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Thread: Rebel against "engagement rings".

  1. #1
    *** Bill747's Avatar
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    Rebel against "engagement rings".

    This columnist took the words right out of mine and most bachelors' mouth; his solution is the best since sliced bread.

    Aug. 12, 2003 Toronto Star

    Flatscreens are a guy's best friend
    by Christopher Hutsul

    My girlfriend's sister just got engaged. Coiled around her ring finger, is the ninth wonder of the world. At a recent family barbecue, we passed the behemoth rock around the table, and marvelled at its clarity, its cut, its luminescence ...But when it was finally my turn to stare into the diamond's shimmering geometry, I saw something different. I saw an Audi.

    As the boyfriend, the fringe player in this gush-fest, I could only hang back and fret about my own meagre diamond-buying means. It may have been narcissistic to wallow in such pettiness, but figured I was allowed a sullen moment. Because isn't a diamond supposed to be symbolic of devotion and love? The bigger the rock, the stronger the sentiment?

    If I were to buy a ring right now, it would look like it came out of a Kinder Surprise next to this thing. At best, I could probably afford a discarded shard that had fallen off the sister's diamond during the cutting.

    When I later confronted my girlfriend on the issue, I was told to take comfort in the two-month's salary policy. You know, the guideline that suggests a groom-to-be spends two month's worth income on an engagement ring so as to equalize the playing field.

    So if you're an investment banker, like my girlfriend's sister's future husband is, a pricey ring is no more of an investment than the murky trinket a gas jockey would offer up. Although the arrangement is precarious — especially when you consider diamond show-and-tell is inevitable — I felt there was hope.

    But lately I've been hearing some unnerving rumblings on the subject.
    There's been a stream of "news" about engagement ring culture. Apparently, the rules are changing. Apparently, the two-month's salary plan, is now the three-month salary plan. Apparently, for modern women, anything less than a one-carat diamond (around $10,000) is unacceptable.

    Yet another advent to the conventions of engagement ring shopping, I'm told, is that the fiancée now gets to tag along and pick it out. Does this mean the guy is supposed to present a gift-wrapped debit card from Tiffany's when he proposes?

    What I want to know is, where was the average dude when these things were decided? Seems everyone's got a say in the ring's purchase except for the chump who's actually putting the cash on the table. Who's making the rules here? The International League Of Disgruntled Girlfriends? The diamond manufacturers? The guy at the mall? Who can tell me how many months' salary this thing is supposed to be? And is that before or after deductions? Does a leap year count?

    I propose that instead of dwelling on these unanswerable questions, we shake the whole thing up. It's a new millennium, time to rethink traditions. The way I figure it, both women and men are pursuing careers, right? For too long, men have had to deal with the emotional and financial strains of proposing. Let's switch it up for a while. Women can do the proposing, and diamonds don't have to have anything to do with it ...

    When you've made your decision, make your way to the mall. Pass Birks, ignore People's Jewellers, and make your way to the Sony Store. Head for the big screens. For the modern man, anything less than 53 inches is unacceptable. And forget diamond shopping online — the most recent eBay craze. Just go to http://www.autotrader .ca and seek out a 1967 Plymouth Barracuda. Seafoam blue. If you want to keep it affordable, consider this. Silver Snail on Queen St. W. is selling light sabers for under $500. Yes, real, double-ended Darth Maul Jedi-spankers. Nothing says eternal love like light sabers ...And what better way to start a lifelong commitment than with his and hers Honda all-terrain vehicles. Fitted with night-vision headgear. And paint gun rifles. You and your partner could race through the woods in darkness, firing pellets at the moon, your night-chilled bodies lit electro-green by U.S. military issue ocular gear.

    Does it get any more romantic than that? Well, I suppose. Because in the end, a diamond ring is a special thing. My girlfriend's sister's ring truly is beautiful, and more importantly, it's symbolic of the real deal. I've seen them in action, and it's a treat to be around two people so in love. When the time is right, the quest for a ring is privilege, not a chore. The right guy should have enough good taste to pick out an attractive ring, and the right girl will appreciate the gesture regardless, whether it's the millennium diamond, or a well-polished pawnshop twinkler.

    Even so, the proposal to shake up the traditions of engagement gifting shouldn't be ignored. Because someday, a bunch of guys might sit around, staring deep into the heart of a mighty plasma screen, and catch a shimmering glimpse of undying love, rare and true.

  2. #2
    Hypermediocrity Amanda's Avatar
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    Never fear...


  3. #3
    eternal optimist Shazzer's Avatar
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    I'm female, and I personally don't need/want/wear rings, so I like comedian Norm McDonald's idea...i.e. an engagement stereo (This was before SNL, when he was doing stand-up)

    Seriously, though, I'd be happy with a stereo, or heck, just a satellite radio for my car...or even a K-mart cubic Z....

    I don't get the whole ring thing, but then I've never worn any..so?? Bring on the stereo!

    (My only caveat is I still want the guy to buy me the plasma TV)
    "If you're like me, you have a 'been there, done that' attitude when it comes to paleolithic paleontology." - Jon Stewart

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  4. #4
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    My sister's engagement ring is one of the nicest I've seen in a long time, and it only cost her fiance about 2 weeks salary. It's very understated with a simple, but pretty, diamond.

    I'd want something similiar. I wouldn't want a rock so huge it weighs down my hand.

    The engagement plasma TV is a great idea though.

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey
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    I am a girl and I like diamonds, big and shiny! Yep, I love that he would invest in something that says to the world and to me that I am worth it!
    Awww who am I kidding? I just think diamonds, big, small, square, shape or round are amazing and I love em! Want to wear a huge one on my hand and then have some to wear in my ears and around my neck for special occasions, everyday, a bracelet if I think about it!
    Yep, I am one of those, can't explain it but I am a diamond LOVER! I wouldn't love my SO any less for the size, or price! Given my choice I would pick the big one every day!

  6. #6
    mantenna for AI3! blindart's Avatar
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    I think this is all quite amusing. If a man wants a woman because of her physical/material attributes - styled dyed hair, manicured nails, high heels, fake boobs, than it serves him right that such an empty gesture based on keeping up appearances should be part of the deal.

    If a guy goes for a woman who's happy in salvation army jeans, a sweatshirt, a few untouched gray hairs - odds are the woman won't care about a fancy diamond.

    You can't have it both ways though. You can't pick out a glittery trophy girl for your arm and expect to woo her with chopped liver.

  7. #7
    So Far Away Yellow Apple's Avatar
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    I really have no comment on this. Being a perpetually single guy with no SO, I have no experience in such matters.

    Nothing to see here. Move along...
    R.I.P Willie Dog (?/?/1989-12/17/2004). Gone but never forgotten.

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  8. #8
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    When my wife and I got engaged, I had no money, so she got a small, but expensive to me, engagement ring. She still wears it, even though the necklace I bought her last week for her birthday has a larger diamond on it.

    But one of these days, she says she wants to buy a wrap-around for it, which will have a few more stones in it.

  9. #9
    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    what the hell? Women get engagement rings?



    Been married for almost 16 years and never got the engagement ring. I do have a diamond that I got from my parents when I was 18. It is beautiful. I wore it on my right hand for years, then 6-7 years ago I read something that said Diamonds are luckier for Aries if worn on the left side of the body

    So it now looks like I have an engagement ring, but....

    He loves me, and I'd KILL him if he went out ands spent thousands on a piece of jewelry. I'll take a new TV and a TiVO please!
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

  10. #10
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Not that I'm truly old enough to care about such things (only 19), but...personally, I don't even know why it has to be a diamond ring in the first place. I love amber, star ruby, and cat's eye; I adore star sapphire. If my (presently non-existent) fiance presents me with a ring set with any one of those four gems in a nice, clean cut, I would be extremely, outrageously happy.

    If the article is correct and an one carat engagement ring really does cost around $10,000, then I don't see the point of scrimping to buy a lesser (i.e. smaller) ring just because it's diamond. Buck tradition! Even star sapphires - the most expensive one on my list - several times the size of a measley carat still won't cost you 10 grand. Personally, I like decently-sized stones, and in my eyes a precious gem, if chosen correctly, can be just as stunning, as beautiful as a diamond.

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