Friday, September 4, 2009

something I'm curious about

As we returned to school this year, the staff took a few moments to share some moments from the summer. It turns out that several of the teachers got engaged and had sparkly new engagement rings to show off. I don't know why, but I always want to know, "Did he pick it out himself, or did you go together?"

This is my engagement ring. Yes, I know it looks like an anniversary band. Yes, I went with him and picked it out.

Here's the story. Charlie and I dated for exactly three weeks before we talked about getting married. We just knew. It was right. The romantic proposal came later, because we had practical things to work out...when would we get married? When was my lease up? Where would we live? Lots of questions that needed to be answered, before he actually proposed. We had this talk in November, and he came home with me at Christmas to talk with my mom, since my father had already passed away. He proposed in January, officially, with ring in hand, limo at the ready, champagne toast with friends and dinner later. It was special and perfect. It was a surprise.

The ring was not a surprise. When my father died, my inheritance was a diamond from his wedding ring. My brothers wanted me to have it, and wanted my future fiancee to get it from my mom. My mom was so happy to give it to him for me, and I was thrilled to have a piece of my dad as part of my marriage. It was a painful thing for me to get married without him there, but the fact that I have his diamond is really special to me.

And I was specific. I am not one who likes a solitaire on a band. It just isn't the look I like, no offense to anyone else. And because I inherited the round diamond from my dad, I wanted part of it to be from Charlie, so we designed the ring to add pear shaped diamonds on each side. We went together and designed it. I love it.

Here's what I am curious about: how many of you just let your man decide? Did you give him hints or send him in a direction, saying, "I like platinum and square diamonds" and let it go from there? Or did you point to a ring and say, "that one, please." Did you shop together a little bit, and then let him go back and pick it out? Was the proposal a total surprise, or did you know it was coming? I am totally curious to know if anyone was completely knocked off their feet by a proposal they had no earthly idea was coming.

I'm not sure what it says about me that I went with him. Does it say I am too controlling, or that I don't trust him to know what I would like? Charlie said he'd rather I come, so I would get what I wanted, than have to fake enthusiasm for a ring I really didn't like. He wanted me to love it, and to be happy that my father's diamond was part of it. Some things I might not be so choosy about, but the ring is on my finger everyday.

Oh, and each person I asked said they let their husband pick it out, after giving a couple of hints. One of my unmarried friends said she wouldn't care if her engagement ring was purple and blinked, as long as she had one. I think she'll change her mind about that eventually, but it's good to know that people are flexible. This was one thing I just didn't want to leave up to him. Charlie's taste is completely different from mine. Completely. So we did it together, and I had so much fun with him in that jewelry store. It was one of the most fun shopping trips, ever.

So, tell me your story. Share your proposal and your ring story. Share the love, ladies.

Oh, and taking this photo was pretty interesting. I did it in low light, and to get more light I lit a tea light candle and slid it pretty close, using the macro setting. The rocks are from some vase in the living room, and this is on a TV tray we use as a little end table sometimes. I meant to take it earlier, when I had some natural light, but it didn't happen. It's pro photography people!


Rachel said...

We picked out my ring together...after he proposed. I knew he was intimidated by jewelry stores so I made it clear that he didn't have to have a ring in hand when he proposed. About a week after he proposed we went together and he had me pick it out. He really didn't have an opinion about it and wanted me to like it.

Esther said...

We had talked about getting married and unbeknownst to me, he'd already bought a ring, so when the pregnancy test came back positive, he went and got the ring, proposed to me there and then and sung a song he'd written for me.
He chose the ring and as I rarely wear jewellery I didn't really care about the design. It wasn't really what was in fashion then, but I like it better as it looks a little more vintage than modern.

Frizzy said...

We had talked about marriage but he told me he couldn't ask me to marry him yet because he was moving w/the Air Force and couldn't ask me to give up my Master's classes. 3 weeks into my Master's coursework he suprised me by asking me to marry him. It had an anniversary band with it which has since been replaced because trying to maintain the gold brushed effect was wearing the band too thin.

Anonymous said...

We talked about marriage and went ring shopping to see what looked right on my hand, but then he took the idea and ran with it. As you know I then got the most beautiful proposal at a totally surprising time with the most perfect ring.
Love ya,

Gretchen said...

We looked at rings together because DH said "If I'm going to be spending a lot of money and you're going to be wearing it the rest of your life, I want to make sure it's something that you like." It wasn't about me being controlling (although I have that personality trait...sigh), it was about DH wanting to please me. So, don't feel bad about shopping with him. We ended up going to 4 stores before finding one that just dazzled me. I said "I like this you see this....have I told you yet that I like this one...etc." It's probably the only hint in our entire relationship that he's gotten - LOL! Anyway, we left the store and were going to the movies. He called the theater to find out the time (but he was really calling the store to put that ring aside and he's pick it up later). He bought it over his lunch hour and his female boss let him take an extra long lunch with the promise that she'd get to try on the ring when he got back! It was a small family run business, but I thought it was funny that I got a "used" ring :) He proposed when I least expected it and there was the ring. A perfect moment :)

Anonymous said...

Josh and I knew very quickly into our relationship that we wanted to marry each other. He picked the ring out himself. He did know what I liked...I liked the solitaire, round ring. I actually messed up my proposal. I knew it was coming, but as far as I knew Josh had not talked to my parents. I "found" the ring in his pocket at dinner one night (the night he was going to propose) and I was upset because he hadn't talked to my parents or so I thought and I bugged him about it all through dinner. Then when he went to bring me home, he said I can't like you go inside. And then he told me that he was supposed to propose and my parents new it. I started crying know that I just messed up my proposal. We ended up going back to his house and then at midnight he came over to me and asked me...he said he was doing it at midnight on Sat so that I had no chance of messing it up because it was so early in the day! We can laugh about it now and it does make a nice, funny story!!


Rita said...

These are the nicest stories. He bought my ring and I loved it because it was from him. The diamond was almost big enough to be called a promise ring. I should have understood then I wasn't worth much as we are not together now. It was embarassing to show my friends because it was so small you could hardly see the diamond. I pretended to be thrilled and in a way I was.

Alison said...

Well, I don't have an engagement ring because we were "engaged" for like five days. I didn't expect one and really didn't want one because jewelry isn't my thing; Craig and I don't even wear our wedding rings. Had we gone the more traditional route: proper proposal, engagement, wedding, etc, I think I would have taken Craig shopping to point out the styles I liked, but would want him to actually pick it out. I'm not big on surprises, but I don't think I would have minded being surprised with a ring, so long as he had a general idea of my preferences.

Our whole journey to marriage is one unromantic story, but I'm not much of a romantic anyway. Our
13th anniversary is next week, so I guess something is working right.

This is a fun question; I enjoyed reading everyone's answers.

2China4Ayla said...

Complete suprise - both the proposal and the ring. My engagement ring is also my wedding band. The design is meant to be carried as an only lonely and I LOVE IT, ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I would have NEVER picked out anything as beautiful, I would have been a lot more modest in my choice not because I wouldn't have wanted a bigger more beautiful ring but because I would have felt undeserving. Jason proposed on our very first date but we had been friends for years (10yrs) and he was my best and most beloved friend. He took me to a very well known and lovely park in our hometown. He leaned into me like he was going to kiss me so I said "hang on" and the redneck girl that I am, chucked my gum across the grassy field...and when I turned around he was bent down on one knee with a ring box in his hand. I got teary eye, he asked me to marry him and to open the box and my mouth may have literally hit the ground. He then asked if that was a yes or a no? I yelled "YESSSSS" and hugged him and then he asked me if I liked the ring and of course I did and still do, it is gorgeous, a very unique and beautiful ring. He slipped it on my finger and we left to go share the good news with the world and come up with a date. We made our plans to marry one month later. Small, simple and perfect. I am still madly in love with my most beloved friend and I cherish the ring he chose for me to wear ALWAYS!

Biteofpunkinpie said...

so... here's the story behind my ring... I pretty much knew what I wanted... a simple platinum band, a single emerald shaped diamond. husband and i looked at several jewelers and never found the quality and price range and size that seemed right. then one day, i was in town with my college roommate going to purchase some stationery supplies for my senior project. the jeweler that my dad had used to buy my stepmom's ring was in the same shopping strip so i wandered down. having been to several jewelers already i kind of had a feeling it wouldn't be the most successful trip, but we went in to look at all the sparklies anyway. we asked the saleswoman to show us the emerald cut diamonds (emerald cut is a rectangle, btw) and when she took us over and started pulling out individual diamonds, i couldn't believe my eyes. a good sized diamond with VERY good clarity and color at MUCH less than we had seen anywhere else. the saleswoman took down my name, helped me look through bands that i liked, wrote down my size and we left it at that. that evening i called my then boyfriend to tell him about the amazing diamond i had found and he agreed to go look at it the next day. that evening he called and said that he got there and it had already been sold, that we would have to keep looking. a few weeks later i got a call from my sister that she and my mom and dad had been invited to go out to dinner with my boyfriend and that she thought that he was asking permission from them to propose. i flipped my lid and got super excited, but wondered if he had bought a ring yet. a few weeks after that i sensed that something might be up, b/c there was a big formal dance coming up. that night he proposed in front of all my friends at the dance with the exact ring i had wanted (diamond included). he had LIED about the diamond having been purchased, in order to surprise me. i was very very surprised.

Rona's Home Page said...

I also enjoyed reading the proposal stories.
I didn't have get a proposal. I told my husband if he didn't ask me now then don't bother. He walked out the room and came back and gave me a choice of a couple of dates to get married.
I didn't have a ring for many years.