How I Got Engaged To Myself
I figured I’m the only one I can trust with that level of commitment.
I bought myself a very expensive, beautiful ring right before Thanksgiving. After leaving my storage place where I keep the twenty dollar bills I receive every month for a rental property, I went to the local jeweler to get a watch battery replaced. I was on my way out of the store when some pieces in the case caught my eye. They were bright blue, sparkling gems set in a pendant and a ring with diamonds.
I wondered if they were rare Tanzanites. I asked the clerk if I could try on the ring. She took it out of the case and read the tag. It was a Tanzanite stone, and the price was $7,000.
I tried on the ring and it fit me perfectly. I knew the price was just the “sticker price”, but still. I remembered the twenty dollar bills sitting there doing nothing other than waiting to be turned into something useful or enjoyable. I had put them away for an emergency. They were also there to be used for extravagances I don’t wish to appear on my credit cards. This ring certainly fell into that category.
The owner of the shop whom I’ve known for 25 years was not in. I knew I would have to negotiate the price with him if I decided I wanted the ring. I still had the key in my purse for access to the twenty dollar bills. In theory, I could go get 350 twenty dollar bills and take the ring home that day.
Because I have limited use of my left hand from a stroke 20 years ago, counting large stacks of bills is not my strong suit.
Rich girl problems.
I didn’t want to ask anyone for help counting the money because this was to be a secret gift to myself. I decided to think about it until the next day when I could see the shop owner for the real price of the ring. I had to go back to pick up my watch anyway.
For so many years of being in a relationship with my estranged husband, getting a gift like this was from him and was about him showing me what a great gift giver he was. Now, I had a chance to show myself I could buy my own gifts that were about making me feel good about what I was doing with my own money. Having money of my own I could spend freely was a new concept because since we became separated my husband was required to share the rent we receive in cash each month with me equally as opposed to investing it jointly.
I got my watch the next day from the shop owner. I told him about how the Tanzanite ring in the case fit me so well that maybe I was supposed to have it. Bob went to the case and brought the ring to me to try on again. I loved it as much as I had the day before. He did some calculations on a calculator which he then turned around for me to look at the number. He told me about the details of the ring. He had bought it years ago from another jeweler who had custom made it for a client who ended up not buying it for some reason.
Today the price was $4,200. I asked Bob if that was the Christmas sale price. He said the Christmas sale would only be 30% off. Now I would only have to count 210 twenty dollar bills.
This was too much fun to not do it.
I went back to the pile of twenties and took a deep breath. I had to count them with one hand and it had to be accurate. I started to make piles of $100 then got confused and discouraged. I knew the proper thing to do was count it three times to make sure it was correct.
I left with what I believed was $4,300 in twenties. The stack was about two inches tall. I managed to get rubber bands around the stack.
I decided to drive through the bank to change them into one hundred dollar bills to avoid looking like a petty drug dealer when I paid for a $4,200 ring in twenty dollar bills.
The teller told me I had $3640 and wanted to know if I wanted the extra $40 back in twenties. Shit. I told the teller I thought I had $4300. He assured me they had counted it three times.
I knew they counted it right and I had made the mistake. They were counting with two hands. I told the teller that would be fine.
I didn’t have the will to go back to the stack of twenties and count another 28 bills and risk making another mistake. I went home and wrote a check instead and cashed it at the drive through window where I knew it would be counted properly.
Now I had two envelopes from the bank: $3640 in hundreds and twenties and another $560 in hundreds and twenties.
I drove across the bank parking lot to the jeweler. I was having fun even if I was a little frustrated with my lack of motor skills.
I told Bob I had checked my piggy bank and I had enough to buy the ring. He counted the money with both hands and commented on the weird amounts in two envelopes. I told him it was a long story related to one handed money counting. He understood because he has known me a long time.
I asked him to gift wrap the ring rather than wearing it out of the store. He used shiny red Christmas wrapping paper and put a red bow on top of the package. He gave me an appraisal to use for insurance purposes along with a receipt.
I went home and hid the package after calling my insurance company. It felt right to treat myself so well.
I debated when it would be the right time to unwrap my present. I knew I couldn’t wait until Christmas. I decided on Thanksgiving Day when my estranged husband and the rest of my family would be here along with my boyfriend.
Amid the food preparation frenzy in my kitchen on Thanksgiving, I told my family I had bought myself a present. I had mentioned the scheme to my mother and my boyfriend.
My estranged husband was a little shocked to see I had bought something so nice and so expensive without any input from him. He asked me how much it was. I just said it was a few months rent.
When my mother saw it, her comment was “Did you get engaged to yourself?”
Yes, Mom. I got engaged to myself. I don’t expect to meet anyone who will love me forever and remain as committed to my happiness as I will. I had plenty of fine jewelry including rings, but this ring was important because it gave me a sense of independence and a true feeling of self love and care.
I don’t like to give an appearance of being engaged as I consider myself officially single and wouldn’t want to put anyone off who would be interested by a ring.
However, being engaged to myself means something very different than if a man had bought the engagement ring for me. It’s more of a symbol of my commitment to my own happiness and well being. It felt empowering to do this. No man required.
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