I bought myself a diamond necklace. It’s beautiful and perfect. I’d been wanting one forever, and wasn’t going to sit around waiting and hoping for someone to give it to me.
Going through a divorce had nothing to do with it. Really. I swear.
Not everyone has been wowed by my sparkling jewel. There’s been a range of reactions from my friends, as dramatized below:
Me: Look! I just bought a diamond necklace! Isn’t it beautiful?
Supportive Friends: You Go, Girl! You deserve it!
Well-Meaning Friends: Um…are you sure you should be making that kind of purchase? I mean…while things are so up in the air?
Most People: Why didn’t you just turn your engagement ring into a necklace?
All valid points. But, regarding the last one, I’ll tell you why: Although my marriage has been nearly finally dismantled, I’m not quite ready to dismantle symbol given of the promise of our future together.
Just. Not. Ready.
And, I don’t know that I would ever do that. I’m not exactly a candles and sandals, crystal-consulting chakra-wearing type (though I read my horoscope and do yoga. Does that count?) but I do subscribe to the idea that objects carry some kind of energy we’ve infused into them, or at least that we project onto them.
Call me sentimental or stubborn, but the last thing I want to do is wear the memory of that promise around my neck. Not while I’m trying to move ON!
I have some lovely, good jewelry –- given to me with love and deep affection by either my ex-husband or his family. It’s kind of a Persian thing. In a Persian wedding, part of the actual ceremony is the giving of gifts. Sparkly ones. That’s right -– while you are still up there in your gown and flowers, family and friends come up one by to one to shower you with gifts of jewels, coins, gold, or money.
It’s a great wedding tradition that I think every bride should have!
But, for now, those beads and bangles are too painful to look at, let alone wear. After hiding them away in my underwear drawer, I finally got a safe-deposit box. My diamond engagement ring resides there, along with the name-necklace his dad brought back for me from Egypt; the 5th anniversary bracelet, and the gold earrings he gave me the night before our wedding.
Ugh. There I go again. I get weepy at the thought of those objects. Best to keep them away for a while longer. Someday I’ll be able to wear those things again. But, not now.
I realize I could have replaced it all with lots of cheap jewelry. After all, nobody NEEDS a diamond necklace. But, here’s the thing -- I’ve always wanted one. I thought eventually there would be an occasion to receive it as a gift -- for our 15th anniversary? A "babymoon" surprise?
But the reality is there is not going to be a 15th anniversary. And there is no baby. And I’m turning 40. So, who knows? Maybe I can’t have it all. But, I can have a diamond necklace.
I had never bought a big-ticket item for myself, except for financing a car, and an overseas trip. My heart was racing, and I had butterflies. It felt thrilling, like I somehow had a secret, buying this gift for myself.
Was it an impulse buy? It’s hard to say. I'd been researching and comparing prices online, entertaining the idea, fantasizing about it. Then one day when I walked into Macy’s to return an ill-fitting pair of pants, I was supernaturally drawn to the fine jewelry counter. I saw it. It was exactly what I wanted -- a little diamond, in a bezel setting, on a short gold chain. I knew I’d found the one.
My ex-husband would fall over if he knew I bought jewelry from a department store. He would tell me how to do it: Go downtown to the jewelry district and negotiate for a loose diamond, then go to a jeweler and have them set it.
That’s the way he does things. But the cool part of being single again is that I get to do things my way.
It just so happens that I’m an expert Macy’s shopper. I know about all the sales, the additional 20 percent off coupon (that almost never works on fine jewelry), and the additional "blahbetyblahblah if you use your Macy’s account." Before I committed to it, I watched as "the number" came down to one that was 60 percent off the marked (up) price. It was a number that felt doable, reasonable, and fair.
In truth, I miss my diamond ring. In time, maybe I’ll wear it again, as a cocktail ring, or maybe I’ll sell it, or give it to a future daughter (there’s still a sliver of time, right?). But, right now, I’m enjoying wearing my diamond necklace every single day. And I noticed that it somehow feels different, wearing a diamond you’ve paid for yourself. It just does.