Tennessee resident Ariel McRae was understandably thrilled when she finally became engaged to the love of her life. And, although the couple had a meager budget between the two of them, Ariel’s fiancé insisted on buying a ring for his bride-to-be.
The couple settled on a modest $130 sterling silver and cubic zirconia set that they liked and could feasibly afford. While it wasn’t the biggest or flashiest ring around, the symbolism meant more to Ariel than anything else.
However, Ariel’s excitement over her ring was quickly challenged by a mouthy jewelry store employee, who called the ring “pathetic.”
Ariel wrote about the uncomfortable encounter on her Facebook page:
My husband doesn’t have a lot, neither of us do. We scrape and scrape to pay bills and put food in our bellies, but after almost 2 years of dating we decided that we couldn’t wait anymore, so we didn’t.
I wasn’t even thinking about rings, I just wanted to marry my best friend, but he wouldn’t have it. He scraped up just enough money to buy me two matching rings from Pandora. Sterling silver and CZ to be exact. That’s what sits on my ring finger, and I am so in love with them.
While we were purchasing my rings however, another lady that was working there came over to help the lady selling them to us. She said, “Y’all can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic.” When she said that I watched my now husband’s face fall. He already felt bad because he couldn’t afford the pear-shaped set that so obviously had my heart and covered my Pinterest page. He already felt like a failure, asking me again and again “Are you sure you’ll be happy with these? Are you sure this is okay?” He was so upset at the idea of not making
me happy enough and of me not wanting to marry him because my rings didn’t cost enough money or weren’t flashy enough.
Old Ariel would have ripped that woman a new one. Mature Ariel said, “It isn’t the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that is.” We bought the rings and left.
Y’all I would have gotten married to this man if it had been a 25¢ gum ball machine ring. When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her $3,000+ jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring? Sure they are nice, sure the sentiment is wonderful and I’m not trying to cut down any of your experiences, but when did it come to all that? Why do material possessions equate love??
My husband was so afraid of me not wanting him because he couldn’t afford a piece of jewelry. He was afraid that the love I have for him would pale because he couldn’t afford the wedding set I wanted. The world has made it this way and it is so sad.
But here I am though, Court-House married, $130 ring set, the love of my life by my side and happier than I could ever imagine.
Ariel’s heartening social media post soon gained over 44,000 shares, and dozens of women commented with their own similar experiences.
After some prompting, Ariel even shared the story of how she met her husband, and the details of their ridiculously silly first date.
“My husband and I met online at the age of 20, talked on the phone (and I mean actually talked not text) for 6+ hours a day for two days,” she wrote. “He then drove an hour out of his way to take me on a date. I wore a tacky Christmas sweater (if you think I am lying, ask him) We ate wings, had a burping contest, and drove around listening to music and singing.”
And you know what? She knew during that first date that she was going to marry him.
“I fell in love with him on the first date. If he had asked me to marry him the first time we met, I probably would have said yes. To be honest, we had wanted to elope three months into dating, but decided to take some extra time to get established beforehand. Ultimately we couldn’t wait any longer.. so we eloped. I’ve never been this happy in my life and I couldn’t imagine spending it with anyone else ever.”
Moral of the story? Marriage can be costly enough as it is. Don’t let people pressure or shame you or your partner into spending unnecessary money on the ordeal. Because a fancy ring can’t buy you a lasting marriage — and if it’s the most important aspect of your engagement, then perhaps you should be rethinking your priorities.