There are few places a man likes to be in less than a jewelry store. It is a store filled with only attention grabbing things. Worse, none are ever cheap. Being a notorious cheapskate, a jewelry store is my worst nightmare. I guess that means I should be considered the greatest husband in the history of mankind for entering one today.
Over six years ago, I went through the torture and torment of finding the perfect engagement ring for my then-girlfriend. I visited every jewelry store that has ever been in the entirety of mankind’s existence. Each one featured a vast selection of unique products, or so I was told. To me, they all looked like very expensive shiny things.
After all of the hunting, though, I ended up finding the ring at a store in our local mall. Before I tell you this next part, I must state on the record that I really thought this was the best ring for her. I really did. I almost bought another one, but I then I remembered her tiny hands. I pictured this gigantic ring (15 karats at least) weighing down her hand so much, though, that something terrible would happen and she would not be able to react in time to save herself.
Having visited nearly every jewelry store in the Kansas City metro area, I stumbled across the one I had not been inside. Tucked away from the others was a jewelry store that was going out of business. Having spent the better part of the last month looking at ring after ring, I wandered in. Luckily, there I found what I thought was the perfect ring. It was simple like she had said she wanted. It was also shiny, a very important prerequisite. I immediately bought it and left the mall, pleased that I had found a ring and doubly pleased that I would never again have to enter a jewelry store.
I must have done a great job picking it out too because she said yes. We got engaged and everything was great. Then, a couple weeks later, one of the three diamonds fell out of the ring. Oh, this is why the store is closing, I thought to myself. We went to a second jewelry store, replaced it, got married, and the rest was history.
At least that was the case until a few months ago. We were sitting down, an activity we frequently participate in, when my wife looked at her ring.
“I’m missing a diamond!” she said with a look of panic. I immediately told her that this is why we can’t have nice things. Judging by the look on her face, that was not the appropriate time for that.
We looked around, but to no avail. The diamond had been lost. I like to think that it was picked up by a young underprivileged child who had just been accepted into Harvard, but after working hard to afford attending he found himself falling just short. That is until we provided him a future. In reality, it was probably swept up in a vacuum.
She, naturally, wanted a new diamond. I silently wondered if there was a way to convince her that diamondless rings are the new craze, but after my previous misstep with the “nice things” comment, I thought better of it. After months of putting it off, though, I had no choice. I finally relented today and went to a jewelry store with her.
As we walked in, I was greeted by the sight of defeated husbands. Off to the side, there was one husband who was buying himself a very nice watch while his wife stood by watching. I do not know how he was able to reverse the roles, but I hope someday to find myself under his tutelage.
“Have you been helped yet?” the overly excited saleswoman asked, bouncing over to us like a happy little puppy.
“Yes,” my wife said. “We need to replace a diamond on my ring.”
“Okay!” she said. “Let me go price that for you!” The puppy-woman grabbed the ring and bounded away.
I had never really thought about the process of putting diamonds into rings before today. This particular establishment had a room with glass walls where the rings would be worked on. The saleswoman pranced into the room. Then, without any warning, she went from overzealous saleswoman to scientist. She pulled out a clamping device to measure the size of the diamond needed. It was a full foot long, a length that hardly seems necessary in the diamond replacement field. Then, she went over to a tray, passing by a coworker working diligently at a microscope. I watched for five minutes as she looked at the tray through a tiny glass, eyeing each diamond with the eye of a very discerning diamond critic. Then, just like that, she was back to prancing about.
“Okay!” she said. “That will be $350 and we can have it done in a week!” I stood there, imagining the money flying from my wallet that instant.
I have never been more in love with my wife than I was at that moment. “Okay. I think we’ll shop around a bit. Thank you,” she said, taking her ring and walking out the door. We had entered a jewelry store, most women’s own version of the Mount of Temptation, and we had left, my wallet unscathed.
She does deserve a new diamond and I want to get her one. I will have to make sure it happens.
You know, just as soon as I figure out a way to do it without going in a jewelry store.