I expect that what we think is more important that the neighborhood hens?
I actually started writig this post because I found comedy in the obsession of diamonds. And I understand that this has turned into a personal rant. So, today…maybe I didn’t make you laugh, but I hole I made you think.
*disclaimer…I wrote this from my iPhone so if there are spelling, content structure, or grammatical errors…I don’t care one single bit so keep it to youself and know that I don’t want to hear it. Thanks!


17 Responses to “Does size matter? No, not that!”

  1. February 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Oh man…… I’m really saddened by this post, I’m saddened that materialism and symbols of so called status have such a hold on so many people, particularly in the US.
    I’d go through a man for a short cut if he spent that kind of money on anything other than a car, house, furniture, a donation to charity if he were dripping in money, but to spend 1000s on a piece of jewelry, for anyone? No. Money is easy to spend if you have it, what is infinitely more valuable, priceless, is TIME, that is something one can never get back. If you pass on before she does she’ll be left with a ring – I for one would rather have happy memories from my man, not a piece of jewelry.
    Not all women are the same…….

    • 2 Woody
      February 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm

      I absolutely know that not all women are the same. Trust me, I have founds many female friends on Twitter and in life that don’t fall into this group. If I gave the impression that I meant all women are this way, I certainly didn’t mean to. Thanks for the reply!

  2. 3 smileytexasmom
    February 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Shame on her. My X was pissed because I refused a big diamond. Ring gawking women and men who want to gloat about how much they can afford over another guy is so stupid.
    2 jobs? You’re insane. Time together is so much more fun and rewarding than lots of money and a big ugly ring

  3. 4 the laughing one
    February 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Sorry Woody, but your wife is a bitch. That’s the kind of woman that gives the rest of us women a bad name. I’d like to pull her hair out now, thanks.

    When I got married, my spouse was in college. He was 19, I was 17. He couldn’t afford a ring because he was busy paying for our future, so I scraped my savings together (I think it was about a thousand) and bought our wedding set… all three rings. The engagement’s less than a 1/4 carat and I treasure it. And I bought the damn thing!

    Course, I don’t wear mine either, but mostly because of my job, and partially because it needs reset so I don’t lose my microscopic, sentimental pebble.

    • 5 Woody
      February 28, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      Well let’s face it, I’m sure I’m no prize either ;). I just can’t wrap my mind around spending that kind of money on a rock. I’d rather not support a corupted industry and use the money for savings or charity. But what do I know.

  4. 6 KB
    March 1, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Wow..that is insane. I never will be that person. Life is too short and fleeting to put up with selfish shit like that. The sweat and sacrifice you put into creating your way of life is intense…and to think it all comes down to a ring. If the feeling is genuine and a ring was presented to me, I would be surpised and delighted. I’m just not that shallow. Reading your post makes me so angry.. I feel the need to bitch slap a girl upside the head. Sorry, I didn’t mean to get all gangsta there. Not all women care..I want quality lovings, not a quality rock.

  5. 7 ~Kat
    March 2, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I find myself hoping that you’ve embellished this story to further your point. I cannot imagine a world in which that scenario ACTUALLY took place. Yikes and double yikes!! But then, I don’t understand people who return Christmas gifts on Dec 26, either. Guess I’m just weird that way.

    My husband and I married young, too. We were both 19. Crazy in Love and very impulsive. Not a lot has changed over the years. He bought me a very inexpensive diamond when I was pregnant with our second child. I loved that silly ring. Years later, that ring, our wedding bands and whatever other jewelry he’d given me over the years were lost to the pawn shop to cover basic expenses when he was out of work for months. It kept food on the table and a roof over our heads. I hope the girl that has it now appreciates it.

    It doesn’t bother me that neither of us wears ‘rings’ now. Except, I will admit to purchasing a modestly impressive looking cubic zirconia to wear for our eldest daughter’s wedding. Somehow it seemed like the right thing to do.

    • 8 Woody
      March 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      No…not embelished at all. I could go on to tell you how she went to her father to buy her a Mercedes that I couldn’t. Or tell you that her embarrassment for the car I drove was so bad that she would duck down when we had to use my car.
      My blog here is about being able to speak my mind without filter. That lack of a filter means I don’t hold back and I don’t embelish (unless it’s obvious to boost my ego…but you’ll know those times). It is what it is baby ;).

      • 9 ~Kat
        March 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm

        Then you should be sainted!

        Or she must be very VERY good in bed…. that’s all I’m saying!

  6. March 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    When hubby and I decided to get married over 25 years ago we decided to put a down payment on a house instead of laying out thousands on a ring. Best decision we ever made… My grandmother had given me a (very) small diamond ring (like maybe an eighth of a carat max) and we had it reset in a plain gold band. No engagement ring. Would I have liked one?- sure… was I smart enough to realize that needing a place to live is more important- yes I was.

    For our tenth anniversary hubby had my wedding ring reset with a bigger diamond (just a bit bigger than a quarter carat), something we could afford… and more importantly- never asked for by me.

    He surprised me Christmas 5 years ago with a gorgeous marquis cut diamond ring that looks like it is a wedding ring/engagement ring combo and told me he was sorry it took so long for me to get my big ring. Made me cry… 🙂 I now wear it as my wedding ring and wear my original wedding ring on my right hand.(his idea)

    I’m sorry your wife reacts the way she does… especially considering the fact that it sounds like you work your ass off with two jobs. Unfortunately some people just don’t get it…

  7. March 4, 2010 at 5:11 am

    i’m not a fan of diamonds. in fact, i wanted my wedding ring to be celestite and citrine. apparently celestite is too soft.

    then i looked at tanzanite…but DH proclaimed it wasn’t a “proper” wedding ring.

    the ring DH selected for me suits my lifestyle overall, but isn’t generally worn due to my profession.

    i admit that there is one ring that i would ‘upgrade’ for, but i’d rather spend that kind of money on the vegetable garden beds or on a buckstove. 😀

  8. 12 MegPie
    March 7, 2010 at 1:02 am

    I am not going to sit here and bash a woman for wanting a large diamond, especially since you seem to be married to one of those, but my ex-fiance did the same thing: saved, scraped, and opened a credit card to buy me my little ring, and I loved it. One “friend” of mine even had the nerve to ask me if I was disappointed when I saw the size. To her I said, “It’s not the size of the ring that matters but the fact that he loves me enough to give me a symbol to show the world I am special enough he wants to be with me till he dies.” She laughed, and I never talked to that bitch again.

    We’re not together anymore (I changed in a monumental way and we no longer fit together), but he will always be special to me and the girl he does end up with is a lucky lady. 🙂

    To the tune of the other comments here, not all women live and die by the dollar. There are lots of other things (naughty and nice) that make a guy worth being around!! Yay! Got my 2 cents in!! Bet ya didn’t think I typed in more than 140-character spurts, huh!!

  9. March 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    When Syd and I talk rings, i’m more interested in looking at something that will remind us of us, but seems innocuous to the world. IE – something that looks like braided rope – to remind us of the sides of us we’ve discovered about ourselves and each other, but anyone on the “outside” will just go with that whole “love knot” kind of idea. HA HA

    I’m sorry your wife did that… That would be something that would be hard for me to get over – not necessarily the act, but the deeper personality.. well… faults I guess, that it would represent.

  10. March 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Can I just say the very first time I was engaged I was given a decorative silver band, no diamond, not gold and I loved it. I still have it. The second time I was given nothing. I do not need a token to show my love. This time me and my boyfriend look at rings and I ask for the lesser karat cause they look too big. He found one that I love it has black diamonds I don’t care about how much it is or not, just the fact that he was thoughtful and knew me enough to find me black diamonds is all that matters. He said he just wanted something unique. I about a total of 2 karats of diamonds in my ears, these were gifts from my mom for my birthday and a hand me down pair of studs from my bestest friend. I did not ask for them. I gate women (no offense) but like your wife. To throw a hissy fit in a jewelry store after you got her I’m sure a gorgeous almost $1k ring cause she wanted a $10k one. I would have said we’re done I’m sorry. But that’s just me. Hell give me a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card and I’m in heaven, that’s my expensive gift lol.

  11. 15 Ophelia_Drowns
    March 14, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I don’t quite get the fixation on rings. My folks are from England and back when they got engaged, in the 60’s, no one had a diamond engagement ring. It just wasn’t the fashion. All my mother has ever worn is a plain gold band. Maybe I don’t care about diamonds or jewelry in general because of her example?

    Maybe something to consider if you have a daughter.

  12. 16 Denise
    April 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I wear a ring similar to what you described, a ring purchased by my soon to be husband that was a bike mechanic at the time. Now he’s a film producer & that ring is still on my finger. I say Eff trying to impress other women, it represents so much more to me! Don’t give in to that keeping up with the Jonses BS.

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