(Alternately titled: my mom & my fiance totally freaking rule.)
Let’s lay it out here. I read a lot of Cracked.com – how many self-proclaimed nerdy 20somethings don’t? Judging by my facebook livefeed, not a lot.
But I’m going to be mean for a moment. One of their potentially token female writers just put up an article/list about how much engagement ring shopping sucks. And yeah, I have to agree just a little bit. It sucks just as much as having to explain to a totally disinterested 8th grade music appreciation class exactly what Kanye West is trying to convey in the song “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”. Spectacularly failed lesson plan there.
However, everything else I’m going to say here is positive. I have a wonderful engagement ring story to share. My fiance did just about everything right in the purchasing process. He was diligent and creative. And it all started by following a very simple edict: he asked my mother.
My father died in 2002, and before that my parents had been separated since 1993, so that was not a part of the equation. As a result of our circumstances, my mother and I have a sort of psychic brain meld/Gilmore Girls thing going on, and she has all of the answers. About everything. T-storm had been thinking of popping the question (although we’d only been together six months or so), and had been brushing up on ring purchasing ideas. He does stuff like that, like with everything.
He called her the week after Christmas, after we’d gotten back down to our neck of the woods and I wouldn’t be able to possibly overhear any talk of the such. Note: this is the first area in which the aforementioned Cracked article was way off. It is possible to be surprised, but as an old friend told me in some advice about a completely unrelated topic recently, you have to be “diligent and creative” to really get anything accomplished.
My mother’s first response when he called to ask for my hand in marriage was, “well, this is an interesting Monday morning.” (Note: I don’t know where I get the whole squeeing/freaking out when overstimulated thing from either, as it did not come from my consistently cool mother.) She told him that I wanted a sapphire, and not a diamond, and he breathed a sigh of relief. He knows I’m not a generally materialistic person, and that I complain constantly about jewelry because it interferes with instrument playing. I’m more of a “when is the next craft fair so I can buy earrings” kind of gal.
He first went to a Mom & Pop shop to search for a ring, but could not find what he was looking for there. His next stop was Going to Jared! and well. He kind of nailed it. He saw the one he knew I’d love, and sent a photo to my mother. This time, she did respond with about 1,800 exclamation points (that trait got passed on). And yes, maybe we sort of bought into the Wedding Industrial Complex, but he got a fantastic service deal on it.
He managed to keep it a secret, as did my mother despite the psychic brain meld. He told a few of his closest friends, some of our mutual friends, but not my closest friends until the day of. I somewhat suspected a proposal was in the mix, but I didn’t expect it. In previous circumstances, I’d hoped for a proposal (or been told I should be hoping for a proposal, which seems insane to me) and nothing had come. Suffice to say, I’d suffered heartbreak before. And we had been together less than a year. No worries.
We went to dinner to celebrate our eight month anniversary at the same place we’d had our first real date, and then went out to the dock, and he phrased everything perfectly, and surprised the living breathing crap out of me.
He hadn’t broken the bank, and got a beautiful, perfect, fitting ring, for a girl like me that may not be all crazy goth/Celtic, but enough off of the beaten path. When my freshman roommate saw a photo of it, she too commented that it was “unique and beautiful, just like you!” He managed to keep it a surprise, and while he was stressed out about it, he wrote down his thoughts and feelings about the process on several pages of parchment scroll and gave them to me when we came back from dinner that night he proposed (after we opened up the champagne he’d had waiting in a cooler in the car).
He was diligent and creative, and also considerate, and it worked out perfectly. I also find lots of questions in the wedding blogosphere about how “you know”. He knew with the ring, we knew with each other, and despite whatever mistakes we’ve made in our separate pasts, some sort of divine sense of karmic knowledge was bestowed upon us and we just know.
That’s not a load of horse crap. Once upon a time, I was reading an Eastside Bride post and was truly amazed and inspired by the sincere chorus of “you just know.” We’re not making that stuff up.
More on karmic knowledge: Gina and I did record a podcast on Monday night, and we talked a lot about knowing yourself, and what ramifications knowing yourself has on a person’s life. I really feel like finding love is about knowing yourself, and also quite honestly about timing, because for T-storm and I, it was perfect. And despite the stress involved in the buying process, overall I think it was worth it, in that the news of the engagement was very well received by everyone and their mother, the ring is constantly oooohed & ahhhhhhed over, I had a deep blue natural sapphire ring before Kate Middleton, and most importantly, we are going to have a beautiful wedding and going to have a beautiful marriage.
(Today is also haphazardly the day in between my mom’s birthday and my two-year anniversary with T-storm, so I want you to be aware of just how freaking awesome they both are, and what a lucky girl I am.)