I have come to the conclusion that I suffer from engagementringophobia. I’d like to say it’s innate, but alas, I know that no fear is unfounded. So I’m working on dissecting my diamond dilemma. It obviously can’t be the diamonds. If you know me, you know I get spastic when it comes to sparkles, even if it’s glitter, so a huge chunk of expensive sparkle is probably not the problem. Same goes the gold and the silver.
As not much else goes into a standard engagement ring, it must be the…gasp…M word. I’ll give you a chance to settle down. Sometimes the sheer mention of the M word is momentarily crippling. The ring without the marital runaround is A-OK with me. So OK, in fact, that I’m currently finding myself in a difficult decision-making mess.
Situation: you remember my inspiration for my “Guide for the Cheatee by a Cheatee?” Mr. Right recently catapulted back into my life to tell me how he and Ms. Home wrecker are happily moving to North Carolina to buy a house and breed countless sniveling, conniving, twitful children. The problem is, back in our happier, pre-cheating days, he and I were, well, happy, and reasonably serious. Apparently, prior to me, he and his ex-girlfriend were seriously serious, which lead to proposal, engagement and eventual breakup. (She obviously caught the same thing I have. Poor girl). So, he’s left fiancé-free and with a pricey ring sitting in his dresser drawer. After we’re together for a few months, he decides he wants to prove to me he thinks we have a good thing going and sends the ring to me while I’m in Germany.
“Wahoo!” I think, “a rock and no hard place.”
So you know how things went from there, two months later the cheating and then the lying about it and then finally the cold shouldering. I asked him during my first week home in America if he wanted it back, and he said “that thing is bad luck, I don’t want to see it again.”
Last week, following the first five minutes of empty small talk we’ve had in four months, he asked if I could get the ring to one of his friends before he moves. Why don’t people ask things straight out? Those are five minutes of my life I could have used to clip my toenails or do something of that productive nature.
You’ve seen it in cartoons. To my left, fiery little devil Nadia has set up camp on my shoulder. To my right, glowing blue-winged Nadia is floating a few inches from my ear. Here in between I’m struggling with this monster of a moral dilemma. Evil Nadia is wailing “PAWN IT,” Janis-style, joined by my close friends chanting “that money could pay like three months rent.” My angelic version doesn’t have to say much. She’s got the “you-should-know-better” look on, since the ring technically isn’t mine, and keeping it will just prove I’m still hung up on the way things turned out. So I’m stuck for what to do. I could keep it and argue he technically gave it to me by sending it to me, and added later that he didn’t want “that thing” back. Pawning it to pay my bills, while it would pay a LOT of bills, could end up haunting me. I’m a firm believer in Kharma, and I’m just not convinced that’s moral despite ample reinforcement from my friends. They say cheating and lying aren’t moral, either. This could be his bad Kharma.
Having already grilled my friends, co-workers, family, the bus driver, consulted the stars, flipped a coin and played a lengthy tournament of rock-paper-scissors, I decided maybe it was time that I switched things up and took some advice from my advicees. Help me out. Check my email address below and send me your ideas, let me know what you’d do, what you think I should do, flood my email box with your similar stories, reinforce that he’s a dirtbag, make my life easier. I’ll update you next week.
Nadia Stadnycki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.