I recently heard a sad story about a soldier from New York who died in Iraq, and just an hour after his girlfriend and parents got the news that he'd been killed, his girlfriend received a FedEx package from him with an engagement ring in it. How horrifying and tragic that must have been for her.
It made me think about something that happened to me recently. I was fairly confident that my boyfriend was going to propose to me in the coming months, and I was dropping hints like crazy about EXACTLY the ring I wanted. I may even have been a little obnoxious about it. Even making up little songs that named the jewelry store, which one of my friends he could ask to show him the correct ring at the store, etc. But what can I say, I was excited to get engaged and I'd been doing some ring shopping for a while.
Well, I learned from my friend Deb that my boyfriend (now fiance) had chosen a completely different ring than the one I was so clear about wanting. I had mixed feelings because he was finally going to ask me to marry him. But he completely blew off what I wanted. And I knew it wasn't a question of not being able to afford to ring I chose.
I wasn't supposed to know he'd bought a ring so I had to keep my mouth shut about what I knew, but I found myself getting a little short and snippy with him. I was frankly a little annoyed that he wouldn't do what he knew would make me happy. Why would he purposely buy another ring when he knew what I wanted?
When he finally popped the question, he gave me a ring more beautiful than anything I could have imagined. The diamond was MORE brilliant than what I thought he could afford, something I wouldn't have picked because I'd never heard of it, even. It was called a Cushette diamond, and it was totally new to me. The setting was kind of antique-looking, and it spoke to me completely. He said, "Listen, I know this isn't the ring you asked for. But I'd been looking at rings for a long time myself and when I saw this one, it made me think of you. I really thought you would love it so I took a chance. It really, really reminded me of you and it was so gorgeous."
I immediately felt like a fool for being such a jerk to him all those weeks. I thought I knew what I wanted. The ring I got eclipsed my original choice in every way.
BUT HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART: what made my heart leap the minute I put the Cushette diamond on my finger was the fact that HE had picked this out FOR ME. He'd been THINKING of me. He'd been shopping for rings even longer than I had, and he bought something that to him, reflected the way he felt about me. And that's what should have counted to begin with. It's always the thought that counts, and I was ungrateful and narrow-minded to be so stubborn about what I thought I wanted.
And most of all, the man I love is alive and well. I feel lucky, I appreciate what I have. I will never be such a selfish jerk again.
Since we're approaching the holidays, I just want to remind everyone that when you receive a gift that someone is excited to give you, because they THOUGHT OF YOU when they bought it, even if you're not thrilled with it, please RECOGNIZE the consideration and love that went into the selection, and be grateful for that person being alive and well in your life!!!
Dec 10, '06
What an amazing life lesson! And so well stated.
Just trusting that things really are perfect the way they are (or will be) allows life to be more than we could ever have dreamed or imagined.
Dec 10, '06
Thank you for your story and message, it's always timely. What a blessing to have such a loving and thoughtful fiance, a gorgeous ring (both better than you would ever have dreamed!), and best wishes for a wonderful rest-of-your-life together!
Dec 10, '06
When I was in college, a girlfriend of mine, Amy, had just got engaged to a man that had come to the USA from France at her same school.
They dated for about a year, got engaged, and a month after their engagement (she was the only child of her mother, who was also single) she was on her way home to meet her mother to start planning her wedding and came around a sharp corner, lost control of her car, and it crashed and killed her.
Her fiance, put a wedding ring on her finger right before they closed the casket....there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
He didn't marry for almost 10 years after that, and the most wonderful part of the story, is his new wife, their new baby are very close friends with Amy's mother. He sure had to marry one heck of a woman that "understood".
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