Thursday, July 9, 2009

With This Ring

Though some of the stereotypes the South lives up to are regrettable, there is never disappointment in a small town Southern wedding. And don’t jump to conclusions. This is no backwoods affair. This is wedding in which tradition is king and good taste his loyal queen.

J. was initially very dismayed at having to attend this wedding. We had both been traveling all week and he was ready to spend the day clearing out his DVR. We compromised by agreeing to drive back after the wedding, and then he was cranky about that. Luckily, the 90 minute drive was a breeze (for once, no Atlanta traffic) and though hot as hell, it was sunny for the first time this month. The wedding was exactly what I had always pictured it would be when the bride – who I’ve known since college – would talk about having to one day get married in her small hometown. She loathed the idea! She had no reason to. Highlights included:
- A hand bell choir. With white-gloves!
- The same minister that baptized the bride thirty years ago
- A white lace dress and a processional to Edelweiss
- A buffet dinner (particularly poignant to me as the buffet was a battle I fought, and lost, with Sooz)
- A lemon cake with buttercream icing
- The following conversation overhead in the ladies lounge:
“You must be the groom’s grandmother. I’m the best friend of the bride’s mother. We’ve know each other since 7th grade and my daughter, the maid-of-honor, grew up with the bride. My granddaughter is the flower girl.”

J. and I agreed on the car ride home (as we listened to this awesome CD that they handed out as a favor) that if we could redo our wedding, we’d go ahead and copy a lot of what they did. Especially the playing of Edelweiss. Every Christmas we watch The Sound of Music and have to rewind that part of the movie several times. This year we had friends over and it turned into a bit of a maudlin sing-a-long. But I digress. The main point here is that in this damn economy, it’s nice to see that some things don’t change for the worse. And that tradition can’t be bought.

What can be bought are diamonds. Recently, J. has created a sticky sitch for himself by telling me something he shouldn’t have. Apparently while I was in Chicago for work, he hit a couple of jewelry stores in search of a new (translate: bigger) stone for my engagement ring in honor of our five-year anniversary. He wanted to surprise me with it when I came home…but he didn’t. After shopping around, he realized he doesn’t want to spend the money. And here’s where the big mistake comes in. Instead of not ever telling me about this field trip, he tells me within ten minutes of my arrival home. And though the thought of changing my ring had never crossed my mind, now that it has…whew, obsessed!

Per an email from J. I received yesterday, if we were getting engaged today, he would get a ring that was a bit different (insert above translation for “new” here). At first I thought this might be an expensive yet highly strategic jab to remind me that J. thinks we got married too young. It turns out he just really thinks I would like it. And though I loved then and now my current engagement ring, I think he’s right. Sometimes tradition takes a backseat.