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September 20, 2010

I’ve never bought a piece of a nice jewelry for myself. Until this past weekend. Sure, I’ve bought costume jewelry and cheap sterling silver stuff that was trendy at the time, but I have never purchased anything of value or any real cost. During the seven years we were together, my ex fiancée bought me a lot of jewelry. Christmases were marked by earrings, a bracelet, two watches, a necklace, etc., etc. I will admit that I was pretty spoiled by these gifts, but we had the money to spend at the time. He bought me a diamond solitaire necklace one time that I loved – it was princess cut, just like he knew I wanted my engagement ring to be. It was our version of a promise ring – he bought me that necklace to mark his intention to marry me. Sadly, a few days before what would have been my wedding day, I lost that necklace. I was running errands, getting ready for the trip to Myrtle Beach, and the chain must have broken and fallen off, because when I returned home, it was gone. It was almost fitting, losing my “promise necklace” two days before what would have been the actual completion of the promise. I can’t accurately put into words how sad I was that day.

People sometimes ask if I still wear the jewelry he gave me. At first, I didn’t. Slowly, as time has gone by, I’ve begun wearing many of the pieces. As my friend Dawn says, the jewelry didn’t do anything wrong. I agree with her, mostly. There are a few pieces I still can’t bring myself to wear very often. One is a ring with his birth stone in it – he said he always wanted me to have a piece of him with me. Another is this aquamarine necklace and earring set – the last gift he gave me on Christmas of 2009. When he gave me the necklace and earrings, I knew I would wear them on my wedding day. I even tried on wedding dresses wearing them, just to make sure they worked together.

And then, there is the engagement ring. Oh, how I loved my engagement ring. I selected it, after months of scouring the Internet looking for something just perfect, as I was going to be wearing it forever. I remember after the engagement, looking down and being surprised and astounded by how beautiful it was and how much I loved it. I know this is all sounding very superficial and shallow, but a lot of the love I had for the engagement ring and the other jewelry he gave me was what it represented. I didn’t ask for the jewelry, and I generally didn’t tell him what I wanted. He just went out and selected something he found beautiful, and something that he thought I would love too. That effort always meant a lot to me.

I used to be so anxious about losing my engagement ring that I would constantly check my left ring finger to make sure it was still there. It became sort of a nervous tick, this constant checking. Sometimes, I find myself doing that when I am half asleep. It’s a strange feeling, realizing it’s gone – and remembering why it’s gone. And if I’m completely honest, I’ll admit that sometimes I miss my ring.

People ask me all the time where the ring is, and what we did with it. People have a weird obsession with those sorts of details about my breakup. My ex fiancée has the engagement ring. I maybe threw it at him during the breakup. Allegedly. People always tell me that I should have kept it and sold it. While that might have been fun (trip to Vegas, anyone?!), I believe it was really his ring to keep.

This weekend, I was at the mall with Dawn, and she was looking at right hand rings. I had been considering buying a new solitaire diamond necklace for myself, to replace the one I’d lost, so I went with her to look. In one store, I fell in love with a wedding band. It was beautiful, exactly my size. It fit perfectly on my hand, and it felt just right. I named her Julia. I don’t know why I named her Julia, or why I even decided the ring was a her. All I knew was that I loved her. I decided I needed to think a little on it, considering it was such a big purchase, so I got the card of the sales lady and went along my way.

A few stores later, I still couldn’t get Julia out of my mind. I’m not one to make impulse decisions, and I am generally incredibly careful with my money (read: cheap), but something just felt right. So, I took money from my rainy day fund, on a beautiful, sunny September day, to buy myself my first piece of nice jewelry ever. I wore Julia right out of the store, on my right hand. I got teary when purchasing it. I’m alone, yes, but I am lucky. I can afford to dig deep into my savings and treat myself (as long as I eat Ramon Noodles for the next three months and don’t buy a single thing). The sales lady probably thought I was crazy, crying over purchasing a simple ring.

So yes, I bought myself a wedding band. Which is interesting considering all I’ve been through. It’s better than replacing the diamond necklace, I think, because now I feel like I don’t simply want to replace what I’ve lost. What I have now is so much more special, more powerful than what I had before. And I’m not just talking about the ring.

Now, I can look down at my right hand and see something beautiful again, like I did when I had my engagement ring. And know that I did this for myself. I didn’t need a man to do it for me, and I don’t need to be getting married to deserve a diamond ring. I have to tell you, it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed purchasing something so much.

Picture of the ring from the jeweler's website

Meet Julia

38 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2010 8:47 am

    I love that you figured out you don’t need a man!!! They are just lovely accent pieces to enhance the ensemble! Congratulations on the meaning of Julia!

  2. Patrice permalink
    September 20, 2010 9:42 am

    Catherine, you brought me to tears. This is beautiful.Thank you for your courage and honesty. Love, PT

    • September 20, 2010 10:41 am

      Thanks for your comment Patrice. Thanks for reading and sharing in this journey with me – your kind words mean a lot to me (today and always!). See you soon!

  3. September 20, 2010 10:10 am

    Yay!!!! Good for you! Congrats on adding Julia to your life.

    • September 20, 2010 10:42 am

      Thank you! I love her! I keep looking down at her, it’s so fun to have something to be excited about again. And I did it all myself! 🙂

  4. Ashley permalink
    September 20, 2010 11:17 am

    She is beautiful! I’m so glad that you went back and treated yourself! You totally deserve it! I did something very similar before I left England: I bought myself a Mulberry handbag. I had always wanted one but couldn’t justify spending a few hundred quid on a purse…when the wedding was cancelled and I had extra money in my account, I figured why not? I named her Milly…she’s lovely and I love her…plus she’s kind of like a little piece of London that I can carry around with me.

    • September 20, 2010 3:55 pm

      Thank you so much! Ohhhh congrats on your Mulberry handbag! I bet Milly is very pretty :). There’s something about doing these things for yourself that is empowering and can make you feel so much better. Retail therapy at its very best. And, we’re helping the economy. Who can argue with that!?

  5. Nikki permalink
    September 20, 2010 1:53 pm

    Such a pretty ring Catherine, congratulations!

    I started reading your blog after you posted it on the Wake Up facebook page last week. Every time I read an entry I’m reminded of the Shopaholic books. The style in which you write is sweet & fun.

    Best of luck!


    • September 20, 2010 3:58 pm

      Thank you so much, Nikki! I love Julia … I’ve sort of been staring at her all day, LOL. Distracting! 🙂

      Thanks for reading and for your kind words. I’m happy you found the blog – wasn’t sure if anyone saw that post on Wake Up! And, it’s always nice to know that someone other than my immediate family (and the guys I am dating) are reading this blog, LOL.

      Take care, Catherine

  6. September 20, 2010 5:04 pm

    My ex, known in our blog as the disgusting trashy bastard cheating ex, of three years bought me a ring I’d been eyeing for a long time. It was the first piece of jewelry a man, other than my father, had bought for me. It meant the world to me.

    When I found out my ex cheated, I threw everything in the dumpster, except the ring. I didn’t wear it, but I figured as time passed I would. You’re right, the ring didn’t do anything wrong, but he did. So I finally sold the ring, and bought myself an amazing pair of thigh-high boots. Something I would never buy for myself, and something pretty damn sexy.

    Hollar for girl power!


    • September 20, 2010 8:03 pm

      I love that you bought a pair of sexy thigh-high boots with the money from your ring! That’s friggin’ awesome! Every time you strut in those boots looking hot, it’s just another reminder of all he lost when he did you wrong. Love it!

  7. September 20, 2010 6:07 pm

    Great post! And very pretty ring. And why does everyone always ask what happened to the ring? I overheard a conversatino about a wedding right just this weekend. And it seems like no matter what the girl did – she gave it back or keep it – there is at least one person in the conversation who will say she should have done the other thing. What is the right etiquette here?

    • September 20, 2010 7:58 pm

      Thanks so much! You ask a good question about why everyone always asks me what happened to the ring. I don’t know what it is – some sort of morbid curiousity. The next most common question is regarding how I found out about the lies my ex was telling me and the reasons we broke up. They always want to know – How did it all go down? How did you find out? I think they ask this because they want to know what to look for themselves in their own relationships. These are not fun questions to either answer or ignore.

      But you are right – everyone has an opinion. Everyone feels this need to tell me, you should have kept it! Or, you did the right thing! My main feeling is that it is what it is, and it doesn’t really matter what others think about my actions – they are in the past. I think the best etiquette is to not ask, and if I want to tell you, I will. Ya know?

      • Aunt Patty permalink
        September 20, 2010 9:44 pm

        As the great and wise Zaza Gabor said ” Always give back the ring, but keep the stones, thats where the money is”. And for those of you who do not know Zaza Gabor holds the record for exes, even more than Elizabeth Taylor!

        • September 21, 2010 12:20 am

          LOL, too funny Aunt Patty. That would have been awesome, to have taken out the diamonds and given him back the platinum band alone. 🙂 Ahh, the lost opportunities… haha

  8. Millie Turner (Mom) permalink
    September 20, 2010 7:04 pm

    Beautiful ring can’t wait to see it in person; you can come here for dinners 🙂

    • September 20, 2010 7:46 pm

      Thanks, Ma! Can’t wait to introduce you to Julia.

      • September 20, 2010 7:48 pm

        I love the fact that your mother has put ‘Mom’ in brackets- too cute!

        • September 20, 2010 8:31 pm

          LOL, I know I think it’s funny too. Every time I see a comment come through from Millie Turner (Mom) it cracks me up!

  9. Beverly permalink
    September 20, 2010 7:17 pm

    It’s beautiful and you deserve it!

  10. September 20, 2010 7:48 pm

    I agree with your other readers, Catherine- this is a truly beautiful post. Very touching. I can’t lie: a tear was shed. Enjoy your lovely new ring x

    • September 20, 2010 8:26 pm

      Aww … thank you very much. Didn’t imagine this would make anyone cry (except me, LOL, but I’m a cryer!) and that means a lot to me. Appreciate your reading and commenting, but more importantly sharing this experience with me!

  11. September 20, 2010 10:48 pm

    Beautiful! I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago – from your guest post on Sex Lies Dating. I am recently single as well, I was married for less than a year, and I totally know where you’re coming from with the ring. I picked out my ring as well after a long search. I loved it, was nervous about losing it and always twirled it with my pinky and middle finger to make sure it was still there. I still do that now even though there is no ring on it. I however kept my rings, and plan to melt them down into a pretty right hand ring. I’m just trying to work on a design. Lovely blog! Totally brought tears to my eyes!

    • September 21, 2010 12:22 am

      Thank you for your comment, kind words and for reading! Glad you found the blog. I’m sorry to hear about your break up as well. I’m glad to know there is someone else out there double checking that a phantom engagement ring is still on their finger. Makes me feel a little less crazy. 🙂 I think that’s a great idea to melt down your rings and create something new from it! Whenever it’s complete, please post a picture – I’d love to see it. Can’t wait to head over and check out your blog!

  12. September 21, 2010 3:50 pm

    Gorgeous. Congrats to you…and Julia! -SG

  13. September 27, 2010 8:29 pm

    Congrats! I have been thinking about getting myself a right hand ring as well! I’ve never bought jewellery for myself, but my ex always bought me things. I think it’s a statement, that you made it through this time, and you didn’t need anyone else to get there! I did keep my ring however, I spent months picking it out and loved it so much, I couldn’t bare to part with it. That and I had spent a small fortune on an engagment watch for him, so I figured I am keeping it for emotional pain and suffering! 🙂

  14. Mike permalink
    November 28, 2010 4:10 pm

    Yes, there’s an ettiquet, and i’ll tell it to you:

    Rings are expensive. Give it back so he can sell it and recuperate.

    Where is this grey area you’re all searching so hard for?!

    Enlighten me, please.

    Besides, you should be trying to get back together with the guy you overreacted with two days before your wedding.

    • November 30, 2010 4:17 pm

      I think you should reread some of my blog posts. I did not cancel my wedding two days before. We cancelled it more than two months before. I also think you should reread my post and maybe take a gander at some of the comments. I have given the ring back. I have never EVER argued that it is mine or attempted to keep it unfairly. I agree rings are expensive and I do hope my ex can sell it an recuperate the cost. I think in your sudden need to be offensive to me, you have neglected to thoroughly read the blog posts. Hope you are “enlighted” now. Thanks.
      Oh, and how about you NOT give me advice on whether I should get back together with my ex? Unless you have some knowledge about the situation that I don’t, I hardly think it is appropriate for you to comment on my situation in that way. You do not know me, you do not know my ex, and you do not know the situation. If I were to poll people on if they would take my ex back after what happened, I would suspect about 95% would say no. Perhaps you shouldn’t comment on things you know nothing about, hmm?

  15. December 29, 2010 4:52 am

    This is great 🙂 you are exactly right, you don’t need a man to buy you something beautiful. Everyone always tells us we should love ourselves and what better way to say it than with something beautiful 😉 I really hope you enjoy wearing her!

    As for that Mikes comment- actually made me laugh. He had enough time to come here and write out a ‘cutting’ comment, but not enough time to actually read what he was commenting on. Brilliant!

    • December 30, 2010 12:06 am

      Joeandharry: Thanks for your comment! I love that you commented on an old post – it was like a nice reminder of how much I love my ring! I wear it every day. Sometimes I even forget it’s there, but then it catches the light some special way and I fall in love all over again. I’m very lucky to have been able to afford this gift for myself…and also for letting go of the fear that buying myself jewelry held for me previously.

      As for that Mike guy – he went through the blog and wrote offensive comments on a bunch of different posts but A: didn’t actually read the posts thoroughly because he stated some downright incorrect facts and B: didn’t respond to my responses to him. LOL. Some people have no lives at all… I actually feel sorta bad for him. Onward and upward!!

  16. Anettka permalink
    July 21, 2012 1:33 am

    Your blog is fabulous. Your writing is hilarious and your posts are uplifting. It’s like you committed to yourself by buying Julia which is awesome!The fact that you bought yourself a ring really inspires me to continue living a full, passionate life, with or WITHOUT a man in it! 😉 Because that’s what being sassy and single is all about! 🙂

    • August 2, 2012 11:05 pm

      THANK YOU for your comment. You seem like a pretty amazing woman and I’m happy that my writing has had a positive impact on you! Now get out there and treat yourself well – you deserve it!

  17. Lily permalink
    May 9, 2013 6:47 pm

    Hi Catherine,
    I discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago (not long after my ex and I broke up.) I realize this all happened awhile ago for you, but I couldn’t be more thankful for finding someone in the same sort of mindset.
    My ex gave me a promise ring on our first year anniversary, and I wore it almost everyday after. Before we broke up I lost it, and that threw everything over the edge. (I found it a week later, but it was already too late.)
    Even though I couldn’t bear wearing my promise ring anymore, I missed the feeling of wearing it. I’d never bought myself a nice piece of jewelry before either, and I wanted something to symbolize my newfound independence and confidence.
    I was a bit hesitant to actually go through with it though. Reading this post on your blog gave me the push to go out there and buy something beautiful for myself.
    That being said, thank you so much for writing this blog and allowing us to share in your journey.

    • May 11, 2013 8:47 am

      Hi Lily,
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your experience. What did you buy yourself? I’m sure whatever it is is as beautiful as you. We must treat ourselves well … We deserve it and if we don’t, why would anyone else? Take care of yourself!

  18. Lily permalink
    May 12, 2013 3:34 am

    My right hand is now adorned with a beautiful white gold ring. There are pretty ‘S’ shaped swirls around an oval amethyst that has a tiny diamond on each side. I’m happy every time I look at it because I did this for myself.
    You make a very good point, and it reminded me of a quote from the Perks of Being a Wallflower: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I look forward to reading more of your blog, and you take care too!

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