Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times of any woman’s life, so much so that even in the societies that are known for acute rates of child betrothal, we still find a number of young women who think of the day with a certain kind of excited trepidation.
The engagement marks the start of a new chapter in a woman’s life, and most importantly, it marks the beginning of months and months of intensive, rigorous and overly particular wedding planning. Many a fiancée goes into this period enclosed in a bubble of wanton heady dreams, especially when it is the first wedding of her life.
Whether she is a hopeless romantic or a complete and accomplished Ice Queen, it goes without saying that nearly every game has fantasized about the very day her partner chooses to make an honest woman of her. Matters are not helped further by the abundant fairy tales of sweet Prince Charming characters who sweep demure maidens off their feet in cartoons and storybooks, watched and read by little girls as early as the first year of their lives.
And with all that fantasizing, we can bet that most women almost always have their dream wedding already planned and choreographed to the minutest detail– never mind that the fiancé’s proposal isn’t anywhere in the picture.
Traditionally, the engagement ring is quite a pretty item of jewelry that serves to indicate to all and sundry that ‘so and so’ is already taken! To do this effectively, it normally is a shiny combination of gold and diamond on a ring. With all this, therefore, it should cost quite a respectable sum – as many will assume.
Despite what some people think, the proposal, which in this case is the promise to wed, should not be about the expensive rings and perfectly scenic, romantic settings but most importantly, it is about the mutual love between two consenting adults.
But this certainly was not the case for one woman who has caused quite a furor on the internet owing to her incredulous reaction to her engagement ring. So strong has the reaction to her ‘problem’ been that comments are still being written weeks after she shared it.
She seemed to have been seeking positive affirmation for her unique attitude but it appears she got more than she had bargained for. Most of the feedback she got was, well – to put it mildly, disapproving.
In an anonymous post shared on the Mumsnet website, this woman was noted to be asking for advice after her partner popped the question. Quite obviously, this is nothing out of the ordinary and nobody should be making a big deal out of it, right?
You couldn’t be more wrong if you agreed so! Because well, this is quite a big deal if you are to digest the full fact of what the woman was desirous of advice for. In fact, you might be scandalized!
Shockingly, the woman was seen to actually be complaining about the expense her partner had spent on her engagement ring. Yes! You read that correctly. The woman was actually using Mumsnet to voice her strange disappointment that her partner had not spent enough or bought a big enough engagement ring for her.
As some people are accepting a sugary pair from a 99 pence Haribo Sweets pack as their wedding bands, someone is unashamedly broadcasting her displeasure about…not even the intentions behind a ring but the cost! Surely, we would be forgiven for assuming that she actually owns a struggling jewelry store.
That being said, endless years of fantasizing about the perfect proposal can inevitably create unwieldy expectations – high expectations which may be particularly hard to meet and can almost unavoidably lead some women to feel downcast, upset or even let down when eventually, the real proposal is made.
The issue is made even worse in this era of social media where people compete to outdo one another and create false impressions that they are the ones living the real life. With narcissism at an all-time high, many women are now getting ahead of themselves by getting engaged or even married for the sake of impressing other people. It then would seem plausible that someone should feel more deeply about cost than intention in such an emotive affair.
In the post in question, the writer, who wisely withheld her name said:
“DP proposed and presented me with the ring he’d chosen – a diamond solitaire in white gold. I was so happy and excited to accept but was disappointed when I first saw the ring. The first word that entered my head was ‘small’.”
Reading the post, most people might actually pity the woman and the fact that she has completely dismissed the warm thoughts behind the proposal. Instead of being overwhelmed with joy and excitement at this next chapter in her life, she has completely and entirely disregarded her fiancé’s efforts – allowing his expression of love, which we take to be heartfelt- to go unnoticed by focussing on the trivial fact that the proposal is not good and costly enough for her. It truly feels less condescending to be piteous other than judgmental of such an eerie scenario – however strongly one’s moral compass may signal apprehension.
The lady goes on a little further with her ‘conundrum’:
“There’s nothing to dislike about the type of ring per se, as a diamond solitaire would have been my choice, but it’s the whole thing – the color of the gold, the setting, the small stone and relatively chunky shoulders.”
We will be hard pressed to believe that ‘the small stone’ is not the ultimate gist of this utterly lopsided complaint, especially that she mentions not hating anything in particular about the unfortunate band.
It did not stop there. Things quickly went down south for the anonymous complainant’s unsuspecting fiancé as the woman somehow managed to lay her less than thrifty fingers on his proof of purchase slip – the receipt for the loathed engagement ring. Oh dear!!!
One thousand five hundred pound sterling be damned! As far as this bitterly twisted, ungrateful fiancée was concerned, her partner had not forked out enough money on her ring – whatever the parameter she used to calculate how much a ring for her hand in marriage should be worth.
In an embarrassing attempt to justify her anger, the shameless woman went out of her way to divulge to the whole wide world what her fiancé earned. Of course, this was to demonstrate that she was not too materialistic and she did not have unrealistic expectations of how much her partner should really be splashing out on engagements. But not surprisingly, most of us remain utterly disgusted at her post and her attempts at justifying herself are nothing but futile.
“His salary is nearing a six figure sum and he’s usually very generous. Having seen the receipt, I know he paid $1674 for it – which is a lot less than I would have imagined he would have spent on such a significant piece of jewelry,” she woefully narrates, comfortable behind the thin veil of anonymity. Judging by the responses, hardly anybody fell for such a tactless ruse. As for the significance of such jewelry to her, your guess is dangerously as good as ours.
One would be pardoned for assuming that this woman’s partner simply made a beeline for a Jeweler’s and selected the ring he thought his future wife would like, as opposed to the one that would be most impressively priced.
But what would that matter to such a fiancée? She who thinks that an engagement ring must cost an arm and a leg, even if the element of surprise during the proposal is eliminated by having her at his side as he picks out the largest karate at the most upmarket store in the country.
It was clear that this user needed to find a way to rectify the situation and tell her fiancé that she would like a different, fancier ring and obviously more expensive ring. But let’s be honest, that is going to be one very awkward topic of conversation to have.
And the horror does not end there as things took a dramatic turn for the worst when it got revealed that fiancé dear might have intentionally purchased a cheaper ring to judge the content his fiancée’s character – to put it in Dr. King’s speech.
Apparently, an interested colleague at his work place had proffered some rather interesting advice. The colleague told her dear fiancé that ‘if she makes it all about the ring, then she is not the girl for you’.
With the benefit of hindsight, wouldn’t you agree? Especially after her long winded complaint in which the unappeased fiancée admits that her beau would be more disappointed in her for making a mountain out of a molehill when in his eyes, the band is a perfect fit and there is nothing wrong with it at any first glance. It would be better if he got disappointed about the fact that she only isn’t truly happy with it and not its price tag.
We can only hope that her partner did not notice her disappointment in the ring, otherwise, we can plainly assume that their relationship is going to be on the line and they might never make it up to the aisle after all.
Most loving girlfriends would have learned to love the ring even if they were not overjoyed by its appearance. It is the gesture and the admirable thought behind it that ultimately matters. After all, the size and price of an engagement ring count for nothing when one is making the solemn commitment to spend the rest of one’s life with a given individual.
“Ideally, I would have loved for us to have chosen a ring together and made a special day finding one we both liked,” she candidly kvetched. “As it’s something I’ll be wearing every day and it is such a special piece of jewelry I wanted to really love – and I just don’t!”
We would, however, love to ask her whether she would not mind losing the spontaneity and surprise of getting proposed to out of the blue – without any input of hers in the whole experience? Would that not be more memorable than a chunky diamond on a heavily bejeweled hand?
Quite unsurprisingly, it did not take long for the majority of Mumsnet users to respond to the post. But it perhaps was not the kind of response the woman was looking for as most of the respondents condemned whoever posted the ‘problem’ for asking for advice on such an issue that is unmistakably and manifestly, materialistic in nature.
One dismissive user wrote rather matter-of-factly,
“If you’d said you didn’t like the style I’d have been fairly sympathetic. But if it’s simply not big and flashy enough…it sounds like you’re more interested in showing off the ring than you are in him. ”
We cannot help but agree with that comment, it certainly what the greatest number of us have been thinking all along but have come up short in bringing the necessary words together to express the thought.
Granted that variety is the spice of life, not everyone was as quick to criticize this woman for voicing her lack of gratitude in her tricky and admittedly unique situation. Several users leaped to her defense even in the midst of biting vituperation from the majority.
One Mumsnet user responded by saying, rather consolingly,
“You will get flamed for this and people will call you grabby, but I can see where you are coming from – not the cost per se but the fact [that you] will be wearing it every day and [you] are not totally in love with it. I can see both viewpoints.”
So what do you think of the woman’s complaint? Do you think she was justified to be disappointed or she was just being ungrateful and materialistic? Has anyone else you know been in a similar situation? How did you work around it?
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