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March 29, 2010

FMYLIFE.COM – Argument Over Bling is one of my favourite websites; always good for a laugh, and a chance to poke a little fun at strangers. I was hanging out there today, and came across this one:  “Today, my boyfriend said he wanted to marry me. Since he doesn’t know my ring size he asked for me to find a ring that I liked and he would buy it and propose. The only problem is that he won’t spend more than $200. Oh the generosity. FML.” 

Commencers immediately jumped on the OP (Original Poster), calling her a selfish B*tch (among other names I won’t repeat) and telling her to be grateful he wants to marry her, that she’s a golddigger, materialistic, etc etc … yikes. There were also comments on the other side of it, such as “A ring is an investment,” or “If he can’t afford a ring, should he be getting married?” I scrolled through all the comments, trying to decide my own opinion about this whole mess. Who knew a little bling could cause such an uproar?  There are several issues here:

Cost vs. Worth Ok – the biggest argument on the board was that a ring should be a symbol of his commitment and love, and $200 (to some) seemed to be a little on the low end. Posters felt that by wanting a more expensive engagement ring, she was placing cost (meaning price) above worth (meaning symbolism).  Does the size or quality of the engagement ring represent how much he loves her? Of course not – that’s a ridiculous idea. However, does that mean she’s out of line wanting something nice? Maybe she wants something more than a diamond chip; does that make her a golddigger? I honestly don’t think so. Hopefully, this is a ring she will wear the rest of her life; it should be something she loves. In her FML she never states exactly what she wants, so it’s wrong to assume she’s looking for something over-the-top; it may just be she’d like something a little bit fancier, or a certain style, that may not be attainable for $200.

If he can’t afford a ring, should he be getting married? Historically, an engagement ring was supposed to represent “proof” of a man’s ability to provide for his wife and future children. Two or three months’ salary was considered standard. We live in a different age though, where many households are two-income households, and the woman may actually make more than the man; a man’s financial worth isn’t necessarily reflected in the ring. However, I’ve never seen the romance in getting married in poverty – slam me all you want, but it doesn’t sound like a great time to me. If he’s still a student, or working a really low-paying job, then perhaps he should be putting himself together a bit more first. Maybe he has student loans he should be paying off first, or he’s in credit card debt. Again, the OP doesn’t say the reason for it, but it brings up some interesting points.

Why the $200 cap? I’m curious about the reason behind the price cap, and it’s an issue the commenters couldn’t get past either. If, as discussed above, money is tight, then putting a limit of $200 is understandable (and again, makes me wonder if he should be focusing on straightening out his finances first!) and hopefully she’s aware of his financial situation before getting married. However, if he has a great job , a flashy car, the latest technology, and still won’t splurge a little on her, I’d say that’s a  much larger issue. If he’s willing to spend his money on himself but not on her, that’s a sign of unhappiness to come.

Pick it out yourself? Alright, OP didn’t mention this as the root of her issue, but I noticed it and picked up on it. He doesn’t know her ring size so she has to pick something out herself? Red flag, as far as I’m concerned. All he has to do is take one of her rings (assuming she has one) and get it sized at the jewellery store. Then he knows what he’s looking for. As well, most styles of rings can easily be resized for a small price, so having the exact correct size at the time of purchase is not necessary. And why does she have to pick it out herself? At least they should go looking together – this whole thing smacks of disinterest. If he’s afraid of buying something she doesn’t like, he should ask for her input. He could also take a look at what she has already (for ideas about metal, modern vs. antique, etc) and talk to her girlfriends. This is actually the part that turned me off the most: OP, run, don’t walk away from this lazy loser!

Bottom line: Yes, in a way the OP does seem like a bit of a golddigger, but on the other hand, it’s for her to wear forever; she should have something she really loves. Maybe she can find something for $200 she really loves; if not, she and her BF have some serious things to discuss. She should be willing to be flexible, but he should also be willing to invest in something that will make her happy, provided it isn’t something outlandish. I’d be interested in knowing how it turns out. For the record, I’m an antique kind of girl who loves a good pave setting … I’m just saying ….

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