Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I need a math tutor/want a diamond ring/survey says ...

Proof of why I am not a math teacher. In reference to yesterday's post ... It seemed too good to be true, to be able to purchase a diamond ring for just a penny and a half a day. (That Tivol's salesclerk is a tricky one.) So I sat down with a calculator and crunched some numbers: it would have to be one dollar and fifty cents a day, every day for one year, times 25 years, well, only then would I have the amount needed to purchase the ring I am currently coveting.
Actually, I am torn on the idea of spending thousands of dollars on a piece of jewelry that could get lost in the garden come tulip planting time. There's guilt to consider, too. Six houses in our neighborhood have gone into foreclosure in the last three weeks. That kind of money could help keep people in their homes. But, wait, Kate, is that your responsibility?
Readers, I'd like your opinion: Should I or shouldn't I desire from the spousal unit a 25th anniversary diamond ring? Am I asking too much?
Consider our history: Married in 1985. We were poor college students. Didn't have two nickels to rub together. Put our $250 worth of simple gold bands on layaway. Fast forward to first anniversary. Still poor. Within six years we had three babies. Still poor! Fast forward to tenth anniversary. Ah, finally some cashage. Not a lot, though. And even though we had debt (house buying/car buying/student loan repayments), it was then, in 1995, that I first approached Spousal Unit about desiring a diamond ring. At the time, appliances in our house were having nervous breakdowns; therefore, instead of a ring we purchased a new dishwasher, matching washer/dryer and a side-by-side refrigerator with an ice and water dispenser on the outside. Very cool at the time, BTW. Looking at that beige behemoth in my kitchen, I felt that we'd made it in the world. Oh, such is youth.
Year 2000: The world survived the Y2K paranoia. Again I asked for a ring. Cut out pictures of the style I wanted and taped them to Husband's bathroom mirror. Still no ring. Spouse thought paying for the kids' college educations took financial precedence.
And now, 23 years into my marriage, here I sit at my computer, the simple gold layaway band on my hand. I value its presence; it's been with me more than half my life. We've washed 2.3 million dishes together, changed 673,000 diapers, and mixed 1,020 meatloaves. Still, I desire the platinum Michael Beaudry Ballerina ring. My Catholic guilt tells me I should be giving alms to the poor and to forget about material desires, which can only lead me down a path to eternal hell and suffering and a great gnashing of teeth.
My 25th anniversary is 21 months away, which gives Husband plenty of preparation time.
Am I being selfish? Too materialistic?

1 comment:

Bee said...

Actually even $1.50 a day is a darn reasonable wage. I really do think that you should have a beautiful ring if you have secretly (or openly) always craved one. I have a stonking great ring (sapphire surrounded by diamonds), and it is beautiful and I love it. (And probably, in my darker moments, I do see it as evidence that my husband "values" me.)

I think that you should have some kind of beautiful ring -- definitely. But is there a middle path? Is there a beautiful ring that is maybe half that price? Something between a symbol of 25 years of marriage (and I know what kind of accomplishment that is) and the guilt caused by foreclosed homes.?