Sunday, January 17, 2010

The ring's the thing: Part 2

This is the second part in a series on engagement rings.

In the last post I wrote about how the jewelry industry has tried to convince everyone to pay big bucks for their engagement jewelry. This one reflects on how so many people have bought that premise hook, line, and sinker.

The proposal scene from Sweet Home Alabama

The subtitle for that clip on the Youtube page is “Every woman’s fantasy.” Unfortunately, lots of brides-to-be are making a big grab at the fantasy. Being somewhat interested in jewelry I’ve found a forum that includes a whole discussion board for “ladies-in-waiting.” And far too often for my tastes there will be some college student posting about how she wants a $15,000 e-ring, plus a $30,000 wedding, plus money for a down payment for a house, but that her boyfriend just can’t pull it all together. Umm, you’re in college! He’s in college! And neither one of you are trust fund babies!!

And should one of these “ladies-in-waiting” decide to be satisfied with whatever ring is given her the first go around, there is a huge number of people in this entire forum who believes in upgrades. Upgrade your ring on your first anniversary, fifth anniversary, or whenever you just feel the itch. Some people don’t even get to the wedding before they have one or two “upgrades.” Is an extra millimeter or two on your diamond really that important?

Though many guys do everything within their power to accommodate their girlfriends, not everyone does. I was speaking with a friend recently who broke up with his girlfriend of more than three years. They were on the marriage-track, but one of the things that broke them up was the engagement ring. She wanted one that cost at least $20,000; he didn’t want to spend more than $10,000.

Though there are some truly wealthy people in the U.S., the majority don’t have the financial resources to pay for the big honking e-rings that many women are clamoring for. Whatever happened to the ring as a symbol that the man you love wants to spend the rest of his life with you? Haven’t they heard about living beyond their means and how that’s helped to bring our country into the recession it’s currently in? And why does it have to turn into some pissing contest to see who can get (or give) the most expensive ring?

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