Di­a­mond comes be­tween cou­ple plan­ning mar­riage

Woonsocket Call - - AMUSEMENTS - Jeanne Phillips

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 YOUR fan­tasy is that she’ll make a com­pa­ra­ble down pay­ment on your next car. That way, she can make your dream come true.

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 VET­ER­ANS:

I salute your ser­vice to our coun­try. My thanks to each of you, as well as to the brave men and women still on ac­tive duty, some of whom are in harm’s way. You per­son­ify pa­tri­o­tism and self-sac­ri­fice with your ded­i­ca­tion. I also would like to ac­knowl­edge your fam­i­lies for the sac­ri­fices they, too, have made and con­tinue to make every day.

—Love, ABBY

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

For ev­ery­thing you need to know about wed­ding plan­ning, or­der “How to Have a Lovely Wed­ding.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wed­ding Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 610540447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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