A ring is forever

In a previous entry I mentioned that the diamond on my wife’s wedding (engagement really) ring was lost. The loss has turned out to be a good thing though.

Now for a bit of the back-story about the ring in question.

I am a cheap bastard through and through. I get annoyed when there are lights left on in rooms that aren’t occupied, even knowing that it only costs a couple of cents a day to power a light bulb. I wear a pair of shoes long after my feet begin to stick out the torn seams since they still protect the bottoms of my feet, that is the point of shoes, right? As long as my underwear have a waistband they are still in the rotation, regardless of the number of holes in them. My wife has been trying to help me to change some of the cheap bastard in me, as far as clothes are concerned, and I suppose I do look more presentable when not one (visible) article of clothing has a hole in it. I am still a cheap bastard though.

When I went to find an engagement ring the first thing I did was to throw the two months salary rhetoric right out the window. Not that I don’t love my wife, more that I don’t see how having a huge rock means that you somehow love her more, in fact it seems to work inversely; the women with the huge diamonds generally have the most adulterous husbands. I was looking for ring set (you know, the engagement ring and wedding band fit together) that was simply very pretty. When I found the one that I bought for her I paid far less than I had expected, but the center stone was quite small, I only found out how small after she lost it when my Mother-in-law said that it was only 1/10th of a karat (which was not what it was advertised as, but judging by the price I paid, and the fact that the Mother-in-law has been in the jewelry business, I must assume that to be true).

When I initially bought the ring I wanted to be able to pay cash for it, my intention was to upgrade the diamond somewhere around our 5th anniversary. I wasn’t sure how big of a diamond I would be looking for at that point, but definitely bigger and more sparkly, as the little sliver on what I bought her could barely catch enough light to reflect anything. I have heard people argue that the meaning is lost once you alter the ring, but I simply have to think back to an axe (of all things) that my dad had to disprove that notion.

An axe is a very simple tool, well it used to be. A wooden handle with a metal blade. Yet men take their tools seriously, well they used to, some still do. Tools would pass from generation to generation of men much the way that precious china does among women. I guess all men are cheap bastards at heart though, as the tool never moves to the next generation the same as it was in the last. Take the axe in question for instance. It was allegedly my Great Grandfather’s axe. The one he used every day to chop firewood. Through even twenty years of use the axe must have had the handle broken and replaced several times. The blade must have been dulled and re-sharpened to the point that it had to be replaced at least once, yet the tool, which likely had no part of the original was still considered the same tool. Considered so some sixty years later! I suppose that it is possible that my Grandfather touched the same handle as my Great Grandfather, possibly even used the same blade, but at some point Great Grandpa died and Grandpa had to repair the axe himself, slowly making a newer axe that had never been touched by his father, but it was still his father’s. Sentiment is a powerful thing.

But back to the ring. The loss of the stone prompted my wife to try to find some replacement estimates, which seem astronomical since some were damn near half of what I paid for the whole thing in the first place. Thankfully, my Mother-in-law stepped in to say that she still had the ring from her broken marriage with my wife’s father, and that she could have it for free (which translates to owing a lot of favors but no cash). The diamond on this ring was 1/4th of a karat and a different cut, but it was still far less expensive, while much larger, than the original stone. That stone was added to my wife’s ring. The ring looks absolutely gorgeous with the new stone. Many kudos to the Mother-in-law.

My plans to enhance the ring are still not gone though. I may put it off for additional years now that it looks so perfect, but I do have a goal. Among the rhetoric in the diamond commercials it sometimes mentions that less than 10% of women will ever own a diamond of 1 karat or larger size. My wife deserves to be in that less than 10% bracket since she has been 100% perfect to me since the day we met.

At the risk of sounding campy, if love could pay for the diamond, my wife’s would be this one. If love is never recognized as currency, however, I may have to set my sights a bit lower.

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