Dear “OH CAROL:”
My husband and I will be celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary in another 6 months. When we became engaged, he was a struggling graduate student, and bought me a lovely sterling silver pin – but no ring. Over the years I’ve said to him that I want a diamond – but not just any diamond – I want something that’s special, and I have in mind just what I want. A couple of times we’ve come into a little bit of money, and he’d suggest that we use it to buy my diamond, but the amounts (about $2,000) wouldn’t be enough to get me what I want and I don’t want to get something that is not what I really want. So, now he’s retired and we’re living on a very tight budget. It appears that we’re going to get a sizeable tax refund this year and I want to use it to get my diamond. He wants to use it to connect our home to the sewer line (yeah, you read that right). I know that his plan may be more sensible – but I’m beginning to think that my dream diamond is never going to happen. Oh – by the way – our septic system works just fine, thank you. Any thoughts you have will be appreciated.
LOVE ‘N LIFE’S “OH CAROL” ANSWERS:
Congratulations on 43 years of marriage!! Quite a feat these days!
As I read your story, it started out so sweet. A struggling grad student, a silver pin and you were young and all about love. Then the story took a crazy turn – a sewer line vs a diamond?!!
Let's turn back the clock a bit… go back to that couple, that girl who was happy with a pin. What did you love about him? What made you all weak in the knees? Ask him the same questions. It sounds as if you two have gotten further away from what marriage and love really are about to fighting over sewers and rings.
OK, back to your question… my guess is that you are anywhere from your mid-sixties on up. What will having a diamond ring do for you at this point other than strap you more financially for something to wear on your finger? And, what is in it for him?
The joy of buying it for you? (Insert sarcasm here.) It's his anniversary too!
What if the worst happens and he gets ill or worse he dies? So you have a big ol' expensive diamond ring – big whoop. “This diamond ring doesn't shine for me anymore…” but you no longer have him. What does that do for you?
The same for hooking up to a sewer line. I can't think of anything less romantic than spending your tax refund on a sewer line in lieu of an anniversary celebration.
What happened to compromise? Why not throw a party, one more lavish than usual but certainly not as costly as this diamond that YOU want! Or take a romantic vacation where the money spent is enjoyed equally by both of you and wonderful memories are created. You see, going back to that worst case scenario, if one of you suddenly gets ill and dies, you have beautiful memories of a celebratory party with family and friends or a romantic vacation, instead of a stinky ol' sewer or a self-indulgent diamond. You can't take either with you when you go. How about another compromise -if having something shiny is so important to you? A beautiful cubic zirconia set the way you want it? No one will know the difference and you can feel good about not blowing your whole tax refund on something YOU want.
Happy Anniversary and good luck!
Yours 4 Love,