How Big Does it Need to Be?

In a world of glitz and glam, it is hard to keep up with the quota set by multimillionaire celebrities.  Not only does our labels  need to match those of adored celebrities, but men are now feeling the pressure to also size up accordingly.  With each new public engagement, the size of the diamond ring grows as to not be outdone by the previous proposal.   However, those unrealistic expectations for the 15 carat pink emerald cut diamond rings have trickled down to the barely, recession-ridden middle class.   New graduates that are ready to wed on entry level salaries, student loan debt in tow, now must have to tack on the weight and price to adequately propose to love of his life.

If you can't get me this then I'm not marrying you...loser!

So my question to the ladies is “how big does it have to be?”  I am all for nice things- quantity without sacrificing quality.  I understand that is hard to convince people your man is head over heels in love with you without the carats to prove it.  However, for me the ring is a lifelong investment and not a onetime purchase.
Initially, I don’t even need an engagement ring.  It is to show others, not for the bride to be.  I will prefer for that money to go toward eliminating any debt before we enter a lifelong union.  I much rather have a huge beautiful home- something that builds equity.  A nice wedding ring is necessary but something reasonable and within the groom’s budget.
However, once we continue to grow as a union, the [conflict-free] diamonds will be added.  Because I think the ring is a symbol of our lifelong commitment, then there will be time at different intervals to invest more into the wedding ring.  For example, an additional band could be added for the 5 year anniversary.  More diamonds will added for the 10 year and by the time we have been married 50 years the ring will be massive.  But hell, by that point, I would have EARNED it and the ring will be a symbol of not only of the love shared but of the trials endured, sacrifices made, and the vows upheld.

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Impress Me

Being back in the nation’s capitol has been great.  Dating in D.C.  is wonderful.  The concentration of diverse young black professionals is like none other. However, I have found people are so quick to put their number out there.  And no, it is not their phone number, but their salary.  I will admit the intentions may be varying; however, more often than not it is a mean to bait, impress, and establish value to someone. I am not impressed and underwhelmed (fearing D.C. will become as pretentious as Atlanta….)
There is a number that really should matter, but I am sure no one wants to discuss that on the first date or the 30th for that matter.   It is your credit score.  Current salary does not convey priorities or potential.  However, a credit score gives more insight to where the person’s head is at, well really, how their income is being managed.  It seems my peers would much rather wear top labels, drive (lease) high-end cars, live in (rent) expensive lofts to project an image of prosperity.   This pseudo “keeping-up” is often a veil to authentic poverty.

what's really good??

I feel in my preparation to better myself and to make sure I’m sufficiently contributing to a significant relationship,  then I need to have my bills properly managed before we enter any life-long unions.  I expect the same out of my significant other- that he is using this time of economic bliss to prepare for his future, our future (…because I want a big house. No, I am just serious. )
So while you may not see me in $500 shoes, $1200 bags, and $700 jeans.  I will be paying down these students loans, building my savings, and contributing to my IRA.  If that ain’t sexy, I don’t know what is.
Ms. “I much rather see your portfolio” Tryst