If you've read my prior post regarding my recent proposal, then no doubt you remember that he proposed without the ring. Of course, ring shopping immediately ensued the following week; it was sweet how he wanted me to be able to pick out the ring I wanted.
This may come as no surprise, but as we had been dating for well over a year, the thought of a proposal had crossed my mind once, or twice. (Ok, fine, about a gazillion times!) I had already started thinking about the type of ring I'd want should such an opportunity present itself. I happened to see a beautiful ring on Pinterest, or maybe it was Facebook-- whatever. Anyway, it got me clicking from one site to the next. I had seen a few features on one ring I loved and a few from another and in my mind, began to formulate this ring that I now wanted -- MY ring.
It was a white gold square halo ring with a split band. I had decided that instead of an engagement band AND separate wedding band, a split band was a two-fer and just more 'me'. I love halo rings. Something about a halo of mini diamonds hugging the center stone just makes me feel... "comfy", in a sparkly sort of way, hehe.
So I had this image in my head and we were off to a few stores on our list. We had heard wonderful, marvelous things about Store A. Personally, I think Eric (aka, "The Man") was more eager to visit their building to see first-hand the architectural design than he was about finding my ring there. (I think it's a man thing.)
We parked and entered and were ushered to the 3rd floor where all of the glitzy beauties lay protected under glass; kryptonite for exes. There is where we met Steele. No, not a Man of Steele, nor was he Mr. Steele. Steele was his First Name. Cool, I thought. Before we got started, Eric asked Steele about the history of the building, and the next thing you know, we were getting a private tour of the building, through secured doors, and into the basement where the ring designers sat and showed us how they use computer programs and 3-D printers to design and make prototypes of each unique ring. It was A-MAH-ZING. We felt "special", like Steele had all the time in the world just for us. Then we rode the private elevator back to the 3rd floor where Steele showed us all sorts of beautiful rings, all top of the line and all more expensive than either of us could wrap our wallets around. When Steele asked what sort of ring I had in mind, I told him and in turn he informed me that my ring would cost me a small fortune plus my good kidney. Yowza. We thanked him profusely, got his card and told him we'd be in touch. And then, we left.
We proceeded to Store B. Mustache Man and Chop Suey worked as a team to push their 1980's style gold on me. Didn't they have anything from the current decade? What little selection they did have was hard to see in the dimly lit room. Even my allergies were afraid of the encroaching dust bunnies. When I explained to them what I envisioned, they did not understand and proceeded to show me other rings I would "definitely love." Well, I had news for this duo (other than his toupee being a bit too obvious). I only love what I actually love; not what you tell me you think I will love. Moving on.
Time was ticking and we talked about going back to Steele and making it work. Eric REALLY wanted me to have a beautiful ring. But, as I thought about our upcoming wedding expenses and the fact that we were trying to get his basement finished as well, I knew that there was no way I could say yes to the ring at Store A. How could I enjoy my ring knowing how much of a sacrifice it would be? Or worse, anytime something might come up financially, I would feel guilt over having spent the money on the ring. No way. I told him we'd keep looking.
That night, after work we went to a few other places; places that have tons of commercials on TV, bragging about how all men shop there, etc. Well, let's just say Jared's and Kay's did not impress me. Perhaps I hadn't received very good customer service, or perhaps nothing looked as beautiful as what Steele had shown us earlier that day. I mean, let's face it, there was a huge step down in quality when we went to the chain stores.
About ready to give up, we decided to stop in to one more jeweler, about 15 minutes before close. The sales lady's name was Rachel. She was a lovely woman, albeit a little bit flighty. She asked me what sort of ring I wanted. I told her I was hoping for a white gold, square halo ring with a split band. She pointed to a selection in the case I happened to be standing in front of. From the aerial view, nothing looked like what I wanted. She began taking me around the store showing me other rings, similar to what I had described. Then she started in about Angels.
"Do you believe in Angels?" she asked.
"Uhh, yes," I stammered, trying to figure out what that had to do with anything.
"So do I," she replied. "And just talking to the two of you in this brief amount of time, I feel like an angel brought you to me."
Nice try, Ray-chel. Nice way to try to get the sale! Hummmph! That's not going to work, I thought. "Oh, Mmm-Hmm," I replied, continuing to eye every single band in the case.
"And I can tell," she continued, "He really loves you. I know you two will be happy together and I know you will find the right ring. You will see it, and you will just know."
All right, I was thinking, cut the crap already. I already KNOW he loves me. I couldn't believe at what lengths some people would stoop to just to get the sale.
"Are you sure you wouldn't want to have a second glance at the hand-crafted collection?" she asked. (That was the first set of rings she pointed out to me.)
I was tired and exhausted and we were getting ready to head out of town and time was running out. True, I was engaged, but [insert whiny voice here] I wanted my ring! "Okay," I sighed. "Sure."
We walked back over to the first case. Although this time, instead of looking at the collection through the top of the glass, I crouched down in front of it, to get a better look. I couldn't believe my eyes.
"Let me see that one," I practically shouted. Was it so? Did there just happen to be a White Gold Square Halo Ring with a Split Band just SITTING THERE? If so, how did I miss it???
I stood as she pulled the ring from the case and quickly slipped it over my ring finger. A perfect fit - Not.Even.Kidding.
Smiling, I turned to Eric and exclaimed, "THIS is my ring! This is the one!" It was the EXACT ring I had in my head all along. I looked back at Rachel as she smiled a big smile and whispered, "Angels."
When we looked at the pricing, we were shocked at how many less 0's that tag held in comparison to the one Steele had shown us earlier. True, the quality at Store A was probably a smidge better. But this ring at Rachel's store was WAAAAAAAY better than the chain-stores. Still in shock, I asked Rachel, "Why are your diamonds so much less?"
She replied, "Oh, it's our company; we have our own diamond mind in Canada." Eric and I looked at each other, and knowing what the other person was thinking, tried hard to keep from busting up laughing. Like I said earlier, Rachel wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. It was all I could do to keep from asking if Diamond 'Minds' produced sparkly thoughts. Tee hee.
As simple-minded as Rachel was, we were so grateful to have went into her store that night and we were even more grateful they have their own mine in Canada, thereby cutting out the middle man, and several thousands of dollars! I don't know if it's true what she said about an angel leading us into that store right before closing time, but it would sure explain finding the ring I had already formulated in my mind, now wouldn't it?
One quick note and then I'll show you a picture of the ring. We DID call Steele back the next day to thank him for his wonderful service. He AND his store truly are a class act. Eric also said that if we ever strike it rich, we will definitely go back to Store A. I think Steele was a little shocked to hear from us, but we just thought a classy guy deserved to be treated the way he treated us. The Golden Rule, y'know?
And now, the ring...
And how it looks on my hand...