So now you are ready for your big day. No, not the day you propose—I’m talking about the day you go to the jeweler and plan the ring, and then learn just how many paychecks it’s going to cost you. Forget everything your girlfriend has told you about wanting something simple and cheap—that was just to entice you. If this girl means anything to you then prove it; show her she means more to you than simple and cheap.
In my case, I had to sell 6 shares of my Google stock—I’ll leave it up to you to decide how much Google was trading at, at the time—except to say I don’t remember Google every trading low.
You can probably cut a few nickels and dimes by going to some ghetto wholesale place they advertise on daytime TV and talk radio. But, again, this is your chance to prove just how much she means to you. Spend a little bit more and go to a real jeweler—not some guy in a cheap suit. You want an expert for something that'll last a lifetime.
The advantage of going to a real jeweler is you don’t have to pick your ring from a catalog—a ring that a million other women are probably wearing right now. You can create your own—something that only one person can have.
I had a few rings in mind, but the one that really stood out was one that was inspired by Princess Diana and Diana's elbow floral tattoo. I showed the jeweler the ring and the tattoo, who drew me a handful of designs, I made some changes, and in no time at all, I had my ring. All that was left was building it. I decided on a sapphire found only in Australia, and even made sure the white diamonds surrounding the stone were "clean" diamonds and not affiliated with any corporations that had "blood" diamond controversy in the past. Diana's ring was a lot of work and worth every moment.
Now this is where my own personal story takes a tragic (and even near death) turn. The ring was supposed to be done in three weeks, giving me a full three more weeks to stare at it and worry about the big proposal date. That didn’t happen. The stone broke. I didn’t break it—the jeweler did when he was cutting the sapphire, which, apparently, isn’t the easiest thing to cut.
Because of the size and clarity of the stone, it would take at least three more weeks to get another one. To be more exact: if all went as planned, it would be ready exactly the day of the proposal.
When the big day came, and I went to the store to pick it up, it still wasn’t ready. “But it’ll be ready by 7,” he promised.
I cringed. “But I need it by 5.”
At this point, his son, who was munching down on a Subway sandwich, asked with his mouth full, “Where’s it at, pops?” I should point out here that his son looked and smelt like the type that you’d see front and center at an Grateful Dead concert—beer in one hand, joint in the other, trying to figure at what point in the concert he should take the acid out of his pocket.
“Diamond Joe!” The son perked up, “Well son of a bitch, I haven’t see ‘ol Diamond Joe in years. I can take him over to pick it up.”
The jeweler looked at me. I looked at the son. I wondered if Diamond Joe was some sort of hillbilly gold prospector. Finally I said, “I’m okay with that.”
“Sweet.” The son said tossing the sandwich aside, “I’ll drive.”
And herein lies the near death part of this story. The jeweler’s son, as you may or may not have guest by now, wasn’t what you would call a model driver. I noticed he had a way of not turning the car—he was able to just get the car to magically skid in the right direction.
We had our first near death encounter running a red light in front of Disneyland; I suppose it was somewhat fitting to question if I’d live to ask the question in front of the happiest place on Earth. He seemed amused by the experience, and blamed it on “Stupid tourist!” At this point he noticed my fear, and said, “Ah, nervous about asking the question, huh?”
I didn’t want to insult him behind the wheel by saying I was in fact nervous by his driving, so I just smiled.
He swerved into the lane next to us, and stared apologetically at the now honking truck that we had almost hit.
The rest of the car ride, he told me about his favorite band, theories on romance, about why certain nationalities were bad drivers, and why he didn’t like to wash his jeans.
I expected Diamond Joe to be sporting jeans, a straw hat, and a white beard; I also suspected that we may meet him in a back ally. He did not sport any of these things, and was waiting for us in a Chinese food restaurant. He looked like a skinnier version of the kid’s jeweler dad.
“This the guy?”
“Come on, let’s go see your ring.” He paused at the door, “She better say yes, because it was one hard ring to make.”
When I saw the ring for the first time, I knew I had did right. It looked like Diana. Everything about it. And any fears I had about proposing were gone in that moment, because I could see a vision of her with that ring.
So that’s it. That’s how I came to get Diana’s wedding ring. I’ll leave the proposal for another story, but I’ll leave you with this bit about how I came to get my ring.
Things were a little more practical when it was my turn to get a ring. I returned to the jeweler with Diana, and told the jeweler, "Now it's my turn for a ring." He smiled, took me to a dudgeon-like corner of the shop; the men's rings had no sparkle; they were all quite sad and generic.
The jeweler wasn't quite as patient when it came to me; he was eying his box of cigarette's as he asked, "So what do you want? Gold or silver."
I hate gold, so I shrugged and said, "Silver?" In all honesty, I would have been happy with a piece of string. I just wanted simple.
"Give me your hand." He grabbed it before I had a chance to offer it to him and began probing it with a ring sizer.
"Make sure it's big." Diana said.
"And light," I added.
He signed, tossed the sizer aside, and went to the back; moments later he returned with a titanium ring. He grabbed my hand again, and pushed the ring onto my hand. "How's that feel?"
He nodded, looked at his cigarette's again, and said, "Don't gain any weight. You can’t resize titanium."
"Oh." And it was at that moment, that I knew I would have to be a little more involved in the marriage than Diana. Diana just had to worry about keeping me happy. I had to worry about watching my weight.
So to any male readers out there, here’s to marriage, and keeping our figures.