BECAUSE WE HERE at The Rant concern ourselves with Important Ethical Issues on a daily basis, we were wondering: should women keep their engagement rings if they decide not to get married to the men who gave them the rings?
Now, obviously, we haven't any experience in purchasing a ring. But as we would not have access to any heirloom gems we could use in lieu of doing that, we shall have to buy a ring somewhere down the line. And we know that buying a decent diamond ring for a lady is no joke.
For long ago, out of curiosity, we did some research into how much a quality ring would cost; and to our great shock, we found that a one-carat diamond ring will run roughly five thousand dollars. But while the diamond cartel's suggestion that spending two months' pay on a ring seems a bit silly to us, our research also suggested that buying anything less than a half-carat these days brands one as a cad, a bad provider and a general ne'er-do-well.
Hence the conundrum. Obviously, a respectable man wants to provide his fiancee with a proper ring; and as it shows his commitment to a lady, he does not want to be cheap about it. We're not experts when it comes to dating or relationships; but even we know that having to say "it looks just like a diamond," "I thought you wouldn't notice," and "but it was on sale" are effective and quick ways to buy one a months-long stay on the Living Room Sofa.
On the other hand, spending five thousand on a ring only to have one's beloved spurn one is not exactly a winning proposition. After all, that's two years of car payments on a reasonable vehicle, or 20 months' worth of contributions to one's Roth IRA; and the loss of such capital would represent quite a blow to a young man's savings account.
True, if one is rich, the economics of it all likely matter much less. Then it becomes mostly a matter of pride. As such, we would submit that when Mr Andrew Firestone found out his television-arranged fiancee was keeping the ring on which he spent many thousands of dollars, his ego may have been rather bruised by the whole affair:
Jen Schefft says she and Andrew Firestone of "The Bachelor" have a bond despite their split — and she's got the engagement ring.
"Obviously, it's a beautiful ring and Andrew said that he bought that for me and that it was mine to keep, so I'm gonna keep it," Schefft says on "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose."
Last May, Firestone proposed to Schefft on the season finale of "The Bachelor." Their breakup was announced in December.
Now the above quotes are from an Associated Press article on the matter; and if Mr Firestone has a response, it was not recorded there. However, we do wonder greatly how strong the bonds between the two are if Ms Schefft is crowing on national television about keeping the rock. That was unseemly and gauche. It is enough, we would suggest, to make a man think Mr Firestone may have escaped from the whole ordeal rather lightly.
However, we certainly do not wish to deliver a one-size-fits-all pronouncement on the issue; and we do think there are circumstances in which it is right and proper for a lady to keep the ring which a man has given her.
For instance, if a man does not hold to the commitment which the diamond ring signifies, we think it perfectly reasonable for a woman to keep the ring. In fact, we think women ought do that in such cases. At the very least, don't do anything rash and throw it back at him in anger, or subject it to the garbage disposal, or what not; that gets chalked up as a "win" in a man's mind, and you don't want that to happen if your man turns out to be a louse.
As a quite-pertinent example, we cite the unfortunate case of Ms Ali Landry and her now ex-husband. The gossip sheets say that Ms Landry's ex-husband was quite a cad, and was most unfaithful to her, even in the days leading up to their wedding. This was made even more amazing by the fact that Ms Landry's ex-husband was That Guy Who Played Slater on "Saved by the Bell."
Really, now. We're sorry, but if you're A-C-Freaking-Slater and you, through luck or craft, somehow manage to convince Ali Landry -- the very foxy Doritos girl -- to marry you, you ought act like a man should. And so, given our reasoning stated above, we hope Ms Landry kept his ring, and decided to auction it on eBay at the first possible moment.
However, it might not be a bad idea were she to have it appraised first. We're just saying.Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 25, 2004 11:13 PM | TrackBack