Many of you know that husband #1 and I had to get remarried about two years ago. You might think it was because the love that we have shared has been so bountiful and beautiful that we just wanted to renew those vows that had served us so magnificently up to this point. Because husband #1 is so romantic that he wanted to remarry me so he could reshower me with gifts and affection. He wanted to have a harpist play Barry Manilow love songs as we repledged our love and devotion, again.
Yes, I am feeling a little nauseous right now and I imagine you all might be feeling this way too.
Truth is, my Monsey-raised husband tends to run toward the frugal, and he never paid for my ring. I bought mine and his and I paid for both, and 22 years later, we realized we made a big boo boo. The rabbi told us that we had to redo the whole ring part. It was festive, it was spiritual, and best of all, it was really funny. The funniest not-so-funny part is that the reason why we had to redo the ring part was so if we ever want to get divorced, everything would be in order with everything else. Otherwise, husband #1 could just say, “Well, I never paid for a ring, so I don’t have to give her a get.” Not that he would ever do that, because I would shoot him, but that was the reasoning behind the ring redo.
Anyway, fast forward to son #1 and his decision to marry daughter-in-law #1. The best decision of his life, and I was so so excited about the prospect of jewelry shopping for a girl. A Girl!!!! Unfortunately, no one wanted to go diamond shopping with me — had I been going football shopping, the line would be out the door. If I was going seforim shopping, the line would be even longer. But for diamonds, not so much.
So a fancy friend of mine volunteered to accompany me to meet the diamond guy. Yes, I have a diamond guy. Daughter-in-law #1 had sent me a picture of what she wanted and I brought the picture to the diamond guy and it all started to come together. But there was one thing missing. I had lost my engagement ring. I had put it safely away before winter vacation in January, and when I went shopping for son #1’s ring in June, I still hadn’t found it. I felt really badly that my ring, my beautiful ring, was missing out on all of the fun. I wanted my ring to meet the new ring… Is that weird? even for me?
So we picked the stone we loved the best, took care of some other surprises for the bride, and excitement was all around. Well, all around me. The rest of my family, not so much. But I was happy to know that as the only girl in family, I was still excited about shiny and sparkly jewelry. My boys hadn’t completely turned me into a, well, boy. I couldn’t wait for son #1 to give dil #1 the ring. Of course I wasn’t allowed to discuss engagement ideas or anything like that because, “Mom, you don’t know about any of this stuff.” Yup, I know nothing. I had to wait and see what the bride-to-be thought.
So the engagement finally happened and dil #1 received the ring and she loved it. Well, she told me that she loved it, and I decided to believe her. And then she came for shabbos and while trying not to stare at her (1. because she is so adorable and 2. because she is the girl who is going spend the rest of her life with the human that I created and nurtured for the first 22 years of his life) I did catch a glimpse of her staring at her ring, and it brought me back to when I did the same thing, and still do 24 years later.
I am sure there is a reason why diamonds became the symbol of the engagement ring. I will look into that. But, for now, staring at it makes you think of love and life and beauty, and all the things you want in your life and your marriage. I truly hope that dil #1 loves my boy and her ring for 120 years, in good health and happiness.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck did not have dil #1 look through this column, but she hopes that she will like it.