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Old MelissaCT

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 07-14-01 , 06:42 AM


I don't know if this realm of thought occured to anyone out there, but I would like to comment on it...
There are some women out there who don't really care about jewelry, and so they don't care what kind of engagement ring they get (but due to fate they might still get a really nice one). Then there are women who absolutely LOVE jewelry (like myself) and are very picky when it comes to this very special ring. I am not officially engaged, however we've been talking, and guess what: My boyfriend thinks Diamonds are an absolute waste of money! Money should be spent on down payment on a house, etc. So he thinks a smaller ring, or a bigger but only okay quality diamond would suffice. Well to me this is the most important piece of jewelry I will wear, and I want it done right! I would love a larger stone (1.5-2), excellent quality (ideal cut, colorless, VS2 at least). I'm afraid that to get what I want I will have to buy it myself and then it's not really an engagement ring, is it????? Any way to convince a guy how imporant this is without sounding/being materialistic???

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 07-14-01 , 10:26 AM


Melissa, First of all I have to be honest and say that I don't know how you can explain the importance of a 1.5 to 2 carat ideal cut colorless VS2 diamond and not sound materialistic. It's not *needed*, it's beyond a "token" of love, it's sheer luxury.

But, I can totally understand your desire for wanting one. And, if you can afford it, you should have the diamond you want. You will cherish it every day.

I think it's absolutely OK for a woman to pay for her own engagement ring. It will still be the symbol of your engagement regardless of where exactly the money came from.

When my brother and sister-in-law were dating, he scrimped and saved every dime. She spent her money freely on fun clothes, fun cars, fun trips. When they got married he had $50K saved up for a down payment on their dream house (and this was in 1980). No starter homes, they moved right into this beautiful home in their mid-twenties. So technically, he paid for their house (she quit working shortly after marriage to raise their family).

You know what? The house is THEIR house, not just his -- doesn't matter who paid for it! BUT, he also bought her a lovely large oval diamond engagement ring which he still complains about (in a kidding way, but nevertheless...) to this day. He also thought/thinks diamonds are a complete waste. I think if my SIL had paid for it on her own he would admire the ring now rather than complain about it.

Sorry, long story....

Maria
who paid for the honeymoon so that her fiance would have enough $$ for the ring!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 07-14-01 , 10:36 AM


To answer your last question, I don't think there is any way of not sounding materialistic.

I'm not trying to play amateur psychologist here, but from what I've seen from the guys I know, it would be a shot to the guy's ego for a girl to buy her own egagement ring.

Many guys are similar to your boyfriend -- spend less on a ring and save the cash toward a house. They don't feel comfortable spending a ton of money on a diamond -- most guys are in sticker shock when they see how much diamonds actually cost! You have to decide if that is OK with you. I'm not sure how old you are, but NONE of my friends got a 1.5-2ct VS2 diamond when they got engaged (mine was .68 TOTAL ct wt, and I was 25 when we got engaged).

You can always get a "smaller" stone and upgrade later for an anniversary -- that is what I am doing.

Unfortunately, I don't think that if he is only willing to buy a certain size diamond and you want something much bigger or out of his price range, that you can convince him of this without sounding materialistic.

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Hmmm....
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 07-14-01 , 10:49 AM



I don't think any of *us* has the right to sit in judgement of you for being or not being materialistic! None of us knows you at all!

Your boyfirned is another matter, however! In my opinion what you are discussing here is priorities. You and your boyfriend have very different ones.
He may be more practical, at least practical about this issue. I have no way of knowing whether you are less practical, or only interested in making a sacrifice of a home because the *ring* is so important to you.

You and your boyfriend, if you marry, will have to find a way to work out differences in values and priorities.

I suggest you think about why the ring is so important to you. Will jewelry always be something that comes first to you, or is it just *this* ring? You are who you are, so you may as well think about this. People spend money on very different things.

I would just take some time to think about what *you* really want, then talk to your boyfriend about what *he* does.

Best of luck!

AGBF

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 07-14-01 , 11:07 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by MelissaCT
Then there are women like myself who are very picky when it comes to this very special ring...
Well to me this is the most important piece of jewelry I will wear, and I want it done right!...


~ If done right means spending money that would otherwise be used for a home, I think I am with your boyfriend on this one. If the money is available for this reason, then consider what looks good on your hand, not what looks good on paper or to your friends. This is a symbol of your love, but as mentioned earlier it is a token, not a comparison.

Quote:
Originally posted by MelissaCT
Any way to convince a guy how imporant this is without sounding/being materialistic??? [/B]


~ IMHO - No

~ Faust ~

[Edited by Faust on 07-14-01 at 11:08 AM]

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Priorities
Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 07-14-01 , 11:28 AM


It doesn't matter where the money comes from. It sounds like the two of you have limited resources. That being the case, you need to look at what is really most important. Will a 2 carat diamond really make your life better than a 3/4 carat? Will living in a house make your life better than living in an apartment? Answer these questions honestly, and I believe you will see where your boyfriend is coming from. And insisting on a diamond beyond your means will likely be something he won't forget. Remember, it's only a rock. There are bigger things in life.

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Yes, but...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 07-14-01 , 11:39 AM


Isn't wanting a big house rather than a small house materialistic too? Or a house with a view? Or a house with a pool? I could go on...

It's all materialistic--that's what money is for in a capitalist society. I mean, it's not like he's saying 'We can't buy this diamond because I have to give all of my money to the poor.'

My fiance' and I had this...uh...discussion as well. I think a lot of couples do. One of the things I love about my fiance' is the way he handles his money (I'm the fun car fun trips gal)--except when we're talking about something I really want, like a diamond.

This is what worked for us. We finally had to sit down and get some concrete numbers. How much money do we have? How much are we going to spend on the wedding? What are the housing prices? How soon will we be looking for a house? What kind of house do we want? That one is important because it's the amenities that run up the housing cost. How much debt do we (that is, I) have? How much will we be able to save between diamond to wedding to honeymoon to house purchase? etc. etc.

The problem with us was that we were both talking in abstracts. I wanted this kind of diamond (no idea how much it costs) he wanted 'a house' (no idea what price range). Naturally my diamond was taking away from his house, and his house was taking away from my diamond.

We finally sat down (and it took a while, too) and said okay, this is the kind of house we like, this is the area we want to live in, these are the prices. This is our savings, these are our stock options, this is our debt, this is our income. This is our wedding budget, this is our honeymoon, this is our time frame.

Once we had this down, on paper, it was easier for both of us to figure out a budget for the ring. Everyone is going to have to sacrifice. I had to sacrifice side stones to get the center stone I wanted but I'm 100% happy with it. He's happy because I'm happy. He's happy because we can still get the kind of house we want, and that makes me happy too. I wasn't *really* willing to sacrifice the house for the ring, but it wasn't until we got concrete that we could even have a calm discussion about it.

I think that marriage is all about compromise. And money is the # 1 thing that couples fight about. So you might as well sit down now and start talking about it. You may find that he is pleasantly surprised to discover that he can afford a 2 ct. ring, or you may find that it's going to make the difference between a 2000 sq. foot house and an 800 sq. foot house.

In our case, $10,000.00 for both rings was a drop in the bucket compared to housing prices here. I wish that $50,000.00 constituted a down payment . And we discovered that the difference between a $40,000.00 down payment and a $50,000.00 down payment was huge, while the difference between $140,000.00 and $150,000.00 is not really all that big.

Good luck,
Shelby


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Hi, Shelby!
Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 07-14-01 , 12:28 PM




You said what I meant. No one in this thread is talking about being Mother Teresa with his money; the only question is *where* does he want to spend it?

One of my friends-of an older generation-told me she is just *fascinated* by the way people spend their money and, since hearing her remark, I am, too!

Some people will traavel to exotic places a few times a year but won't buy raspberries because they are, "too expensive". Others will spend money on a house, but never a car. People are interesting

AGBF



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 07-14-01 , 12:32 PM


I see what everyone is saying...the thing is he will be able to afford it in a few years.
I just care about this ring, not all jewelry in general.
I guess I'm just exloring the injustice between lucky women with boyfriends who really want to make them happy with a ring and splurge, and mine, who wants to make me happy, but thinks the ring is insignificant.
I am really willing to wear a simulant for a while while he saves up, because I agree that at this stage it would be foolish to spend that kind of money. But I think I would deserve it years down the line!
Melissa

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 07-14-01 , 12:37 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by MelissaCT
I see what everyone is saying...
(snip)
I guess I'm just exloring the injustice between lucky women with boyfriends who really want to make them happy with a ring and splurge, and mine, who wants to make me happy, but thinks the ring is insignificant.
(more snippage)
Melissa


I hear you. I am constantly amazed at the men who come in here ready to spend thousands on a diamond. That was not my experience, either

AGBF

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Even more fascinating
Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 07-14-01 , 12:38 PM


Are the people who keep their garages full of useless stuff, probably worth $500.00, while their $25,000.00 vehicle sits in the driveway in the rain, hail, and snow .

Seriously though, I think that not enough engaged couples talk about money. In fact, I think that a lot (I'd say 50%) avoid talking about things during their engagement because they think that once they're married their differences are going to dissolve and love will conquer all. But in reality, it's the marriages that dissolve.

Seriously, we almost broke up over the ring issue. It wasn't until we got everyone on the table that we realized that we could have both the ring and the house, and most importantly, how we were both so attached to the thing that we wanted that we were almost willing to sacrifice our relationship . It was awful. But that negotiation was one of the best things we've ever done.

Now if only the stock market would rise a little so we can cash in some nice, fat stock options .

Shelby

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Looks like you're on the right track!
Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 07-14-01 , 12:42 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by MelissaCT
I see what everyone is saying...the thing is he will be able to afford it in a few years.
I just care about this ring, not all jewelry in general.
I guess I'm just exloring the injustice between lucky women with boyfriends who really want to make them happy with a ring and splurge, and mine, who wants to make me happy, but thinks the ring is insignificant.
I am really willing to wear a simulant for a while while he saves up, because I agree that at this stage it would be foolish to spend that kind of money. But I think I would deserve it years down the line!
Melissa


Melissa,
It looks like you're already ready to compromise then--that's great. And you totally deserve the diamond of your dreams when you can afford it! I would be really upfront with him about all of this, and make it clear that while it's an important thing to you, for *right now* you're willing to compromise so that the money can go to a house, but that you're not compromising the way that you feel on this issue.

Good luck!
Shelby

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The generous man myth
Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 07-14-01 , 12:53 PM


I dated one of those buy anything to make me happy generous men. He drove a great car, took me out to fantastic dinners and to the theater, and it was so much fun! But it stopped being fun really quickly when I had to pay his utility bill (more than once!) because he 'ran out' of money for the month, and it was really, really not fun when his phone was disconnected because he couldn't pay his $500.00 phone bill.

Generous men are fantastic if they have the income to support that. But if they don't, they change from being generous to irresponsible.

And one of the most irresponsible things to do is to buy a very expensive ring and put it on a credit card with no plan for paying it off. Letting things 'ride' on a credit card is very dangerous and very, very expensive, particularly when you're talking about upwards of $5,000.00.

It's really romantic to have a guy buy you *anything* you want, but after you get married you're both going to have to work a lot of overtime to pay it off, and you're both going to pay the price. Getting married isn't a clean slate--it's taking your financial history, including your debts, with you. Believe me, I am really learning this the hard way.

What is truly romantic is the guy who plans ahead and saves as much as he can so that he can buy the ring outright and not owe anyone. It's a smart woman who contributes some of her own money to the ring if it means that they won't be in debt when they get married.

I suspect that a lot of the women who come on here with 'unlimited budgets' are going to be collectively paying off the credit cards or loans for years to come.

Shelby

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 07-14-01 , 01:25 PM


Hear Hear Shelby,

I was almost a victim of that same irresponsibility. And forgive me MelissaCT if I come across as being harsh, but I will be damned if you really think a woman is any luckier because a guy spent more money on her ring. That just rubs me the wrong way, you should be in love, a piece of metal with a type of glass on it does not improve your lifestyle, a house does. No it is not the same thing, you don't have to buy a bigger house for status, any house is pretty expensive really. The difference is it provide's shelter, one of life's basic neccessities. The man that saved all his money so he wasn't in debt and could afford the ring and the house, kudo's to him, he deserves them. But in my world, I have yet to meet a guy like this, (at least one that had any fun when he was a bachelor).

I guess what I am trying to say is that yes, a ring is important as a symbol, and it is great you are prepared to wait till later for it (If that is in fact what you were implying). But funny enough I just finished doing what shelby mentioned about sitting down and going over finances. It is a damn good thing I didn't splurge

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies, give the guys a break, 2 ct's?? grrr, where is his $30,000 stock portfolio, car or stereo system your buying him for an engagement present? ( That's a pretty good symbol ;-p) At the very least I agree with the idea of putting in some of your cash towards getting the ring you want if it is more then some pre-determined amount.

Say for example, your fiancee can afford 10k, but you want the 1.5ct min? Then start saving honey ;-p after your married it's your debt too

I may have sold my soul, so I guess I already am damned

~ Faust ~

<Edited to correct spelling and after Marvin's post below - Now there is a man that knows priorites - Family before status>

[Edited by Faust on 07-14-01 at 01:34 PM]

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Woman buying her own engagement ring?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 07-14-01 , 01:29 PM


It seems funny seeing people talking about marrige in diamonds and houses.

As a 66 year old man ,that came to this country with nothing,we talked about family.How we were going to get food on the table.Times have rally changed for some people.

Wonder how other countries view their standards of living,we seem to be in a dream world in the U.S.

There are so may people that are just happy to have a GOOD partner.I put my money on Family and relationship,rings ,houses may come next.

Marvin


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 07-14-01 , 01:38 PM


Shelby, I think you've given fantastic advice. If you can communicate and negotiate effectively on these sorts of things now, I think chances are pretty good a marriage will be solid. As you've said so well, I'd be thinking in terms of what you an afford now given your resources at hand also in context of your shorter term goals. Then you can look forward to an anniversary five or ten years down the road for something more extravagant.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 07-14-01 , 01:38 PM


I just want to clarify and say that I was not *judging* by saying the desires sound materialistic...just stating that the desire for expensive stuff is in and of itself materialistic. So is the desire for shelter beyond what is necessary. I'm not making judgments about being materialistic-- most of us are about something!

I agree with too much of what Shelby says to go over it point by point...your lessons are very valuable Shelby!

Anyway, back to Melissa-- I'm totally confused. You are talking about a ring that will cost from $15,000 to $22,000. Wanting to spend less for a diamond that is smaller or of less quality is not the same thing as thinking that the ring is insignificant. It seems to me that most of the guys who come here wanting to give their ladies a beautiful ring are talking about spending less than half of what you are considering.

I assumed when you said in your first post that you would have to buy the ring yourself to get it, that you could afford to do just that -- without going into debt. I don't see anything wrong with that. It would allow your fiance to concentrate resources on the things that he thinks are important. To me that's no different than pooling your resources to buy all the same things (ring, house, etc.)

Maria

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 07-14-01 , 02:00 PM


>>The man that saved all his money so he wasn't in debt and could afford the ring and the house, kudo's to him, he deserves them. But in my world, I have yet to meet a guy like this, (at least one that had any fun when he was a bachelor). <<

Faust, are you referring to my brother? I can assure you, the man never had what we would consider fun as a bachelor! His idea of fun was saving for that house. But, he'll be retiring at 50...

I also wonder how many women would be willing to spend $20K on an engagement gift for their guy. Does that mean they love them any less or the guy is any less "lucky?"

The thing with "the ring" though is that most of us (OK I'll say it) spoiled American women have had a preconceived notion of what ours would be since we were kids. We just want what we want and we know we'll be looking at it every day for the rest of our lives.

BTW Shelby, that $50K for the down payment was in 1980. It was more than 50% down at the time! (sigh, he was the saver in our family, not me...)

Maria

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 07-14-01 , 02:03 PM


Faust,

You said it!!!!!!!!! I agree with you totally! I am "lucky". My girlfriend does not want a big ring. She could care less about jewelry! What we have talked about is when we are engaged/married, what di we want? IT came down to four things.

1. A house is a good school district. Not the biggest/best house, but a good area.
2. Money for future children's education.
3. Money to live on, save and invest.
4. Toys for us when it is deserved.

I am 25 years old and I live in an area of Seattle (the Eastside) that is commonly know as very affluent. I can not tell you how many of my friends are going broke trying to meet the DEMANDS of their girlfriends. 2.00ct is the STARTING point for these women. I can't complain, I am supplying the diamonds for these rings, but it really gets me that these women DEMAND these rings or no chance of getting married. I will still get my girlfriend a great ring (.75ct) and I know she will be VERY happy with it.

It is just a matter of priorities.



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WHOA!!!! I have to weigh in here....
Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 07-14-01 , 03:02 PM


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by MelissaCT
I see what everyone is saying...the thing is he will be able to afford it in a few years.
I just care about this ring, not all jewelry in general.
I guess I'm just exloring the injustice between lucky women with boyfriends who really want to make them happy with a ring and splurge, and mine, who wants to make me happy, but thinks the ring is insignificant.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


WHOA! I agree with Faust. A lucky woman is one with a boyfriend who is willing to splurge and buy a huge ring? Injustice/Unlucky is defined when a woman's boyfriend won't????? Oh my.

Doesn't sound like you are getting started on the right foot...

My husband got me a 1/2 carat princess with 2 small trillions 7 years ago. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on.....I love it SO much that even though I could easily afford to replace it with a diamond 10 times as expensive, now... It is STILL the most beautiful thing I have laid my eyes on...

It sounds like you are saying...."What he can offer isn't good enough for me"...Why not go in 50/50 and work in that price range...Someone on this board will give you a great deal on a beautiful piece of jewelry and everyone (namely you) will have saved some face.

Just my humble, but outspoken opinion....



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 07-14-01 , 03:54 PM


MelissaCT,

Is there any colored stone you like, such as ruby or sapphire? A good solitaire of these stones are less expensive than your dream engagement ring. Plus, you can have nice diamond accents on these rings, too. In my opinion, a nice ruby or sapphire ring makes an excellent engagement ring. Plus, it's more unique.

When you and your boyfriend are married, he can save up money to gift you with your dream ring as an anniverary present someday. Like some people said, let him know how important it is to you to receive a nice diamond ring from him, and how it will make you happy.

Personally, I don't think you're materialistic. You want something that happens to be very expensive. You have expensive taste. ^_^

There's a time and place for everything. Right now, due to circumstances, it's not the right time to purchase your ring. But someday, it will. Chances are, you will appreciate your dream ring more than women who received it from the beginning because you waited and sacrificed.

Sit down and talk your boyfriend about you feelings, and compromise with him. This can be a win-win situation.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 07-14-01 , 04:03 PM


Melissa, I'm glad you're willing to have a simulant for a few years. That seems to be the ideal compromise. I do think it's important for a woman to be happy with something she'll be wearing for the rest of her life, but we can't always have perfection.

Shelby's posts are right on. Until you know how much you can spend you don't really know what the both of you can get.

A couple more things, so I'll just take them one at a time.

For me, an engagement ring is symbolic of something infinitely more important than a diamond. So, no, I would never pay for my own engagement ring.

That said, I have to agree with Faust and your boyfriend. I don't know what your situation is---whether he's thinking about the difference between a decent house and a spectacular house or just the difference between renting or buying. If the later, when you think about it in terms of how Faust put it---as the basic necessity of shelter---then you can see why a large diamond pales in comparison.

As to "exloring the injustice between lucky women with boyfriends who really want to make them happy with a ring and splurge." Well, if your boyfriend is Donald Trump or Bill Gates, then we have injustice indeed. Otherwise, I think you're being a little unfair to expect your boyfriend to possibly go massively into debt to pay for a rock. I love diamonds, which is why this forum fascinates me, but at the end of the day, it's still a rock. Yes, some women are lucky to marry rich men. I think, though, it is luckier when a woman is able to marry a hardworking, honest man who loves her enough to work at creating a stable, lifelong marriage.

As Shelby said, right now you're thinking it's his money. It's not. Whatever money he has and whatever debt he incurs will be yours. Since we're talking about what amounts to many thousands of dollars here, what he spends now will make the difference later as to how many vacations you can take, how many children you can afford to have down the line, how much you can splurge on groceries and clothes, whether you should fix the roof or the furnace first, etc.

When my fiance inherited some money, his first thought was that now he could afford to buy me a nice engagement ring. Well, we sat down, like Shelby, and first discussed our long-term plans and figured out what we needed to invest and what we could spend. We got a good sense of what would be a reasonable amount to pay for my ring and not jeopardize our chances for a nice wedding or our honeymoon---or the future down payment for a house. I think it's easy to become myopic in the first heady days when you're thinking about getting married. When you think about the difference between what $1000 or what $5000 can buy things move into perspective.





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Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 07-14-01 , 04:21 PM


>>Well, if your boyfriend is Donald Trump or Bill Gates, then we have injustice indeed. <<

Really? Well what if he's not *that* rich but maybe just a six figure executive that could certainly afford a $20K ring but doesn't think that much money should be spent on a rock. Does that kind of guy still owe his fiancee a 2 carat ring if she wants it? If he doesn't want to, that's an injustice?Are we buying into the DeBeers two month's salary marketing nonsense?

On the other hand, what if the WOMAN is a six figure exec who falls in love with a poor struggling artist but always wanted a 2 carat sparkly engagement ring? Must she dump her sweetie for someone else? Why can't she just use HER money (which will soon be THEIR money) to buy the engagement ring?

I don't get it.

Maria

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 07-14-01 , 04:22 PM


MelissaCT,

Ooops, I forgot to answer your main question.

My answer is "no." In my opinion, a woman should not buy her own engagement ring. This completely undermines the idea and tradition behind the engagement ring. Like you said, if you buy your own engagement ring, it's not an engagement ring.

Actually, I sympathize in your situation. It's hard not to receive what you set your heart on, but like I said, you and your boyfriend can work this out. Compromise, but do not back down. ^_^

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 07-14-01 , 04:23 PM


Hi Marvin,
Good to see you back! I have to say that your post made sense to me. Our country is truly blessed. Our Junior high kids from my Sunday School class,just came back from a mission trip from Mexico.
They mentioned how much the trip had changed their values. Especially when they had seen a whole family of 5 on a bicycle.

Jan



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