Sunday, October 5, 2014

A big ol' ring

I got excellent advice from a person whom I love and Admire before I got married and engaged.
She counseled not to spend more than $1,000 on both of our wedding rings combined.

To a person in community college who made like $500 a month, lived at home and was lucky enough to have had a grandparent donate a car to our family (I was the 4th owner of this said car) that sounded like sound advice.

When I was asked by my love what I wanted for an engagement ring I was fairly specific. I wanted our birth stone (and the same month we would be married in). After I received a beautiful custom engagement ring that was sweetly inscribed we went shopping for our wedding bands together.

I fell in love with a 75% off clearance ring from a trunk sale at JCpenney and we found him a great ring at Macy's. I can't say we spent under 1k combined but we were pretty close. I never wanted a wedding set so my engagement ring was just for the engagement.

I loved my wedding ring and got lots of compliments on it. It was very thick and wide, with side diamonds. It was different and it fit my style.

So, when my barely 2 year old flushed it down the toilet one Saturday afternoon-and my husband-covered her little ears when I exclaimed "D*** it!" while I bawled a piece of me kind of got sucked otu. Losing an irreplacable ring sucks. Not only was it a sentimental item (Hello wedding ring) but it was the one thing I felt like I had that 1. Hadn't changed  and 2. That always fit me, despite getting big and pregnant then slim again, then chubby again. it always fit. I had lost or misplaced the ring many time previously. Even one time for a whole month  but I was never really worried about it-I knew I would find it. But as soon as I saw my ring missing from the desk I knew it was gone forever.

I have dabbled in other jewelry. I have bought a silver ring to wear on my finger. I have received really pretty rings for mother's day to try out as my new 'wedding' ring but nothing really sticks. I know it sounds so petty but I love the rings and they are fun-nicer than costume jewelry cost but nothing close to my awesomely lost ring that Dory now wears as a bracelet somewhere in Australia.

I look online sometimes at rings. I am sometimes horrified at how expensive they are-it was made clear early in our relationship that I either wanted a huge emerald cut diamond or something unique. It wasn't the cost that I wanted it was the look of the something I was going to get.

I couldn't imagine spending 5k or more on a ring. I would have rather had a car! Or down payment for a car. I didn't want my soon to be husband to go into debt to buy a ring (nor would he).

So after being married 10 years and rocking a semi naked finger for 3 years I continue to look at wedding rings. But I kind of feel the same way now about it as I did then-its so much money to just wear on your finger! I was reading an article about buying wedding rings and somewhere it says about spending 2 months salary on a ring-what the mother? Am I totally just out of perspective? Do most people do this?

And I think my quirky spending habits just inhibit me from knowing what maybe the average person spends money on. Ask me how much I am willing to spend  on

 lipstick: $35 (yes one tube)
A purse: $200+
Dinner out to eat: $50

A car which we use every day: No more than $14,000 which is a fairly cheap car

I am more willing to by the Cadillac of lipstick but the geo metro of cars. And I know money is a personal subject but I find it kind of baffling and at the same time intriguing how other people spend their money.
I kind of admire the person who buys a $30,000 car but is willing to eat rice and beans or doesn't go on vacation. I guess its always trade off's right?  I like my pricier accessories and will take the cheap car.

But sometimes I fantasize about myself tottling around in Louis Vuitton boots rocking a 4ct tiffany wedding ring just to see what it might be like and carpooling in my large infiniti suv with subwoofers (because I also am married to a rapper in my fantasy apparently). And because spending money is a perspective.

I  do feel like I have some pretty good checks and balances in my life. And I continually strive not to spend in a white trash sort of way (I have previously written about getting my nails done but still not replacing a window that had broke). Sometimes I don't' want to pay for dental work but I see a lovely piece of furniture and think "This a good price!". Its all a little askew at times. I mean really, teeth are more important than a car or furniture but I do try to make a conscious effort not to get too wrapped up in materials.

 I used to think that if someone had batteries at their house they were wealthy. That and name brand cereal, and if they ate at McDonald's-because eating at McDonald's to me when I was young was a luxury. And if they had internet. For real, my parents did not getting internet (cable at least) until just before I moved out of the house. No one had cell phones either.

I grew up in a modest home with two very hard working, determined parents who gave the great gift of work ethic. My dad didn't always like his job but he did it because he loved and wanted to take care of us. My mom didn't necessarily prefer to work but it provided some needed things for our family as well. And-although it is embarrassing-I once had someone whom I knew from student government in college ask me if my family was as prissy as I was. I wasn't sure what she meant by that but all I could reply was "No, I grew up in a family where money was tight but I was taken care of".

My mom is not materialistically prissy. My dad is far from prissy. They are some of the most dedicated people and home caretakers I have ever met (besides my grandparents who obviously passed this gene onto my mom).
I grew up in a home where the cars were always clean, my dad always manicured the lawns and washed the cars, dinner was always cleaned up right away and the home was spic and span.
My mom always took care of herself and did her hair and make up everyday and my father was always well groomed and freshly shaven. But I would never call them prissy.

I on the other hand have a tendency for prissy and am fairly sloppy. My home is usually in some sort of disarray and about twice a week I need to roam the house looking for a cup or fork I set down somewhere and forgot about.

I like the idea of always being up early, dressed and make upp-ed and hair done but frankly I don't really fit that bill.

My mom and dad both have modest rings and are fairly practical people. So even if I am sincerely tempted to buy that $300 beautiful Ella Moss sweater/poncho at Nordstrom I know that (and I never forget this) you don't take your treasures with you. Your home, dress, jewelry, shoes, car can't go with you to heaven.
But that being said....not having a large diamond, or really wedding ring, means that if I were to buy that beautiful sweater...there is a lot smaller chance that it would accidentally get snagged.

So, on my frumpy days when I wish I had a beautiful ring on my finger-something that feels all shiny and sparkly-that despite my chubbiness will still gleam and glow and fit-I need to remember these top 3 things

1. You don't' take your treasures with to heaven-or hell for that matter
2. Using a treadmill  for longer rather than spending money will help me feel better in the long term
3. Having a large ring will not make me happy...

......but having a large ring would make it more likely I could win a street shouldn't rule it out completely.

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