Di­a­mond ring comes be­tween cou­ple plan­ning their mar­riage

The Tribune (SLO) (Sunday) - - Fun & Games - BY JEANNE PHILLIPS your

DEAR ABBY: My girl­friend and I love each other very much and have been liv­ing to­gether with our chil­dren for five years. We in­tend to get mar­ried soon. Here is the rub: She’s “old school.” She be­lieves she should re­ceive a di­a­mond ring as part of the mar­riage pro­posal.

I would marry her to­mor­row, but I don’t be­lieve in spend­ing thou­sands of dol­lars on a piece of car­bon. I un­der­stand that some­how she equates her value/so­cial sta­tus with the size of her wed­ding ring (“I de­serve a nice ring”), but I don’t agree. I think the ex­pense is un­war­ranted and, quite frankly, as the per­son pay­ing for most of it, un­fair.

She has of­fered to chip in and even buy one from a used wed­ding site, but I’d rather spend that money on some­thing we could both en­joy or at least on some­thing more prac­ti­cal that she can en­joy. I can find the money to buy the ring, but in my heart, I don’t see the value or buy into the fan­tasy the di­a­mond in­dus­try has put into some women’s heads.

What do I do? Cave in and give her what she wants be­cause I love her? Or push for a com­pro­mise, which will def­i­nitely be an up­hill bat­tle and po­ten­tially spoil what is sup­posed to be a spe­cial thing in our lives?

– Hung Up On The Ring In

Reno DEAR HUNG UP: I’m glad you asked. Give her the ring. It will be cheaper in the long run. Trust me on that. And in the fu­ture, when she asks what you would like for a gift, tell her fan­tasy is that she’ll make a com­pa­ra­ble down pay­ment on your next car.

DEAR ABBY: My fa­ther and his wife are re­tired and live across the coun­try from us. Dad is hard of hear­ing and doesn’t like to use the phone, even with hear­ing aids. He also won’t text, so we mostly com­mu­ni­cate by email.

The chal­lenge is that he and his wife share an email ac­count. She reads ev­ery mes­sage I send to Dad and of­ten replies with­out telling him, so I’m never sure if he receives them or not. Also, if we’re dis­cussing some­thing sen­si­tive – like fi­nances or is­sues with my sib­lings – she’ll weigh in when it’s not re­ally her busi­ness. In one case, she posted parts of our dis­cus­sion on her so­cial me­dia!

I have talked to Dad about this. He says mar­ried cou­ples don’t have se­crets. I sus­pect he may not want his wife to be able to com­mu­ni­cate pri­vately with other peo­ple (she’s much younger than he is) and prefers the shared email for this rea­son. Is it un­rea­son­able for me to want a di­rect line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with my fa­ther, or must I save up pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions for the one time a year we are able to visit in per­son?

– Dis­tressed Daugh­ter In

Idaho DEAR DAUGH­TER: I’m sorry I can’t wave a magic wand and change your fa­ther. What’s go­ing on should not be blamed on his wife. Be­cause he has made plain to you that he sees no rea­son for pri­vacy and wants her to be privy to your con­ver­sa­tions, sav­ing up those pri­vate chats un­til they are “in per­son” is ex­actly what you are go­ing to have to do.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com.

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