The real ring

This blog’s title is poignant for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, apologies if you saw the clearly unfinished/not even started post which just contained a picture of a ring:

I attempted to delete it but I can still see it on the feed.

Now let me explain what the post was meant to be about. 😊

My second child is 11 years old and he is in his last year of primary school. He’s the one I worry about for a multitude of reasons. He is a handsome, enthusiastic, intelligent, loving but extremely sensitive boy. He has had some trouble with school which has had a serious effect on his confidence and self esteem. He’s very good at putting on a show of confidence and bravado but underneath is a child who is craving success and acknowledgement. Throw in an antagonistic relationship with his dad and there you have my beautiful boy.

His primary school has gift sales at various points of the year. The gifts are inexpensive – no more than £2 and often less – and help the children with using money and confidence to buy.

My son’s buying experiences have been interesting. One year he came home with twenty-five – yes twenty five – mini bouncy balls for himself. He once bought me an orange lipstick. So let’s just say his buying has not always been geared towards the occasion. 😊

For Mother’s Day this year, he came home with a little candle, a necklace and a ring.

The ring fit my little finger perfectly and I haven’t had it off my finger since. It’s silver with a little blue/turquoise stone and is just the sort of style that I love. Naturally, being a toyshop ring, the silver coating is already wearing off to show whatever orange metal it is made out of. The stone is in wonky. But I love it because it is from my son. I don’t know if he chose that ring because he knew I would like it or whether it was a fluke but I do love it.

But it isn’t going to last. And knowing my son, that will hurt when it snaps or the stone falls out. Hence my search for a ‘real’ replacement. It has taken a while – I can’t afford to spend too much and of course it needs to look as close as it can to the original. The above ring is as close as I can get – the shoulders on the toy ring don’t have gems but the shape is identical. The ring above is sterling silver and blue zircon. It should last.

I don’t wear or buy a lot of jewelry. I don’t have anything of real monetary value. Gosh there are some beautiful rings out there though and I was ogling quite a few while I searched for the ring.

I’ve been engaged twice and neither time have I had the ring buying experience. The first time round we just happened to see a ring in a second hand shop that I liked whilst looking for a present for his mum. It was gold and cubic zirconia. I liked it, it was cheap, and I was sensitive to the fact that he would never have the money to go ring shopping like young girls dream of.

The second ring, from the man I actually married, I bought myself from a shopping channel. It is gold with small diamonds and I bought it with some birthday money because I didn’t own a ring. Weeks later when my husband proposed he admitted that he hadn’t bought a ring but said that he would start saving. Knowing how bad he was with money (one of the reasons we eventually separated) I suggested using the ring in the interim.

The real one never materialised. The Christmas before our first separation, he had asked me what I wanted for Christmas, again acknowledging that he didn’t have much money (I had bought the children’s presents). I told him I would be happy with a bottle of wine but asked that as it was my 30th birthday in April, I would love a new engagement ring. It did not need to be expensive but one that he had chosen specifically for me. I’m not materialistic and a ring for a maximum £100-£200 would have been more than enough- it was the fact that he had saved and bought it was what mattered.

Needless to say the ring never came. A few weeks before my 30th after a prolonged period of moodiness, he admitted that he hadn’t saved any money so couldn’t buy me the ring. As the money had been spent on his addiction – and the reason we ultimately split after ten years – I was upset but tried to be understanding.

Searching for my mother’s day replacement ring, I thought about how exciting and romantic it must be to look at rings together with the person you love. There were so many pretty rings and as I had set the ‘refine’ tab to under £50 it was sad to see so many pretty rings, so cheap, that both of these men could have bought me but never did. I didn’t need an expensive diamond solitaire. It didn’t need to be the value of a month’s wage. I just wanted a pretty ring thoughtfully chosen and paid for by the man I loved.

So perhaps you can see why that little toyshop ring is so precious to me. Even with the replacement, I will never throw it away. It will take pride of place in my jewellery box where hopefully it will last until my dying day.

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