In October, I made a huge mistake. It involved my iPad and game applications.
Once upon a time, I played Candy Crush. Then I rammed against a level I couldn’t conquer. But I still opened the application and spent my lives every day. Then friends sent me lives.
It became a time suck.
So I deleted the application.
But recently, I wanted a little “down time” for my brain. So I downloaded Matchington Mansion.
This was a BAD idea.
I want to get through all the tasks. Which means I have to play the levels to earn stars (because you KNOW I’m not spending money on those things).
Don’t download this time sucking game if you have a competitive streak.
Most games have an option to watch video advertisements so you can earn coins or stars or diamonds.
I don’t want to watch ads.
But sometimes I needed the coins. Truly. Because I was this *holds fingers an inch apart* close to beating a tough level.
Now I’m stuck on level 204.
Thankfully, there was an ad for a “free” story game. Choices is the name of the application.
Of course, I downloaded it because I wasn’t beating that level on MM. And when I tried, it stressed me out, so I needed another game to help me relax.
Who Writes These Stories
I’m a storyteller, so the idea of choosing the story line makes me happy. Most of the “books” were romances. Many geared to teenagers, but who doesn’t want to go back and make high school a happy memory.
I should have known.
If the story possibilities aren’t ridiculous, the good choices are going to cost me.
In this game, it’s all about diamonds. A dozen here will give you time to build your friendship with someone. Fifteen here will make you the hero of the day. Not to mention the 18 needed for the perfect homecoming dress.
At a mere $1.99 for 20, why not?
Why did I ever start playing these games?
Now there’s a new one called The Elementalists with magic and a college where they’ll train me to use magic I didn’t even know I had.
It only costs 15 diamonds for those cool magical orbs. And a mere 17 diamonds will give me private tutoring sessions with the smart kid.
Yeah, I’m done for. Today I actually looked at buying 60 diamonds because it worked out to TEN for FREE. Because since starting the Choices adventure, I’ve purchased at least 60 diamonds (more like 120, but don’t tell anyone).
May as well get a deal.
Send iTunes gift cards. For $19.99, I could purchase 250 diamonds! That should keep me in the coolest of Choices for a week or two. What about you? Have you made some unhealthy choices recently?
Mr. Hughson and I have reached another marital landmark. We recently celebrated thirty years of marriage.
“We’ve been together since way back when.” We actually met in 1982 and became friends in 1983. We started dating in 1985 and spoke our marriage vows in 1988.
I still recall the day. It seems more like fifteen years ago. Time warps the older I get.
He is “Still the One”:
I want to talk to in bed
Who turns my head
Makes me smile
I dream about
That makes me laugh
That’s my better half
Still having fun…and “he’s” still the one
Did you enjoy the flashback to the 70s? They don’t write songs like they used to do it. Thus, those 80s retro hits are becoming fodder for the ears of teenagers everywhere.
But I digress…
For our anniversary, we stayed at the Hilton in Anaheim (where he attended some Geek Man conference all week) and toured the local attractions. I was all about visiting Harry Potter World, but Disney offers a fair share of entertainment,too.
My big plan was new rings.
If you recall, I got a new ring in the Caribbean two years ago. But the mister has been wearing the same band for…you guessed it…thirty years.
I wanted him to get something new. Preferably something with blue diamonds so it “matched” mine.
What do you think?
I also wanted him to buy me a second wedding band so the solitaire would be hugged by the blue and white diamond sparkle. You’d think getting something from a company called Diamonds International would be a simple thing.
Or not. I’ll let you know how that turns out. If it turns out. There was a lot of email tag and some phone tag.
Ring or no ring. Anniversary trip or home bound. In the end, I’m happy to be stuck with this guy for the rest of my life.
People are happy to give us their opinions, aren’t they? Even when we don’t ask. But, why do we ask? Does what they think really matter in the long-term scope of life?
So, you’ve probably already been judging me for buying a diamond in the Caribbean. Or maybe for not bringing you back something nice, too.
Which means it’s time to finish telling on myself. When you left me on Monday, I was walking into the den of diamonds. Completely oblivious to what was about to happen.
A Diamond in any other Color
I mentioned how wedding rings traditionally have diamonds. And these are clear diamonds. The more colorless the better.
I have to say, I’ve swerved from the traditional path. (People have something to say about that, too, I’m sure.)
While we listened to the shopping expert give her spiel, Mr. Wonderful was jotting down notes on watches (THAT’S a whole different story). Me, I was gaping at the rainbow of colors.
Chocolate. Pink. Blue. Black. Diamonds – but with color. (Because we all know clear is not a color.)
And I’d become a little infatuated with blue diamonds. Not that the pink weren’t sparkly or the black wouldn’t go with any outfit. But there’s something about blue. *sighs*
Little did I suspect as I trod into the den of diamonds to pick up my free charm bracelet and charms that this store would host a gaggle of the brilliant blue babies.
In fact, blue diamonds abound with this retailer. (I mean, level two distributor who can give you the BEST deal ever because you don’t have to pay any middle men. Yes, I’m repeating word-for-word what our shopping expert told us.)
Next thing I know, one of the managers is presenting me with a 1.62 carat blue diamond pendant. (”I don’t wear necklaces.”) And showing me how it would look set in a diamond wedding band and paired with the blue and white diamond band I had starting drooling over admiring.
OR there was this Crown of Light cut white diamond (.82 carats) that I could set between the blue diamonds. This is what I wanted. Or so I thought.
But when they displayed those diamonds side by side in the proposed settings, I had to admit the blue diamond called to me. It was unique. It was my color. And it was HONKING HUGE.
Not that I care about that. Or I didn’t think I did.
Until the man started giving us numbers. We could get the blue diamond – twice the size of the white – for the exact same price as the much smaller traditional diamond.
What about the Crown of Light cut? That’s what I really wanted, right?
Lucky for me (or perhaps the salesman), that gorgeous blue diamond that glittered and glistened like snow in the sun was also faceted in the Crown of Light manner.
What do you think?
Enter the moment when the title comes into play. You know, the issue of what other people think (and if it matters to me).
My jaw still sat on the floor at the exorbitant figure this man wanted us to spend on a new wedding set. I’m a starving artist. I LOST money in my career during 2015. Anything over $1000 seems out of reach.
This was WAY beyond that.
My husband asks, “What will you say when other people don’t really like this ring? That might happen.”
Because, you know, it isn’t a traditional white diamond. And it’s gigantic, so people will likely assume it’s zirconium (i.e. FAKE).
It took me a second to answer. But not because I was pondering the question. My brain was still frozen over the price tag. And the fact we were still talking about this ring instead of walking out of the store (we had the charm we came for).
So you don’t like my ring, huh?
“I’ll tell them it’s unique and showcases my individual style and personality.” (You know, the standby ‘it’s unique like me’ argument.)
He nods. The bartering begins. And just like that I’ve got a ring I never planned to want.
The Truth of It
The truth is, I received tons of compliments on ring number two in the five or ten years I wore it. The same can be said of ring number three.
“Your ring is gorgeous.”
“Are those rubies? What a cool idea!”
“Where did you get that ring? It’s amazing.”
“I’ve never seen a wedding ring like that before.”
And the list could go on for the rest of the page, but you get the gist.
Welcome to the present. Now I have a truly amazing ring. One that is unique in every way. But very few people have said anything about it.
Granted, I’m not the person who shoves my hand into someone’s face and says, “Look what The Man bought me.” Mainly because I don’t want to answer what will be the next question, “How much did it cost?”
Because it cost more than my husband should have spent. Anytime he buys me something I perceive as expensive (and only a millionaire wouldn’t classify this ring that way), I immediately shy away from it.
I don’t deserve that. The money could be better spent elsewhere.
What is that about? (Whatever it is, it will have to wait for a different blog post – or better yet, a therapy session.)
Do any of us deserve a gift?
And why does your opinion of a gift I received matter?
Sorry. That’s the truth. The gift was for me. Personalized according to my specifications.
I adore it. I’m amazed by it. I stare at it, twisting it this way and that in different lights (while hubbs laughs at me).
The giver wanted to demonstrate his love. He thinks nothing about the price being “too much.” Is anything too expensive for the one you love?
In the end, what other people think about my ring (and I guarantee you, they all have opinions, even if they haven’t spouted them to me) doesn’t matter.
I might need to say that a few thousand more times. Because when I love something, I want everyone else to love it, too.
But if they don’t? That should never affect my feelings or thoughts.
Do you let what other people think affect your own attitudes? Why is this such an epidemic in our society?
Apparently, this is something everyone does in the Caribbean. And, according to the shopping expert for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (yes, they have a crew member whose only job is to tell you how to shop), people go to the Caribbean to buy one thing.
I never did fully grasp WHY the Caribbean was such an awesome place to purchase diamonds. After all, they don’t mine them there. Maybe they cut and finish them on those pretty little islands.
In any case, the cruise line has some sort of agreement with a large diamond wholesaler (and retailer), Diamonds International. They promoted them at every turn, to the extent that cruisers get a free, unique charm at the DI store on each island.
“Don’t forget to get your charms” one of my friends told me as I prepared for the cruise.
I was a noob. I had no clue what she was talking about.
Now I do.
Ignorance is bliss, they say. Well, for sure it is CHEAPER at times.
Diamonds are Forever
You know this old saying, right? I think it was probably a marketing slogan for a jeweler at some point in the past.
We know it was the title of a James Bond movie. It may have originated before that time, but it’s been around since 1971 (pretty much my whole life).
Question: if diamonds are forever, why do people get new diamond jewelry?
Because they need a pendant and earrings to complement their stunning wedding ring.
Or they need bigger earrings. Or a larger diamond carat weight on their finger. After all, who will notice that little chip their husband could afford back in the day, when they were both poor college graduates.
Diamonds are hard. They won’t lose their value (much- depending on the jeweler you try to pawn them to).
Not only do they sparkle in sunlight and glitter under bright lights, diamonds are the traditional stone for wedding and anniversary rings.
Because diamonds are forever. Like love should be. Like marriage is supposed to be. A perfect symbol for those enduring institutions.
I’ve had three different wedding rings in my life. I never planned it that way. In fact, I never thought much about a wedding ring at all.
Until I got engaged.
Here’s the rundown on my rings:
Ring #1: An heirloom wedding set from my grandmother. I wore this on my wedding day and for several months because my husband wanted to get me the “perfect” ring I wanted.
Ring #2: A custom made ring wrapping the diamond solitaire with a flower of rubies and diamonds.
Ring #3: Another ring, similar to ring two, with the one difference being a larger (half-carat) marquis cut diamond as the centerpiece.
In the Caribbean, my husband bought me wedding ring number four, and I won’t be looking for anything different for another 27 years (or more).
I didn’t go to the Caribbean to buy a diamond – regardless of what the cruise line tried to tell me. My planned purchases: gifts for my kids and parents, a few souvenirs to help me remember the trip.
So, it goes without saying that we didn’t intend to purchase a new ring when we walked into DI to pick up our “free” charm. (You see how this is a huge marketing trap now, right? Consider yourself warned.)
In fact, I wanted to look at upgrading my diamond stud earrings. Not because I needed bigger stones. The posts make my ears break out. Since I leave them in my second piercing all the time, this creates problems.
However, the shopping guru on the ship had dazzled me with her engagement ring. It was a special cut called Crown of Light. The diamond has 90 facets to showcase all the brilliance hidden in its depths.
It’s unique to DI. They even have a website dedicated to it. Don’t believe me? Click here.
Innocent me walked into the den of diamonds.
What happened next?
Read about this epic shopping adventure in the next post.