Eric’s Blog Episode 2: A Ring Is Very Expensive (or why it’s important to have a family heirloom)

(image credit: Radcliffe Jewelers)

If you couldn’t guess from the end of the last episode, Faye threw caution (and her finals) to the wind and rode shotgun with me across the country. It was an incredible and unforgettable week. Two years later, I was prepared to ask her the “Big Question.”

In order to propose, I needed:
1. To not pass out.
2. To find a suitable ring.

While I was relying on the love in my heart to keep me vertical (sounds like a new Mariah Carey song, no?), finding the perfect ring was proving to be a problem. I had a small budget and big dreams, but I didn’t want to go to a discount-in-the-mall store for a wedding ring. Not only would it feel weird to shop for an engagement ring alongside people slurping their super-sized soft drinks through a straw, but I also hated all those TV commercials. You know the ones – they go something like this:

Friend: “He proposed? Whatever, pass the popcorn.”
Bride:  “But he went to Peared’s!”
Friend: “OMG! THE Peared’s? That discount diamond store that advertises on TV during all female-oriented programming? This marriage is sure to last!”

I’ll bet you a hundred doll-hairs that their next ad will feature house pets whispering, “He went to Peared’s” to each other, like a game of telephone, from Golden Retriever to Tabby Cat to Parakeet they will whisper “Peared’s” into each other’s ears. At the end of the ad, a cute little mouse will peek out from a hole in the wall and say (with a child’s speech impediment), “He went to Peawed’s.”

Nope. A discount diamond store was not for me. I also knew that Faye would kill me if I spent whatever it is that a premium diamond costs. Besides, I am fairly sure that ring stores don’t let you split up the charge between six credit cards.

I also wanted to avoid “blood diamonds.” I saw that Leonardo DiCaprio movie about a man with a horrific South African accent – I mean, about the horrific diamond trade. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to give Faye a token of my love that also happens to be linked to a bunch of people getting killed. I don’t like it when people die. I’m nice that way.

But I still really wanted a diamond for Faye’s finger. You see, I am selectively traditional, and I got it into my head that her finger wouldn’t look complete without one.

A friend suggested I go to an estate sale and dig through someone else’s drawers for something unique and special. But I was worried. What if the ring I found came with a curse attached? I saw an old horror movie scenario where the ring has belonged to the same vampire woman for all of eternity. What if, when I slipped the cursed ring onto Faye’s finger, her pupils turned a deep shade of red as she leaned in to gnaw on my forehead? I couldn’t risk it.

I was about to give up hope, when my mother suddenly informed me that my grandmother had left me a ring for this exact purpose. I was overjoyed (and a bit annoyed that I didn’t know about the ring sooner. I mean… I had wasted so much perfectly good angst!).

On the way to my mother’s house to see the ring in person, I started to get worried. In my family we had a “good” grandma and a “not so good” grandma. As you can probably guess, “not so good” grandma wasn’t always the nicest woman in the world. Would you like an example? My pleasure. Once, when she was planning a family vacation, she suggested one of my sisters not come along and instead spend the summer at home working on “becoming pretty.” I was worried about the karma attached to a ring that was attached to her.

But the ring was BEAUTIFUL. Seven diamonds, all European Cut, from the 1850s, clustered together like a little bouquet of flowers. It was so entirely…Faye. The moment I saw it I knew I had to give it to her. And that was before I got it cleaned and found out that the setting was not, in fact, wrought iron.

I guess sometimes the perfect ring just finds you.

Best news of all, the ring is so old that it must have been passed down from a relative dating much further back than my “not so good” grandmother. Hopefully it was from a relative that had a life filled with laughter and love.

But if Faye’s eyes turn red when I slip the ring on her finger, and I suddenly am nowhere to be found, you’ll know what happened.

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