Q: When I got engaged a few years ago, my now-husband gave me a beautiful, expensive diamond ring from a well-known jewelry chain. I didn't ask for it, but I absolutely love it and have gotten a fair number of positive remarks about it from lots of different people.
Since then, many of my close friends have also gotten engaged and married, and either by coincidence or through social influence or because of changes in trends, most have either no ring or an unconventional ring. (One friend got hers from a relative, another wears something her fiance made for her out of Lucite.) Every time a friend announces her engagement and brags about not having wasted money on a diamond, I feel a little stung.
Is there a socially responsible way I can keep wearing my ring? Do I need to engrave "I know this was an unnecessary expense" in the band?
Regretting the Ring
Carolyn: I think every time there's a sea change, there's an accompanying period of overexplaining as people settle in — especially when it's a change from One Expected Way to Anything Goes. Keep absolutely loving your ring for what it means to you, and ride it out.
Anonymous: This applies to almost any kind of personal choice. There are people who want to brag about uniqueness, size or sentimentality. There are people who are self-righteous and want to make a stink about how everyone else fails to measure up to their personal moral standards. Everything from cars to kids to grocery shopping to your shoes could be viewed this way. Relax.
Carolyn: Love this, thanks. Though I don't know if anyone has ever not tensed at being told to relax.