When my parents rather curiously and considerately asked me 8 months ago, about how much I would want to contribute to my wedding expense from my savings, I told them I would happily spend on one event- the engagement ceremony. They seemed delighted and proud, until I told them I wanted to exchange rings in Europe, with no guests. *grin*
What followed was chaos. I was met with dropped jaws and wide eyed faces. Obviously. They discarded my idea as a gross social fiasco. “How can you go abroad before the wedding? There’s already so much expenditure to do, and you want to spend on a Europe trip? Go after the wedding!”
I had been planning this trip for over a year, but parents being parents!
To be fair, I didn’t want any of that expenditure on my wedding. I wanted a small and simple ceremony. But soon I realized you can’t really have your way with parents. They have had this dream of planning your wedding since the day you were dropped on this planet, and there’s no way they are going to let you ruin it. So here I am, from wanting to be a trend-setter and not have a conventional wedding, to giving in to the demands of my over sentimental Punjabi parents. We all mutually decided to keep the expenditure controlled though, which I’m very happy about. And they also had to finally agree on the engagement idea! So,*success*
While I was super excited planning my Euro- trip, and charting out the budget, it dawned upon me, with a rather sudden sense of tragedy, that we would also have to buy rings!
For someone who dislikes wearing jewellery, and has never bought anything but junk accessories, the idea of going to a real jewellery store, to buy REAL jewellery was plain strange.
So there I was, sitting in a glittery ostentatious jewellery store, across the counter from a charming salesman, discussing the flaws and brilliance of a small sparkly piece of stone, which if chosen, would be fixed on top of a shiny gold band with some more stones, and would potentially mark the onset of a new phase of my life.
I couldn’t stop noticing the salesman, who was playing with this small microscope, trying very hard to focus on the diamond and fetch some important information for us. “Ha, this one here has only one small spot on the right. Not in the centre, “ He announced, looking up from the stone, to meet our blank faces.
He asked me to take a closer look at the piece he was holding, “See this tiny spot here? that’s the only scar this diamond has, and that’s why it has clarity.. bla bla, and it will cost you xyz rupees more” *grins*
“Oh, I see. Interesting. So this spot is not visible without the microscope?” I asked inquiringly.
(Smiles annoyingly) “no mam.”
“So I pay you more because this spot that’s anyway not visible, is on the side, and not in the centre?”
My mom hushed me, as I stared at him, and then at the lifeless piece of (expensive-af ) sparkling stone, thinking how I could just skip buying this silly ring and upgrade my Euro-trip by adding another city to my itinerary. Ah choices! I guess I can never understand spending on jewellery.
After some more useless discussion about the cut and colour of some more useless stones, I decided to go for a ring that wouldn’t haunt me or my partner in our dreams forever. It was harder choosing a ring for him, and our mutual and deeply felt hatred for spending on diamonds made us a notch more compatible. *we high-fived*
We exchanged rings in Italy last year in May. It was a beautiful moment. And now our rings are safely set in a fancy velvet box, in a locked drawer because we both don’t like wearing rings. *Sigh*
People tell me I will grow fond of diamonds and jewellery with age. I doubt it has anything to do with age. My life choices have been complicated. I chose experimentation, risks, and creative freedom instead of a steady job early in my career. I decided to spend my savings on traveling and collecting experiences, rather than tangible luxuries and trinkets. I know what appeals to me and what doesn’t. And even if one lucky day I’m able to strike a balance between what I love doing and earning enough, my choices would be in sync with who I am, and what excites me. And spending a fortune on stones definitely doesn’t.
Looking back, I had so much more fun collecting these colourful pretty sea stones and sea glass on the sea shore in Italy. They felt more real and flawless, and I didn’t have to roam around with a microscope to check their worth.