I have to say that my favorite Christmas gift was my biggest Christmas surprise. Before he left for his annual, month-long visit to Holland to visit his family for Christmas, Stefan managed to slip a little gift under my family’s Christmas tree without me knowing. It’s a lovely Lennox ring holder. The type you sit next to your bathroom sink to hold your ring while you shower:
I didn’t even notice that it was there until Christmas morning. I was so surprised! I love surprises (as long as I don’t know they’re coming…Stefan knew if he even hinted that he had a Christmas gift for me, he’d have to tell me right away what it was!)
So, I finally took it out of the box today and placed it next to the sink and got around to taking a picture of it and posting it here, because it’s noteworthy…and it sort of inspired me to tell the story of my ring.
First, a little background on our love story: Stefan and I met in April 2012 after meeting briefly online. I found him after searching for people connected with my alma mater (he is a professor there). If it wasn’t love at first sight, it was certainly chemistry at first meeting. It was one of those first dates where you both leave and saying to yourselves, “I better play my cards right, because I can’t let this one go.”
It quickly became like, which effortlessly became love and we started talking about marriage in February. One night, while we were about to drift off to sleep, I came out and cautiously asked him if he would marry me. He told me, yes, but he wanted to do it right.
The day before Valentines Day we went to New York City in search of the perfect engagement ring. After hitting a few sketchy jewelry stores and finding out that my ideal ring was no longer made, we decided to just screw all reason and financial sensibility and head over to the original Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue. You know the one: huge, pink marble facade stretching up 7 or 8 floors, glass doors, giant cases of jewelry that had no place wearing a price tag but should really be in a museum:
We were ushered up to the diamond floor and Stefan was very patient while I walked slowly from case to case salivating over each and every ring, trying everything on, loving every minute. I knew what I wanted. I have been looking at the original Tiffany’s setting with a 0.25 carat diamond since I was 12 years old. I don’t know why, as a 12 year old girl, dreaming of her engagement, I decided I wanted a 0.25 carat diamond. I remember telling my mother and watching her laugh and laugh. My mother is a trained and experienced gemologist. She picks and prices diamonds for a living. So when I showed her a picture of a solitaire ring with a center stone that, for her eye, may as well have been diamond dust, I can sort of see why she thought that was ridiculous. I mean, this is the “trendy” engagement ring for women my age right now:
But, I guess, even then, I saw the benefits of having a smaller ring. I can just slip gloves on over the ring; my dog can pull the leash out of my hand without the ring getting caught; I can quickly wash my hands with the ring on; I don’t have to worry about a million stones getting loose or falling out; and it doesn’t distract me, like, ever.
So, once I was done playing around at Tiffany’s, we settled in and told the salesman what I wanted. He said he could have it sized in two hours. We got dinner and came back. As the salesman brought out the ring, he brought champagne and snapped a picture of us.
Afterwards, Stefan pocketed the ring and we headed out. Before we got to the elevator, he stopped me, got down on one knee, opened the small box, and said something along these lines:
“Laura, you know I really…um…really like you and…uh…errrr….I’m so glad we get to stick together…so…yeah…”
We hugged and kissed and the whole diamond floor clapped for us and I put on the ring, let out a cackle that was a little too eager and possibly a bit maniacal, and scampered, bug-eyed into the open doors of the elevator, leaving Stefan to eat my dust. I was honestly a little too close to becoming Gollum than I will ever be comfortable admitting.
Needless to say, I was very happy with the outcome of my ring. It didn’t really break the bank like you might think a Tiffany’s ring would, we had a great experience, and I think it’s beautiful: