Monday, October 13, 2008

Diamonds Are Forever??

I was listening to the radio last week and a caller called in saying how much she adores her boyfriend, how great of a guy he is, and how much she was in love with him, etc. Well she went on to say how they're now talking about getting engaged. She then explained that the rings he was looking at just weren't flashy enough. And how she works for a big P.R. agency and she can't be seen with some small engagement ring.

Now I was married once and I remember when I proposed to my ex I was like 19 years old. I was going to school and working 2 jobs. I could barely afford to pay attention let alone the bills. So I would say the original ring I purchased and proposed with was maybe $300 at most. But it was what I could afford at the time. The next year I got a better job and prior to getting married upgraded the engagement ring to something that was more expensive. But it really really didn't make a difference about the ring because at the time we were so in love.

So I have a question: Is it the size of the ring? Or is it the love in your heart that really matters?
Or is it that the ring should be a reflection of the love?

Well each of you reading can formulate your own answers to the above questions. We all have our own opinions and I guess since I have the floor I'll share mines.

First off although it may not seem like it at times (based on some of my previous blog entries), I actually do believe in Real Love, marriage and all of the wonderful things that come along with it. So with that said I think it's a beautiful thing when a couple is in Real love and progress from dating, to engagement and eventually to marriage.

So with that said let's examine the ring. We know that the ring is a symbol of a woman's promise to give herself in marriage to the man in the future. Also, we have all heard the traditional price to spend on a ring is 2-3 months wages or salary. Well I have always heard this, but I never knew where this statement came from. Well according to Wiki this guideline originated from De Beers marketing materials in the early 20th century, in an effort to increase the sale of diamonds. So basically this guideline has to be one of the most successful and long running marketing schemes to date. In fact, the slogan "A Diamond is Forever" coined in 1947, was recently named as one of the best slogans of the 20th Century. So, 100 plus years later we're still going by De Beers guideline and increasing revenue for the diamond industry.

Now I'm not trying to approach this subject from a cheap man's perspective. I honestly feel like if you love the woman and truly want her to marry you then you should go all out and show her how much, but within reason. I feel like when purchasing a ring a man should take some things into consideration just like any other major purchase. And I'm sure we all agree that purchasing an engagement ring is a major purchase. So this is no different than purchasing a house or a car; therefore, you should consider a number of questions. For instance, can you really afford this ring? What if she doesn't accept? Then what is the return policy? How will you pay? Cash or credit? What about the wedding itself? Will you have to pay for the wedding? Or are you lucky enough to have her parents follow tradition and pay for the wedding?

"On average, US couples spend $28,732 for their wedding. However, the majority of couples spend between $14,366 and $35,915 while their wedding budget is typically 50% less than the amount spent. This does not include cost for a honeymoon or engagement ring." "The average cost of a diamond engagement ring is $3,500 to $4,000."

Although all men would love to propose with the biggest Flinstones' rock on her finger, sometimes it's just not feasible. Let's add a real world example. Recently singer Beyonce who's married to rapper Jay-Z openly discussed details of her marriage. "In eschewing tradition, Beyonce didn't want an engagement ring, as it is "just material and it's just silly to me." Instead, the lovebirds got matching tattoos on their ring fingers of the Roman numeral IV — a digit not only significant because of her wedding date. Beyonce was born Sept. 4; Jay-Z, Dec. 4. "What Jay and I have is real," she said." Now imagine that. Jay-Z can afford to buy anything he wants, including the most expensive engagement ring imaginable. Now to refer to the opening example, I would say that Beyonce has a much bigger image to keep up than the young lady at her little PR agency job.

All I can say is that in this economy knowing what I make I would hate to be in a relationship that is heading towards engagement. Unless I was lucky enough to have a woman that will say something like Beyonce I would seriously have to wait until I saved up enough money. However, I would potentially run the risk of being consider one of those guys that want the milk without paying for the Cow. So what is a guy to really do? But there are so many factors to consider when you're trying to choose that perfect engagement ring. Just know that if you don't represent correctly she probably won't be the person you hear it from. You should be more concerned about the external pressures. Yep you unfortunately you should be worrying about "what will so and so think of the ring?" She may even be fine with the inexpensive ring initially, but may quickly change once people get in her ear.

Her girls: "Girl it's nice and we happy for you and happy he finally popped the question lord knows we thought the day would never come, but damn all this time and that's as much as your man loves you? That ring is a lil' small aint it?"

The Scavengers: "So you say you engaged huh? Well I can't really tell from the ring you're wearing. If I was your Fiance' you'd be wearing a real ring."

Her Dad: "You know I don't really like the boy anyway. And if he can't even buy you a suitable ring then I can't understand how he's going to take care of you."

You can trust and believe that by the time all of them finish talking you'll be hoping that you haven't passed the 30 day return period yet. Bottom line is this I'm not hating on a man that can buy his potential wife a $25,000 ring or better. I'm simply saying when did the focus of love and marriage get switched to how much the ring you buy is worth? If I love you unconditionally then whether I'm rich or poor or somewhere in between that love is going to be the same. If I can't get you that 5 karat diamond engagement ring to begin with then I ask you to accept this 1 or 2 karat. I know that you're worth more than gold and diamonds. And I promise I will upgrade this ring as time goes on and as my income increases. But maybe that's just me.

Basically when I plan to get married again I want to have that Grandmother and Grandfather love. I don't know what happen but people have gotten away from that. You know your grandparents started out with basically nothing but love, that is if they even got an engagement ring back then. But your grandfather did what he could when he could and eventually got her a ring and by time we were old enough to know grandma had a beautiful wedding ring. But as much as they went through they still had that Real Love. That unconditional Love. No matter how bad things got or what flaws the other person had they still stuck it out and took "til death do us part" to heart. So if you have that type of Love, then the type of ring you have doesn't matter, nor does any other material thing. Because you can't put a price on love. I'm just saying, I'd rather have Love that's forever than a diamond that is supposedly forever.

But as for the subject at hand. However you feel about the engagement ring I just feel like it's a conversation that each individual couple should discuss. Communication is key. Make sure you're on the same level when it comes to engagement, proposal and marriage. If you know that your potential fiance' will want an expensive ring then you better get on the grind and start saving for that ring. Or perhaps you can use Jay-Z and Beyonce as a way to get out of having to buy a ring and getting a tattoo instead. I dont recommend trying it unless you got Jay's type of money. Or maybe you can use the line that Method Man said in the song "All I need" Featuring Mary J. Blige, "Word life you don't need a ring to be my wife." But to be honest I doubt either will work but good luck with that!


1 comment:

ToshaRenelle said...

I agree with this post 1000%. Everyone is so superficial and materialistic nowadays, but you hit the nail on the head when you said, why wouldn't the man want to get his love the best ring he can afford. If that's a .5 carat diamond chip, he should want her to rock that, if it's the best he can do.

I will take the tattoo, I would take the regular gold band, hell my future husband can make my ring out of friendship bracelet string. I just want the LOVE, the FOREVER, the commitment, the SOUL. What's the rock good for if your man isn't even coming home to you at night?!

When you have Jay-Z's money, I agree, a flashy ring is NOTHING because he can buy them by the shitload. I want what you CANNOT and WILL NOT give anyone else, and that is ALL OF YOU, who YOU are and what we will build together. Great post BB!