The Ring

Nope, this blog post isn’t about our favorite horror movie. (Honestly, I don’t like horror films; Katherine eats them up.) It’s about our engagement ring and how I found the perfect one for our proposal.

I went into the ring shopping process almost completely blind. I can count on one hand the articles of jewelry I’ve purchased in my life. I did my best to pay attention to Katherine’s style so that I’d at least have an idea of what to look for, but I was still terrified.

It’s a lot of pressure picking out an engagement ring. You want to find something that will match your love’s taste, reflect how you feel about them, and fit your budget. That’s a sweet spot that feels really daunting when you’re preparing to shop. I mean, you’re picking out something that they’re going to wear every day! It’s enough to make you feel sick.

Of course, Katherine wasn’t worried. Anytime engagement rings came up, she’d say, “You’ll know the right one when you see it.” (Spoiler alert: She was right.) She didn’t want any input or any hints about what it might be. We had decided to do it the old-school way: a complete surprise.

So one day after a lot of ruminating and self-doubting, I finally got up the courage to go look at rings. I figured the mall, with its plethora of options, would be a good place to start. Of course, I couldn’t go alone. I brought along my friend Kevin for moral support. If it hadn’t been for him, I might have chickened out that day, which would have been a tragedy since that was the day I found the perfect ring. (Kevin, by the way, told me that I wouldn’t go home that day empty-handed, and I insisted that I would.)

I told myself I was “just looking” to see what was available. I walked into the first store and felt overwhelmed by all of the different options before me and the factors that played into each one. I had to think about metal color, band type, the cut of the diamond, and so much more. What even is a karat? I could sort of articulate what I was looking for, but I wasn’t able to find anything that seemed right. So I thanked the salesperson and went on my way.

By that point, I could feel some momentum building. I had taken my first steps into this world, and I was ready to dive in. So I went to a second store and began browsing their selection. A kind salesperson named Amanda walked me through all of my options. None of them really caught my eye until I came to the end. There, on the very last row, I glimpsed a ring that I just had to see up-close.

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It was a dainty yellow gold band with a cluster of diamonds in the center and a few tiny diamonds on each side. It was elegant, simple, beautiful but not too flashy, and traditional but not antiquated. It was a classic, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was the one, and I knew it, but my mind just wasn’t ready to accept it.

After inspecting the ring further, I decided to walk away. It was hard, but after all, I was “just looking.” I called my sister to get her opinion, and she loved it. I went to another store and found nothing of interest, which further confirmed what I already knew: That ring was the one. It was the right one. It was the only one. And I needed it right then.

As I paced around trying to convince myself to go back and buy the ring, I randomly bumped into my friend Erica, who asked me what I was doing. After sheepishly admitting to her what I was up to and hearing her squeal with glee, I asked if she’d like to see the ring and offer her opinion. I figured taking someone with me would give me the courage to go back. She obviously said yes, so we walked back down to the store.

Upon seeing the ring, my friend instantly exclaimed, “Katherine would love that! You have to buy it right now.” So I had the salesperson pull the ring back out. I stared at it, turned it over in my hands, and pictured giving it to Katherine. And after all that, I finally had to admit to myself that I had found the one.

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I had concerns: “Did I find it too quickly? Should I shop around some more? Am I spending enough?” Plus, I’d never even heard of a cluster cut before, and I loved it but I wasn’t sure how other people would feel about it. But I put all of those concerns aside because I knew that this was the right one. I bought it and happily walked out of the store with my precious cargo in hand.

There’s a little bit more to the story: I had to get it approved by Katherine’s stepmom, who knows what she likes better than anyone. I showed it to my parents and let them know about my plans. I had to get it sized and cleaned and perfectly ready for the moment when Katherine would see it. But from the moment I accepted that this ring was the right ring, everything else felt natural.

I think that’s actually representative of this whole process for me: I was so nervous about it, thinking I would blunder it every chance I got. But every step along the way, I’ve found that it’s more natural, more wonderful, and more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined. Sure, it’s a little scary, but it’s supposed to be! This is new, it’s exciting, and it’s a big deal. And it’s all going perfectly.

I couldn’t ask for a better ring, a better proposal, or a better partner to do it all with. And I trust that wedding planning and actually getting married will go just as smoothly and be even more meaningful than everything has thus far. I can’t wait for every last step.

Devon Dundee

Greenwood, AR, United States

Spirit animal: deer in the headlights. Favorite nicknames: Uncle Dev, Vaughn, That Guy with the Mac Adapter.