But I'm picky—ask any of the owners of the jewelry stores within a two-hour driving radius of my home. I visited them all after Dave asked me to marry him almost eleven years ago. Some might say I was as unforgettable as the feel of grit on sandpaper. I didn’t set out to earn a reputation. I’m simply a person who struggles to find meaning, and since there isn’t an occasion more meaningful than a wedding, I struggled a lot. In public.
Perhaps the jewelers would have been more empathetic if I’d told them the whole story—that I’d done this all before, eighteen years ago. That it hadn’t ended so well. That my new beau recognized me as a potential life partner right away because of the newfound honesty with which I expressed my vision for my life—a vision that almost word-for-word echoed thoughts he had written down himself, years before. With that knowledge, certainly anyone could understand my need to find the perfect ring, right? I mean, past childbearing age, why remarry at all unless the union adds meaning to your life?
Since the average length of each store visit was already pushing the one-hour mark, I spared jewelers the narrative and picked my way through dozens of rings that any less demanding woman, they’d quietly inform me, would be thrilled to own. Dating again had offered a similar quandary—it’s hard to find the right one when you have no idea what “the right one” looks like. The ubiquitous answer: you know it when you find it.
I had loved my first engagement ring, a round-cut diamond with two smaller stones on either side, and kept finding myself attracted to similar rings. But wasn’t this why I’d undergone therapy in the first place—to break the habit of seeking out the same old relationships? I forced myself to look at styles to which I’d never before been attracted—marquis and pear cuts, unusual shapes that required a matching band, estate jewelry, different kinds of stones.
While shopping for rings that spring, one exasperated chain store owner told me to come back later—much later, in July—for his setting event, when he would have at least a thousand different settings to choose from. “It’s your only hope,” he’d said, a smirk on his face. But Dave and I had planned a September wedding, and I’d been hoping to feel engaged, complete with ring, for longer than two months.
“If only you could describe the ring to me,” said another jeweler, pulling out a pile of catalogs. If only. I half-heartedly flipped through the pages. These rings looked so...flat. I knew one thing—I wouldn’t find what I wanted on paper.
In fact, I didn't find what I wanted at all until the voice of God spoke to me. More on that in the next post.
Have you ever recognized something as "right" the moment you saw it? I'd love to hear your story.