Oh dear. Where to begin? So much has happened in the last 4 days....
So Friday night after work, CN and I looked at some rings in a couple of jewelry stores. I tried on some Tacori look-alikes, and I was very sad to realize that they didn't look right on me! They were too bulky. Designs that intricate mandate a bigger ring, and I have fairly small and delicate hands. So they were beautiful, but just very awkward-looking on me.
Instead, I fell in love with a much simpler white gold design: a 3/4 carat center stone (round, white diamond, prong-set), with .10 carat prong-set round yellow diamonds on either side. On the other side of the yellow diamonds were teeny-tiny prong-set white diamonds, stopping about halfway down the ring. (My suspicions were correct -- the eternity bands, where the diamonds make a full circle around your finger, are uncomfortable!) All in all, the ring would be around $5k, which is reasonable, I think.
I could not find an exact replica on the jewelry store's website, but this is pretty close. Just pretend the little ones on either side of the center stone are yellow:
While I wanted to keep looking, because-- hello!-- ring shopping is super fun, this one ended up being my favorite one out of three stores. It looked the most proportionate to my hand, it was comfortable, it wasn't outrageously expensive, and it felt like "me".
CN and the jewelry store guy did some number crunching, and if CN financed the whole thing, the monthly payments would be around $250.
"That's the same amount I pay on my Jeep every month," he said, thinking out loud.
"Hmm. Go figure," I replied, deadpan.
"I need to get rid of it anyway. I never drive it, and I use my company car anyway. And parking is so bad in downtown Savannah. We really don't need three cars..." he continued.
I just nodded in agreement.
He did seem a little freaked out about the whole process, but he said it was because he always gets nervous whenever he spends a large amount of money at one time. He assured me it wasn't because he didn't want to marry me or wasn't ready yet. I wanted to make sure. So when we got home, I talked to him a little bit more. I just wanted to be sure he was really ready to take this next step and start moving forward. I told him that if he wasn't ready, this was the time to tell me. I also said that if he didn't feel comfortable buying an expensive ring right now, he can get me a cheaper one -- the cost of the ring wasn't as important to me as being engaged was. I explained that I didn't want him resenting me later if he felt uncomfortable with buying something like that. "No, no, I want to get you something you like! Something nice! It's just that with both of us moving and our mortgages...money is just kind of crazy right now, and I am just not seeing how this is all going to work."
I agreed. So I told him that it's no big deal -- he can just get his own place when he moves to Savannah and we can figure it out later. I told him we can put it off and just live together later. He can take his time and save up his money. No biggie. Which works fine, anyway, since we don't know when he'll be joining me in Savannah. Could be months from now.
Well, he surprised the heck out of me. He put his Jeep, his drum set and his guitar on craigslist yesterday! Woo hoo! He must not be as freaked out about all of this as I thought! Yay!!!
Of course, I had to email the above pic to The Czarina to show her what I liked and tell her everything. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when she called me soon after and said, "So, can I tell everyone that you are engaged????!!"
"Uh, well, no. I don't have a ring and he hasn't asked me yet, Mom, so no." I answered.
"And he hasn't called me to ask my permission yet, either," she noted with a tone of sarcasm.
"I know, Mom. I told him he has to call you before he can ask me," I said.
"I am just so baffled as to what is going on, though. I mean, you're doing it all backwards. He's supposed to ask first, then you go pick out the ring. I'm very confused," she went on.
"Well, Mom, he really didn't know exactly what all was involved with getting engaged. He thought he just needed to get me a $200 wedding band and we just go get married," I said.
"He's right. Why not? The ring's not the important part. He can get you a gemstone one that's cheaper. I mean, what are you waiting for, anyway?" she said.
"I know, Mom. I agree. I told him all of that. But he's a guy, and he wants to save up his money, so I had to show him how much these things cost, and what kind of ring I like, because he had no idea," I replied.
As you can probably tell, she's ready for me to get married yesterday. The woman is chomping at the bit to be a grandma. All her friends' kids are married with babies, and I know she feels left out. She has really surprised me. I knew she would get like this, but I didn't realize it would be so soon. He hasn't even proposed! Sheesh! Calm down!
So one trip to a jewelry store has turned my mom into a monster. She's already more obsessed than I am. I keep getting emails and voicemails with ideas for how we can consider ourselves engaged without him having to buy a nice engagement ring: "Tell him to just get you a gemstone one!" "Go check out estate sales!" "All these jewelry stores are having sales right now!" "Just get a little one for now. You can upgrade later!" "Just set the date and get the ring later!"
Just for the heck of it, I did look at a calendar and realized that the last Saturday in June 2010 is my dad's birthday -- the 26th. Since he won't be there to walk me down the aisle, I have always wanted to get married on his birthday. So this date actually works perfectly. I told CN about that and he said, "Sounds good to me." :)
When I got to work this morning, I saw an email from The Czarina in my inbox. "Oh boy. Here we go," I thought. I clicked on it. Well, it pretty much made my day. Apparently, she was too excited to keep it all bottled up, and she must have called her sister last night, because the email essentially told me this:
"I talked to Aunt M. last night. Told her about you and CN going ring shopping. She told me to tell you two to stop shopping right away -- she has your grandmother's ring, and was going to give it to you anyway, since you're named after her. She said she might as well give it to you now. So you can have that ring. It's a platinum solitaire. Love, Mom"
My Aunt M never had any children, so it does make sense that she would eventually give me the ring. But I had forgotten all about it! I have always hoped for a family ring, but never thought it was possible. This ring in particular is especially sentimental for me, because I am named after this particular grandmother, but I never met her. So this was really great news!!! I am so excited to have a family ring. I've seen it before, but aside from remembering that I like it, I can't remember what it looks like. I think it's a pretty simple setting, with a generous diamond. I will keep it exactly how it is, though. I get to have a really neat connection to a grandma I never got to meet. That is the best kind of ring, I think. And I know CN is relieved to hear that he won't have to stress out about finding a way to buy one. :)
YAY!!! This is so great. I must have cashed in all my karma chips or something, because lately I have been feeling like I have won the lottery. How could life get any better?