August 30th, 2005


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05:20 pm - modern day ettiquette...
So a question for the ladies, and for the guys too, I suppose:

so at lunch with a female coworker I had a discussion about how much engagement rings should cost. I wondered if it was still important to have an engagement ring cost 2 months salary. Without getting too personal, I'm just going to say that beststephi's is cheaper than that. On the other hand, apparently its pretty common practice for a woman to know what her engagement rings costs and to tell all her friends (the coworker knew the value of the rings of several other women in the office).

Now see me, I'm of a different mindset. I can't imagine having two months salary on my finger or that of my wife. I had this same conversation with people on zephyr a while back and they all said "oh, its no big deal, its insured." But see I personally don't really like to walk around with more than $100 cash on me at any given time (and usually I try to keep it down at $40 or below). I grew up somewhere that people get shot dead for their shoes. If someone is walking around with 10Gs or whatever on their finger, well, I'm a civilized person, but I might just bust a cap in your ass. That's all I'm saying. Again, its not even the insurance. Its the danger. I don't want Steph to get shot for a ring. Even if the mugging didn't involve violent harm, it just seems like it would be unnecessary and without any real gain.

Now there's a difference of course. If you're a world famous rapper, you and can afford an entoruage, then sure. But see that means you have someone to shoot at people before they shoot you. So maybe that's the answer, maybe if you're wearing that much bling you need to be strapped.

So that's the question: Should engagement rings be expensive or is that a remnant of a time when 1 month's salary was $20. Do you care that the ring is that expensive? Do you worry about the responsibility and danger of wearing something that expensive? Would you wear it all the time, or just out? Or would you rather have a new car instead?

Current Mood: [mood icon] curious

(128 comments | Leave a comment)

 
modern day ettiquette... - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


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[User Picture]From: jacquez Date: August 30th, 2005 - 09:30 pm (Link)
*looks at car*

*looks at left hand*

I think you know my answer to that.

And the downpayment on the car was much less than two months' salary.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:37 pm (Link)
hmmm... well, I can't see your car or your hand, so I actually don't know. I can guess. I can actually guess for most people reading this. But I don't really know for sure. Hence my asking.
From: jacquez Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:53 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:19 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: bk2w Date: August 30th, 2005 - 09:37 pm (Link)
Counter-point: two months' salary has always been valuable, whether it be $20 or $20,000. It's still a lot of value.

That said, I'm pretty convinced that the "two months' pay" thing is purely a fabrication of DeBeers to sell diamonds. Right alongside hyping diamonds as an investment vehicle, and arranging for "appraisals" that indicate twice the paid price (which taken together interstingly kills most any kind of aftermarket for diamond).

But aside from the diamond question, I dislike jewelry that is that significantly more expensive than what one normally interacts with. It's difficult to wear it comfortably because you're frequently very aware of how much money is tied up in the object, and the comparative risk of danger.

While I may end up getting ring of some kind as an engagement gift, I find I prefer more useable engagement gifts, like Red's PT Cruiser. But I'm very unlikely to get a $20k ring for any occasion.
[User Picture]From: apestyle Date: August 30th, 2005 - 09:42 pm (Link)
Whoa. You make $20k in two months?!
Dude.
From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:46 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:44 pm (Link)
From: bk2w Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:57 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:23 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: jetgrrl01 Date: August 30th, 2005 - 09:41 pm (Link)
Mine's much less, and that doesn't bother me one bit. Mostly I like mine because it's different, not a typical ring, not a big rock, and much more "me". The fact that it's also not something I need to worry about daily is a bonus. I did freak out over almost losing it in an airport once, but that was totally sentimental value, not monetary. I guess I feel a twinge every once in a while wishing that it was more than a few hundred because of that whole society pressure thing, but it's not something I feel very badly about or think less of J for. I mean, he bought it for me when he wasn't even working, so less expensive was very smart.

However, my friend's law school buddies (read: prissy, spoiled, rich) would totally freak if it wasn't a diamond and it wasn't HUGE. There are still people who feel that way. Just glad it's not MY people. :)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:49 pm (Link)
heh, I bought steph's when I was unemployed too, I think. Hard to remember. Yeah, I expect most people I know (or who bother to read me here anyway) are gonna fall in the more practical camp. But there are enough people I know who feel the other way, that i decided it was worth asking the question. I'm hoping one of them answers soon. I want to know the thought process.
[User Picture]From: princessgeek Date: August 30th, 2005 - 09:48 pm (Link)
The two month's salary thing is as much a fabrication by the diamond industry as Secretary's Day is a fabrication by Hallmark. Few people these days can afford to spend that on a diamond. Most women wouldn't want one that big. I also tend to think that if a woman requires a "two month salary" ring to get married, there are other issues. *cough*golddigger*cough*
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:51 pm (Link)
Listening to Kanye West?

It depends on who you ask. I'm sure in a fair survey, you'd be surprised at how many people want, if not a 2 month salary ring, one that is "expensive enough to be nice." I mean, with me I think the asking is about a billion times more important. But hey.

That said, its totally unfair that steph didn't buy me one as well.
From: marmal8 Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:34 pm (Link)
From: jacquez Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:56 pm (Link)
From: nlanza Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:07 am (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:18 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:25 am (Link)
From: mistergone Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:49 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 01:51 pm (Link)
From: mistergone Date: August 31st, 2005 - 02:26 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 02:44 pm (Link)
From: mistergone Date: August 31st, 2005 - 02:57 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:40 pm (Link)
From: mistergone Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:47 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:49 pm (Link)
From: mistergone Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:52 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: August 30th, 2005 - 09:52 pm (Link)
I thought it was only one month's salary. But I know how much I take home in a month, and I wouldn't want to walk around with something worth that much, or twice that much, anywhere on my body. And I don't even make that much per month.

I don't actually care for bigass diamonds, or bigass any stone. I really like sundaygray's ring because it's so different and suits her and it's not flashy. I kind of hate all the gals my age at work with their diamonds and their endless wedding/husband talk. I wouldn't want to associate myself with that way of being, and I take the ring into account. Maybe it's just the bitter talking. Everyone has big diamonds because it's tradition. But is the traditional thing the best thing for you? Only you know the answer.

On related note, I said a while ago (to myself) that I don't want to go to any more weddings because they're all the same, but I'd make an exception for Mav because he knows how to throw a good party.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:55 pm (Link)
See, finally someone who shares my opinion. If you were making High School student money, that' d be different. A couple hundred in jewelry would make me a little nervouse but its not that big a deal. Walking around with THOUSANDS of dollars on you just seems stupid.
From: marmal8 Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:30 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:27 am (Link)
From: sundaygray Date: August 31st, 2005 - 02:52 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:31 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: kissmary Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:16 pm (Link)
I wanted something smaller, so that meant something less expensive. And I'm happy with what I have. I think a bigger ring would get caught on things, because my smaller one already does (like towels, pockets, etc.).
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:55 pm (Link)
yeah, I didn't really get into that, but that's another issue. Steph wouldn't have wanted a huge ring. She seems quite content with the one that she has.
[User Picture]From: jameel Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:17 pm (Link)
Man, fuck a diamond. Find something with a nice stone that she likes. DeBeers can kiss my ass. Hell, do what I'm planning on doing if I ever get married and consult citgirl on the stone and setting. She's really good.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 02:57 am (Link)
oh, I bought steph a ring almost 2 years ago. I wasn't looking for advice for my personal needs. Just looking to see what general opinions were, even though I knew the sampling was quite skewed just based on my general readership.
From: citgirl Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:41 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:31 am (Link)
From: citgirl Date: August 31st, 2005 - 08:41 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: katieboyd Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:24 pm (Link)
Thing is, if you're asking someone to marry you, you should know that person well enough to know what kind of jewelry/other sort of symbolic token of the engagement they might like or not like. Standards only exist to make things easier. Some things shouldn't be made easier.

My opinion on the receiver of the ring knowing the cost is much like any other present. All price tags should be removed and specific numbers never mentioned. However, sometimes ball park figures are obvious. Once can tell the difference between expensive and cheap, and if something seems cheap, well, it doesn't show a lot for representing how much you value the person you're giving it to. And cheap/expensive is in the mind of the beholder, and we're back to knowing the givee pretty well.

I do think your fear of mugging is rather silly, and possibly contrived. No excuse is necessary if it's something she'll appreciate.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:01 pm (Link)
I think its an upbringing thing. You think its silly because you probably grew up somewhere where people didn't get mugged as much. I wasn't kidding. People get shot over $100 shoes. I know people who'd seriously consider taking your hand off for a $10K rock. Hell, if I were a crack fiend I'd do it. Batman's parents were killed over a wallet and a strand of pearls. So I don't think its really that irrational. I mean, my fear of riding buses because I don't want to be kidnapped. That's irrational. But even that's justifiable once you realize its happened to me. It just doesn't happen that often. People get mugged all the time. Big expensive rock == target!
From: katieboyd Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:25 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:37 am (Link)
From: anisodragnfly Date: August 31st, 2005 - 09:07 pm (Link)
From: katieboyd Date: August 31st, 2005 - 09:51 pm (Link)
From: katieboyd Date: August 31st, 2005 - 10:13 pm (Link)
From: citgirl Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:53 am (Link)
From: jameel Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:13 pm (Link)
From: katieboyd Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:31 pm (Link)
From: katieboyd Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:42 pm (Link)
From: jameel Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:45 pm (Link)
From: katieboyd Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:00 am (Link)
From: jameel Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:26 am (Link)
From: katieboyd Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:34 am (Link)
From: jameel Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:39 am (Link)
From: duckmonster Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:43 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:40 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: katharos Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:32 pm (Link)
Jesse cast my ring himself. The coolness of that far outweighs anything worth a months salary.

And yah, I'd be terrified to walk around wearing something worth that much. Good grief. But then I'm a real person. I walk down the street, and I take public transportation when it's convenient. I dig in the dirt with my fingers and I ride a bicycle to work. None of these things fit with 10k rings.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:05 pm (Link)
Yeah, that's definitely cool.

yeah, I think that lifestyle is going to effect people's opinions here to an extent. But really, Steph works in an office at CMU. She drives to work every day and types on a computer and reads in a library. And I'd still be terrified for her to have her walking around with that kinda value on her person.
From: zombiesrah Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:06 pm (Link)
From: zombiesrah Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:35 pm (Link)
Yikes. I'd feel horrendously guilty if someone ever spent that much on me, especially for a rock and scrap of metal that does... what? Nothing useful, and would probably just catch on stuff. And I'd be forever paranoid of losing it, insurance or not

I'd rather have some just of just-metal band (I picked my college class ring to be stone-less... I just don't like stones in rings, and I especially don't care for diamonds. I like color, and diamonds always looked kinda boring to me). Or nothing at all. I'd be just fine with a complete lack of ring... it's the person and relationship that matters, not the shinies. :)
From: zombiesrah Date: August 30th, 2005 - 10:36 pm (Link)
That's a lot of "justs" in the second paragraph. I blame a long week (already). And the first "just" should be "sort", anyway. My brain is gone.
From: jameel Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:15 pm (Link)
From: zombiesrah Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:18 pm (Link)
From: raia Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:18 pm (Link)
From: zombiesrah Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:24 pm (Link)
From: citgirl Date: August 31st, 2005 - 08:51 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:43 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:02 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: zare_k Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:04 pm (Link)
I'd definitely rather have a new car than a huge diamond ring. What kind of silly question is that :p
In any case, aside from a big hunk of diamond on my finger being way, way too femme for me, I don't want one for myself and won't be buying one for my girlfriend for a number of reasons. I think the DeBeers cartel is kind of shady. I don't want to fund conflict diamonds. Someone else noted the low resale value of diamonds, and I don't feel comfortable about the risks involved with carrying something that expensive out in the open on my hand.
It's not the expense per se that I object to so much as that a big diamond ring really doesn't have much utility for me. It's shiny, sure, but it doesn't do anything useful (and there are other stones I like better anyway). I don't value it as an expression of love or esteem and it doesn't say anything special about our relationship-- a simple band says the same thing just as well. I'd spend 2 months salary on a really nice vacation for us before I'd spend it on a diamond ring.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:24 am (Link)
I'm sure sui66iy will probably rant about the DeBeers cartel too.

I wish I had a more diverse readership. I mean, I know its my "fault" given the people I associate with and the way I write here, but I really do want to hear some justification for why having an expensive ring is important, and I assure you there are a whole lot of people who do feel that an expensive ring in necessary. I wish I had a more representative sampling.
[User Picture]From: limpingpigeon Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:04 pm (Link)
I'm not big on engagement rings, really. Of course, I don't think engagement rings have been a big thing in my family, really. It would be nice to wear a wedding ring, for symbolic reasons, but the engagement ring isn't a big deal to me

Now, a brand new shiny engagement iBook (or similarly nice laptop) would be another story... :)
From: zombiesrah Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:08 pm (Link)
Oooh. I like your taste. I'd probably take a new shiny Vaio over an iBook, but otherwise I'm completely with you there. ;)
From: dariaphoebe Date: August 31st, 2005 - 12:36 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:27 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: sexyhockihoochi Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:12 pm (Link)

Just my opinion...

To most girls (myself included), the 2 month salary thing is a little extreme. Personally, the cost isn't the issue...the issue is whether the man knows me well enough to know what I would like (as in I hate gold gold, but LOVE white gold). My bestfriend, Beth, looks at rings all the time. I would say that probably a good figure is $300-$500, but I haven't looked at any rings, so that's not helpful. If I had an engagement ring, I would wear it all the time, just like you wear a wedding band all the time...but since that won't happen within the next 10 years, I'm not worried about the whole getting caught on things. lol

Actually, my roommate from freshmen year in college picked out a $7500 engagement ring. In my opinion, that's WAY over the top, but some girls never have to worry about money the way I do.

I'd rather have a $500 ring and the rest be used to pay off college loans! lol.

Hope this helps ya a bit!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:34 am (Link)

Re: Just my opinion...

ooh! engagement loan paying off would be awesome! Or engagement tuition!

Yeah, see $7500 is getting up towards where I was talking about. Also, if you want to go diamond, $500 buys you a lot less ring than you probably think it does. But I don't think it should have to be diamond. $500 can buy an extremely nice ring that's not diamond.
From: sexyhockihoochi Date: August 31st, 2005 - 11:04 am (Link)

Re: Just my opinion...

From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 02:51 pm (Link)

Re: Just my opinion...

From: sexyhockihoochi Date: August 31st, 2005 - 05:08 pm (Link)

Re: Just my opinion...

From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 05:18 pm (Link)

Re: Just my opinion...

From: sexyhockihoochi Date: August 31st, 2005 - 07:58 pm (Link)

Re: Just my opinion...

From: ludimagist Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:18 pm (Link)
I can't speak for myself on this as I don't wear an engagement ring and am not engaged (the_snoo, though she is kind of a wife, has not proposed to make anything official, even though we technically could get married in MA).

But...

My older sister is married, with a really nice ring that she is really happy about, but she will not set foot on the streets of Rio with it on her finger. One of the things that she likes about visiting the family is being able to wear her ring in public.

I don't know the value of the ring or anything, but where she lives people don't wear jewelery at all. It's not her neighborhood, it's Brazil in general.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:36 am (Link)
so you're saying she does care about having the really nice ring, but just doesn't wear it out of fear?
From: ludimagist Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:41 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 04:46 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: thwomp Date: August 30th, 2005 - 11:33 pm (Link)
We paid more for my engagement ring that we paid for the Comanche. That's not saying much, the Comanche was only a grand.

For the first month I had it, I was sort of nervous about it. Jeff wouldn't let me take it on our first vacation to Cancun, for example. I've been wearing it a bit over 3 years now, and I never worry about it now, except that it sometimes will slide off my finger if I move my hands to quickly.

I wear it to yoga class, to garden in, to walk the dogs. It's almost always the most expensive thing I have on, the only exception being my wedding gown, which was roughly the same cost.

As for why I wanted a diamond, I love diamonds. I also have some very nice diamond earrings that I wear every day. I specifically wanted an emerald cut one, which I got because I went with Jeff and picked it out.

It wasn't two months salary. I think at the time it was closer to one month of Jeff's salary. And other than the poofy white dress, it may have been the most traditional thing about my wedding.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: August 31st, 2005 - 03:39 am (Link)
finally somoene in the caring column. Ok, so here's the question... and I know this may be hard. But Why do you care? Why did you want a diamond? Would you have been upset at a $500 ring? a $100 ring? no ring at all? What about if he'd bought you a corvette instead of a ring?
From: thwomp Date: August 31st, 2005 - 06:40 pm (Link)
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