do or do not, there is no try.

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Try

Yesterday we (the boyfriend and I, although I hate using ‘boyfriend’ as the descriptor because it sounds so trite and insufficient) went ring shopping.  I guess it was more like ring browsing and learning, but that’s less pithy.  It was surprisingly amazing.

For those of you who don’t know me well I should explain that I am not, or I guess I was not, the marrying kind.  I am not sure how it happened, but marriage never became a necessity or desire in my adult life.  I always figured if I met someone we’d shack up and just live.  I imagined that as long as we were happy we would be and when we weren’t we wouldn’t be, no complications and no paperwork.  I know, that certainly does not sound like a statement made by a lawyer, but being a lawyer came later and my preconceived notions were pretty set.  I can credit this aversion to the concept of marriage to a lot of things, but those are less relevant now.

I met my boyfriend (my co-workers often remind me that when we first started dating I couldn’t even use that word and now it is not enough) about three years ago and after some time we started dating.  I knew from the start that something was different from my (few, very few) romantic relationships of the past.  We loved spending time together, even when it was just studying a few feet from each other, or watching C-SPAN, or wandering around Miami without purpose.  Dating in law school and while studying for the bar wasn’t easy, at times the uncertainty in our futures was paralyzing, the thought of going our separate ways was more painful that I could have ever imagined.  As time and our relationship progressed I knew he was it. I was definitely not thinking wedding, but I was thinking partnership, dogs, kids, an inevitable mortgage.

I have to admit that initially the idea of a life together was scary. I don’t know a lot of happily married couples.  I always thought somewhere down the line relationships fell apart, that people outgrew one another and a piece of paper kept them unhappily coupled.  As our relationship got more serious I started to worry about its inevitable demise and dreading the heartbreak of losing what we had.  It was crazy, I know, but I didn’t understand how we could live happily ever after.

I suppose I had some growing up to do.  I have learned that relationships take work, and feelings change, and life gets busy, but I can’t just give up on something because the future is uncertain.  So I was ready to give a life together a try, but he wanted more.  After a lot of debate, an actual wedding became an inescapable reality and preparing for it seemed like the smartest thing to do.

Rings

Thankfully, everything about our relationships has been anything but traditional.  I think this has allowed for a lot of healthy discussion about our future, and very few unknowns.  This also meant that when he felt he was ready to propose that we get married, officially, it was easy for us to visit a few jewelry stores together in order to educate ourselves on the symbol of this imminent lifelong commitment.

The first place we visited was Jared’s (he went to Jared’s?!).  Everyone was lovely and accommodating, but the second I tried the first ring on it was as if we were the only ones in the room.  My boyfriend smiled holding up my bejeweled hand as if he could see our very happy and long future right before his eyes.  It moved me in a way I never expected.  I cuddled up close to him feeling joyful, feeling hopeful.  The ring faded into the background and it’s distant sparkle perfectly reflected our not so distant future.  Our future looks bright, no fluorescent blue light required.

A quick visit to Macy’s followed, where we met a very nice woman who told us to wait and she would call us for the big diamond sale.  There my other half tried on his first wedding band.  His smile was wider than I’d seen all day, which I didn’t even think possible.  His eyes wrinkled at the corners as he grinned and he kissed me.

MACYSMy sparkly hand in Hearts & Arrows

Upon his mother’s surprisingly (because she lives relatively far away, although I am not actually surprised by it anymore, that adorable woman knows her stuff) well-informed suggestion we visited ALO diamonds.  We were handed two glasses of champagne as the store manager excitedly explained their provenance.  The pieces he showed us definitely reflected a lot of what he was saying, and I quickly fell in love (I was not allowed to photograph it and it is not on their website so you will have to take my word for it, it was stunning).

We then visited Mayor’s (great service, but overpriced) and Zales (great service, pretty good quality, pretty good deals).  The last visit was to the store with the perfect color palette and the sparkliest jewelry: Tiffany & Co.  The gentleman behind the counter was very attentive and showed us everything we wanted to look at, even offering to have a ring I’d seen before brought back in.  My boyfriend was pretty amazed by the sparkle, under any light the quality was undeniable.  The last ring we saw, the round Tiffany Soleste, was an exceedingly strong competitor of the ALO piece. It was flawless, the pave was seamless, and it was perfectly understated.

RING TWO

What followed was a very reasonable discussion and the decision is his to make.  I will be happy with pretty much anything.  This weekend was a great reminder of how lucky I am and it made me look forward to our life together.  The ring will be a symbol of our commitment and whatever it is I will wear it very happily for the rest of my life.  I will look down and remember this weekend.  I will be reminded that what really matters is our life together, our happiness, our commitment to one another and that regardless of difficulties we will try to work together towards our happily ever after.

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7 responses »

  1. “LAGRIMAS DE DIOS”
    Me puse a buscar sobre la tradición del anillo de compromiso en mi afán de comprender todo este proceso tan ajeno a mi experiencia. Aquí te dejo algo de lo que encontré y que leí con interés, la verdad. Mami

    A diamond engagement ring – the ultimate gift, the physical symbol of the love two people share with each other, and the physical representation of an agreement to enter into the bonds of marriage. A diamond engagement ring is something many women often dream of receiving from a very young age. Have you ever wondered why the diamond was used as the traditional engagement ring stone? No, it’s not actually because a diamond is the most precious of all gemstones, because, dollar wise, it is not actually the most expensive stone on the planet. So why the diamond?
    Diamonds actually have a very long history of being used as jewelry or adornment. According to one website, the ancient Greeks believe that the diamond’s inner fire was a reflection of the burning flame of everlasting love. This same website says that the Greeks called diamonds, ‘teardrops of the gods.” (retrieved December 30, 2006 from http://www.azcentral.com /style/articles/0314rings.html).

    The best it can be determined, the Romans were the first to wear an engagement ring on the third finger of the left hand and it is also believed that the Romans may have been the first civilization to inscribe rings. There are a few theories as to why engagement and wedding rings are worn on the third finger, but the most popular one stems back to ancient Greece. It is said that the there is a vein from the heart that extends down to this finger, and therefore, this finger leads straight to the heart. Pretty romantic, isn’t it?

    In history, the diamond was not the original or traditional stone for an engagement ring. Emeralds and sapphires were commonly used, until the Europeans took the idea of an engagement ring and made it their own. Because diamonds are supposed to be the strongest and the hardest mineral known to man, the diamond easily became a symbol of an unbreakable bond between a man and woman, not to mention they are pretty and flashy too. Of course, a diamond engagement ring was only available at that time to the very wealthy, so diamond engagement rings soon became a symbol of status and wealth as well as a symbol of pending betrothal.

    In the 17th and 18th century, engagement or betrothal rings were given as gifts upon the acceptance of a proposal of marriage. These rings usually had both rubies and diamonds. The rubies, red in color, signified love. The diamonds, clear in color and strong and dazzling, signified eternity. This is a very romantic notion that a marriage should be based on love and last forever.

    Toward the end of the 19th century, when diamonds were discovered in both Brazil and Africa, the supply of diamonds began to exceed the demand, and thus the ‘value’ of a diamond fell. With it, rose the value of colored gemstones, such as sapphires and emeralds again.

    DeBeers took the romantic notion that a diamond signified forever and thus came the well known tagline for DeBeers, “A Diamond Is Forever.” Since a marriage should be forever, what better stone to represent a marriage then a forever diamond?

    By the 20th century, diamonds came back into fashion and were once again considered the traditional stone for an engagement ring. As we move further into the 21st century, diamond engagement rings are generally accepted world wide in most developed countries as the expected gift a man gives a women when he asks for her hand in marriage.

    Diamonds are here to stay, and many diamonds are passed down through family members as heirlooms. It is not uncommon for a man to offer his mother or grandmother or even a great grandmother’s engagement ring as a conditional gift for a marriage proposal.

    When the time comes for you to make the commitment to spend the rest of your life with the one you love, there is no better stone to choose than the eternal diamond – strong, brilliant, beautiful, full of light and radiance, long-lasting and virtually indestructible – all the things a perfect marriage should be.

    • That’s very interesting, you should send it to your future son-in-law, he loves to learn! Yo tambien estoy aprendiendo mucho, hay muchas cosas que no estan ni en mi ADN ni en mi historia familiar/cultural. Las dos aprederemos mucho y tambien hare las cosas a mi manera, aunque creo que me voy a ordenar algunos libros para estar mejor informada.

  2. Pingback: A year of ch-ch-ch-changes: I have to live with a boy! | Entree to Judaism:

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