May 31, 2011

Put a Ring On It

I read a blog post recently on BabyCenter.com on celebrity engagements and it inspired me to think about my own enagagement story, especially since it has been almost 7 years since my dear husband proposed to me.

The question proposed (haha no pun intended) was:
What do you think? Did you have a hand in picking your ring? Did you/Would you pay for your own engagement ring?

The reason behind the question is because Kim Kardashian is rumored to have bought and paid for her $2 million dollar sparkler herself. Kinda makes me wonder why she said she was "shocked" that he proposed...

I digress.

My husband, chose to take the other route. He did his own research (i.e. paying attention to the kind of jewelry I already wear), went out and bought & paid for my ring on his own. To this day, I do not even know the cost or value of my ring (other than that I have verification from reliable sources that it is real).

His proposal was a complete surprise. For months, he had been distant and even dropping hints of our relationship's demise. I had grown weary and worried, telling one of my girlfriends just days before he proposed that I wasn't sure if things were going to work. I even started researching apartments just in case I  had to suddenly move out. We had a trip to the North Shore (Two Harbors, MN) planned for that weekend and I thought I would see how the vacation went before making any decisions. Sitting out on a bluff outside of our resort, he asked me, "So, how do you think things are going between us?" I was thinking that this was it. The relationship breakup talk that I had been dreading. I told him that I know things have been strained and that I didn't care about getting married- I just wanted to be with him and that other stuff didn't matter. I then turned the question back on him to which he replied, "Actions speak louder than words," and he held open a jewelry box with my beautiful engagement ring inside. Of course, because I am totally classy, my exact words were, "Are you fucking kidding me?" Followed by, "YES!!!"

Pictures of Superior Shores Resort, Two Harbors
View of the rocks where my proposal took place
This photo of Superior Shores Resort is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I loved my proposal. I love that I was surprised. I love that he did it all on his own (and believe me... 7 years later, that is a big deal). I LOVE my ring and I wouldn't change a thing about it. Truthfully, he could have proposed with a vending machine ring and I would've loved it.
My gorgeous ring.
The strange thing to me, is that my not shopping for my own engagement ring puts me in the minority. Not a single one of my friends, NOT ONE, got the element of surprise for a ring. They shopped with their guys for their rings and knew that at some point a proposal was coming- although I will say that these guys came up with some pretty fabulous proposals. I heard a story recently about a girl who pretty much railroaded her guy into getting engaged- dragged him shopping despite that fact he made it clear that he couldn't afford a ring, so she paid for the majority of it. There was never even a proposal. Just a discussion about getting married one night that turned into her dragging him to jewelry shops the next day. Were her actions justified? Would this guy ever have proposed otherwise? I get both points of view- she doesn't want to waste time on a relationship if it isn't going to lead to marriage. He says he wants to marry her someday. She says, well let's get this show on the road!

I'll confess... I had a Knot page before I even had a boyfriend. I had visions in my head for what my dress would look like. Yes, I would play on the ShaneCo website for hours, envisioning my "perfect" engagement ring (seriously, the best website back in the day for online ring browsing). However, these fantasies were well hidden from my boyfriend. I never wanted him to feel pressured into getting married. I truly wanted him to get there on his own. Sure, I would drop little nuggets about my desire to settle down and have kids. He knew where my head was, but that was about as far as it went. I didn't leave pictures of rings or dresses laying around for him to find. Years later, much to my surprise, he told me he knew very early on that I was it for him.

So tell me... what is it about getting married (or even just a wedding day) that makes girls so crazy? Why the need for the perfect ring? The perfect dress? The perfect location? Does any of this make for a long and happy life?

No doubt, my wedding day was a fairytale. I think of it often, especially with all the weddings I have been a part of and invited to lately. While my wedding day was perfect in every way, it was in fact just: a day. It is the decisions that you make after that day that makes a marriage. I am proud that I never lost sight of the fact that I was making a lifetime commitment. It was never about a ring. A dress. A day. It was about forever.

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