Sunday, March 25, 2007

Eight Cow Wife

I just realized I didn't blog about my anniversary--what we did. First, well, last, but this is so cool, I learned how to text message and spent the ride home playing with Bill's phone. Then I spent the next week text messaging the only child of mine who would answer me. It's quite fun and now I am like a teenager totally ignoring people around me as I click with my thumbs.

When Bill and I got engaged, I didn't get a diamond. I wanted one--I never had one in my first marriage--but we were poor and had the kids and other considerations. I kept hoping he'd value me enough to go into debt to get one, but he listened to me when I said never mind. So I didn't get one and I held it against him.

About five years after we got married, he gave me a pair of tiny diamond earrings. When I saw that box, I was thrilled, thinking it was finally a diamond. I tried not to show my disappointment. When I turned forty, he gave me a beautiful diamond necklace. I love it, but my resentment festered because I am that way.

While I held it against him for not getting me one, though, I never thought I really deserved it. I never thought I was a normal girl or even one anyone should marry, let alone gift with a beautiful ring. My inferiority complex kept me in a prison as I went back and forth, resenting him and feeling sorry for myself, then berating myself as unworthy, then feeling even sorrier for myself because I hated myself.

Am I a nutjob or what? Well, this year he did it. He bought me a beautiful anniversary ring, small and simple with shiny diamonds, exactly what I would want.

He cried when he gave it to me, I was in shock, but you guys, you wouldn't believe how it has changed our relationship. It just feels more official. I feel more valuable.

I always chastised myself for being materialistic in wanting that ring. And I got after Sarah because she felt Nicolas could have done better than the pawn shop diamond he got her (the stone kept falling out and now it's lost) and, when she couldn't wear her ring because of the aforementioned falling out of the diamone, I'm the one who put the bug in Nick's ear to buy her a band. A $30 band from Wal-Mart.

I don't think Sarah will feel good about herself until Nick puts a real ring on her finger. I don't want to make anybody feel bad here, but for heaven's sake, Bill and I wasted 25 years feeling bad about something that he could have fixed in the first place with a $500 ring. It seems a cheap trade off.

Women have tender feelings. These things mean a heck of a lot more than a material possession.


Ann said...

When my husband and I got engaged I told him I didn't need/want a ring. I was lying. We later discussed it, and he said very clearly, "I'm not getting you a ring because you said you didn't want one. I believe you."

Later, I overheard a snippet of a conversation at a RS thing, from a newlywed who my DH had once dated: "I told G. he didn't need to get me anything for Valentine's Day. He better get me something."

Those experiences drove home to me very clearly that if I want something, I need to tell my husband. I later told him that. "If I tell you something, it will be true. I will not tell you one thing and expect you to guess how I really feel."

I am not a glitter kind of person. I wonder if my DH reads this blog? Perhaps I should got tell him NOW, (before he reads it here) that I was lying when I told him about the ring, and that now it's OK that I don't have one, because we have other priorities. But once those priorities are settled, I might like a nice ring. Maybe we could pick it out together, like engaged people do.

Thanks for your story, Arlene. Two things I would leave with you: 1. You deserve the best. 2. Your husband does not have a mind reading hat. You need to tell him stuff like this.

Barb said...

What a tender time. Given with love and received with love.

I have said before that rather than a diamond ring that I would prefer a years supply of food storage. However, that may get awful heavy for my finger lol.

Mark N said...

When my husband and I got engaged I told him I didn't need/want a ring. I was lying.

There should probably be a temple recommend question that addresses this.

Barb said...

Well, in a woman's mind it is not considered a lie to say a ring isn't important when it is. We think a man should just know. :)

Ann said...

I didn't want to seem demanding. I didn't want him to think I was shallow.

In the end, it turned out to be true. Ten years later, I really that I don't have a diamond ring.

We bought our wedding rings (14K gold, so they're not junk) at Murray's Discount Auto Parts in Detroit, MI. We also bought a case of motor oil and some tube socks. I may not have a diamond, but I've got a GREAT story.

Elizabeth-W said...

Boy am I feeling shallow. I was pretty clear on what I wanted. Not huge, not fancy, well within a budget, but a diamond nonetheless.
But, my tastes have changed, and what I really want now is an eternity band. Maybe for our 20th? A girl can dream....

annegb said...

Ann, I'm like you to some extent. Well, I was. Now I'm a greedy gut. I want another one!

Barb, you are a quiet comedian.

Mark :), I think so.

Elizabeth, I think what I have is known as an eternity ring. Although it doesn't have diamonds all the way around.

I seriously can't stop looking at it.

Ann said...

I don't think it's shallow to want a nice ring. I thought he might think it was shallow. Here's the funny thing: he didn't.

Apparently, I don't have a mind-reading hat, either.

NoSurfGirl said...

"resenting him and feeling sorry for myself, then berating myself as unworthy, then feeling even sorrier for myself because I hated myself."

Gol, do I know what that's like.

Your story made me a little emotional. I don't think it's materialistic at all-- it's a custom that we are, er, accustomed to. LOL. What i mean is, it's not materialism, it's symbolic. Too bad it's a diamond that is symbolic and not something cheaper like cattle. (although, come to think of it, cattle isn't that much cheaper. Or at all.)

annegb said...

Nosurfgirl, it's really sad when we are our own worst enemy. I know all about that one.

I think the worst thing about all this is how it impacted my daughters.

Life is hard.

Lisa M. said...

You are worth all the diamonds.

I think we all need to know our own worth.

I am so happy for you.