Shopping for Your Own Ring
My mom’s ring is beautiful. I have been wearing it since Gary proposed. But I am starting to feel like it’s her ring, a symbol of her life and her love, given to her by my dad before anyone could know that he would die after only six years of marriage. And so Gary and I decide to select a new engagement ring for me, while we are shopping for our wedding bands.
I feel a little awkward helping to pick out my own ring, but I’m excited too. Now I can make sure I end up with something I love. I do a little bit of research online, looking at different styles and trying to figure out what is “in” that won’t look too trendy and outdated a few years from now. Then I feel like an idiot. It’s a diamond ring. How is it ever going to go out of style?
There are several jewelry stores in town, most of them located in the mall. I get their cheesy sale flyers in the mail all the time. Once, months before Gary proposed, a friend talked me into going inside one of these garishly lighted stores to look at rings “just in case.” A salesman showed me a huge diamond ring at a ridiculously low price. As I put it on, I could see an inclusion in the stone, a terrible flaw that was clearly visible to the naked eye. Any store that would mount and display such a stone, let alone giving me the high-pressure sales pitch, didn’t impress me very much.
Gary and I decide to go to a small local jeweler, off the beaten path (basically, a non-chain store outside of the mall). We’ve heard good things about the owner and, as seems to be the case for everything else with our wedding, we are really into finding a great service with a personal touch. His small shop is in an office building, with antique wooden doors and floors. I feel right at home. Moments after arriving, I spot a ring like one that had caught my eye during my online forays. It’s a simple gold band in a cathedral design rising gracefully toward a one-carat diamond.
The one-carat diamond is out of the question on our budget, but I still love the ring. Mark, the jeweler, takes it out of the case and lets me slip it on my finger. Gary, standing nearby, can see that my mind is already made up, and a tiny grin tugs at the corners of his mouth. I wink back at him, suddenly feeling like we’re starring together in a romantic-comedy movie. Mark takes our order for the ring, with a good quality half-carat stone, thank you very much, and Gary and I leave the store hand-in-hand. Completely forgetting that we meant to look at rings for him too. Oops.
My ring won’t be ready for about two weeks, and in the meantime, Gary and I take a weekend trip to see my sister Brittany. We’re out shopping when Brit mentions that she needs to stop in at a jewelry store to pick up a necklace she was having repaired. Inside the store, Gary casually wanders over to the display of men’s wedding bands. It’s my turn to smirk as he tries on a two-tone ring of yellow gold rims outside an etched inset of white gold. It’s perfect, and we both know it. Our order is placed before my sister even gets the attention of a clerk to pick up her necklace. Once again, winks and smirks all around.
This whole romantic-comedy thing is quite out of character for us. Usually Gary and I are completely down-to-earth with very little drama; more practical than fanciful in all aspects of life – including our wedding. And here we are finding our wedding rings like we’re following a movie script. It’s hilarious. Even more so the following week, when both of our rings are delivered on the same day. I get home from work, check the mailbox, and find two small packages inside. I race inside, rip them open and set out the rings side by side on the counter. The look so unbelievably beautiful, so clean and shiny and elegant in their velvet boxes. I am tempted to touch them together to see if they cling like magnets, as if their physical properties are somehow representative of their future wearers.
I am so happy with our choices, and so proud to wear a ring from Gary. I start to slip it on my finger, then stop. I will wait until Gary is here and he can place it on my finger, again, like when he proposed. I smile to myself. A little bit of movie magic never hurt anyone.