I was listening to the radio this morning on the way to drop off Olivia for school, and there was a caller who had called in to see if she was “in the right” on a particular situation. The caller stated she’d been proposed to by her boyfriend and she accepted. Later during dinner, he told her it was a cubic zirconia stone and he’d have it replaced as soon as he could save for a real diamond. She then turned down the engagement because she “couldn’t take a fake ring to her mom”. She says they are still dating, but she won’t get engaged until she gets a “real ring”.
Needless to say, this touched off a long debate with other listeners and it made me think a bit. Personally, the engagement or wedding I want isn’t about show..it’s about a commitment. Whether it’s in a church with a pastor or in a park with a justice of the peace, it’s still the same to me. I want to look back and remember that the special day was about friends and family knowing I committed myself to a woman (and she committed herself to me) because of the love we share. When I look back in my elder years, I won’t remember what food was served, what the decorations looked like, how much it cost, or how fancy the table settings were..I’ll just remember the woman I married, standing in front of me as I made my vows.
To think that material things like the stone in a ring or the designer name on a dress, or the elegance of the decoration at the church could have any impact on someone loving me for the rest of my life is a frustrating thing. I would hate to think that the reason I was marrying someone was because she “approved” of the ring and wedding expense. I don’t care how much her parents (or mine, for that matter) paid to help offset things, it would still seem superficial to me. Now, I know there are women out there that want the wedding they’ve dreamed of since childhood, but to them I’d ask, is your dream wedding about show or about substance? If it’s about show, I’d ask that when your second wedding comes around, you think about substance, because that’s where you’ll find long term happiness. The whole “loving someone through sickness and health until death do you part-thing” is a serious matter and isn’t void if married life isn’t as glamorous as you’d like it to be. You’ll most likely face financial troubles, health issues, changing poopy baby diapers with little to no sleep, house repairs, small quarrels about stupid things, and you’ll realize that you’re different than when you were younger…this is all before you hit 40.
Marriage isn’t about money, glamour, or social status. It’s just as much about love, commitment, honesty and understanding as it is about personal growth, love and teamwork. If you don’t understand and accept this now, you’ll never be happy in marriage, no matter how much you spend on it.