Well, here it is. This is my engagement ring, and I sometimes feel like it's a little large. The setting is taller than I'd like, and I'm sorry if I've inadvertantly scratched you with it...if I haven't already I may someday. You've been warned.
Picking out a ring was a really big deal to me, not only because of the obscene amounts of money that can be spent, but because purchasing one seemed like a signature on a contract...this is really going to happen someday! Getting married has always seemed like something other people do. I wasn't sure that it would happen to me, and I wasn't seeking it out as a life goal. I found it hard to believe that there was someone who would want to spend that much time with me and vice versa. Buying this ring entailed a deep committment, which I am not afraid of, but I was never sure I'd reach that point with another person. And here we are.
Andrew has always been way ahead of me in terms of being ready to take the next step towards marriage, so we shopped for wedding rings together as per his suggestion. I didn't know that it is a) unusual for a couple to purchase an engagement ring together and b) a complete anomaly for the girl to then hold on to said ring for a few years. These things were made abundantly clear to me as I began to tell people that we had not only looked at rings, but bought one. The first question was usually something like, "How could it still be a surprise?" To me the surprise and fun of the "engagement ask" was going to be the where and the how, not what size and shape the stone was. This decision was met with some surprise by other ladies, but I am really glad that we shopped together for several reasons. First of all, Andrew has exceptional taste, and he often picks out clothes that look better on me than what I would have chosen, so I wanted his input in the process. Mostly it was just a really fun experience that got us in the mood to think about our wedding and our future. I got to try on different ring styles with different size and shape stones, and I ended up choosing something completely different from what I initially thought I wanted.
My favorite part was that we made our first big team decision. We hashed out a budget, researched a couple jewelers, and performed some online reconnaissance before we went to Shane Co. to try them on. I do wish there was a Shane Co. in Wisconsin that you guys could go to. The staff was incredibly friendly and not pushy at all, and the prices were right in our range. There are two in Minnesota if you want to make the trip.
Anyway, this went over pretty well, but most people flipped out a little bit when I told them the ring sat in my jewelry box for two years before we got engaged. I concede, that is a bit unusual. I don't know anyone else who's done that, but it's not like I didn't peek. I would open up the little red box every couple of weeks and admire its sparkle with a huge stupid grin on my face. I sometimes wore it when I was home alone and would think about how special it would be to be an officially engaged person. Who could resist, right?
I was told I was very patient, weird, sweet, etc. for not demanding to be engaged sooner, but it never crossed my mind. I wanted to be engaged of course, but other engagements, a big move, and life got in the way. I also didn't, and still don't, feel any sense of urgency. I never once thought we'd better hurry up because he's going to change his mind, or if we don't do it right away it'll never happen. I know our relationship is solid and we are completely committed to each other, and I don't have to prove that to anybody.
There are things I would do differently now, other companies I would look into that ethically source their metals and diamonds/semi-precious stones, and I'm looking into handcrafted Madison resources for those who want completely individual rings. More on that at a later date. I have rings on the brain now!