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Big Ring, Little Tact

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The word “diamond” comes from the Greek “adamant,” which means steadfast or invincible. Indeed, diamonds were believed to be invincible, indestructible, and exceedingly strong. The engagement ring itself is worn on the left hand, third finger; this tradition dates back to ancient cultures when it was believed that the third finger of the left hand had a special vein called vena amoris — the vein of “love” — that ran from the “ring finger” finger directly to the heart. Despite being a gift that expresses love and commitment, it isn’t always a “pure joy” to its wearer.

Hillary asks: “My fiancé surprised me with a really large engagement ring, which I adore. My problem is that it has led to people asking me really uncomfortable questions about the size if the diamond, the quality of the stone, how much my boyfriend paid for it, and one friend actually asked me if the stone was real. I find myself stammering with replies. I want to be respectful, but what I would really like to say is ‘Congratulate me and mind your own business!’ Any ideas about how I can respond more tactfully?”

Dear Hillary: Of course you’re right about not responding with rudeness for rudeness. It never ceases to amaze me how some people totally forget the concept of an engagement and instead focus on money. There are a few ways in which you can respond. Here are a few of my suggestions:

  • “It’s not the size of the ring that matters to me. It’s the loving gesture that I really care about.”
  • “I’m sorry, but I feel really uncomfortable talking about that.”
  • “I have no idea — I wouldn’t ask my fiancé that question.”
  • “It’s probably more than my fiancé should have spent — and I love it!”

You could also turn the tables on the person asking the questions with: “Why do you want to know?” Perhaps that will get the message across. I commend you for keeping your cool and for being gracious in response to such inappropriate behavior.

Got any comebacks of your own? Tell me in the space below.

 

Submit your own question to “The Wedding Guru” by e-mailing judy@hvmag.com.

 

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