I'm sitting cross-legged on my therapist's couch 4 months after my husband's announcement that he wants a divorce when my therapist informs me that he thinks I should start dating again.
I had told myself and others that I was going to take time off to concentrate on myself for once. Between a husband and three boys, I didn't know who I was anymore. I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends, drink martinis like a fish, and let the hair grow long on my legs if I wanted. I had even gone so far as to announce to my friends that I was going to take a full year off from any kind of relationship.
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A while back I wrote about how the fact that I hadn’t done anything to update my house since my divorce seemed to be a clear indication that I was still emotionally stuck. Well, I can happily say that in the past few months I have changed some of that. It started with a new shower curtain and new/used couch. My mom sent a new comforter and sheet set to update my bedroom. And, tuned or not, I downloaded some sheet music from Musicnotes.com and started playing my piano again. Little by little, I’ve been getting rid of old stuff and moving on.
In the process of purging the ex’s things from my home, however, I realized there was another ex lurking. (Hey, it happens. You don’t get to be 40-something without a few skeletons in your closet.)
I still had the engagement ring I had given a fiancé over 15 years ago. He proposed to me with a sapphire and diamond ring much like Princess Diana’s (only much smaller.) Several months later, I purchased a similar ring for him that contained an oval sapphire and two diamonds. His birthday was in September and mine is in April. At the time, rings with our birthstones seemed like a cool idea for our wedding rings.
Anyway, after a five year engagement, we never married. It’s complicated and involves an overbearing Italian mother who didn’t like me very much, her passive son, and the cow giving the milk away for free. To make a long story short, I eventually got tired of waiting, and when we broke up, I got his ring back. He took mine.
Don’t ask how that even makes any sense. I don’t really remember how it happened that I got his ring, but I vaguely recall that his ring was more valuable than mine and I suggested that we switch. Yes, I would do that. (If you haven’t been paying attention, go back and read the posts where I confess to using single-ply toilet paper, wait until happy hour starts so I can get my sangria at $5 instead of $7.50, and break down the cost per date on Match.com and refuse to renew my subscription.)
And that’s how I came to own a man’s ring that I couldn’t wear for the past ten years, through a marriage, and through two household moves. It was simple. There was more gold in his ring than in mine.
Have you seen the price of gold lately?
Anyway, a couple of years ago, I took my ex’s ring to a jeweler in Seattle to see if I could sell it or have it made into something new. That jeweler basically made the process of melting the metals down and creating something new sound too complicated, and she basically told me that jewelers won’t pay anything for old jewelry. Jewelers get asked all the time to buy old wedding sets after couples divorce, and basically, they’ll only pay the scrap metal price. It’s insulting. So, I continued to hang on to my ex’s engagement ring…
…until recently when I started purging and updating my home post divorce. I started looking in earnest for a way to sell my ex’s ring, and happened upon Eragem, an online jewelry store that does online jewelry consignment. The other bonus was that they are not far from Seattle, in Bellevue. I worked with the guys at EraGem, and I was happy to find out that, with the current price of gold, by consigning my ring I could get my money back out of the piece.
So, that’s what I’ve decided to do. I’ll admit even after fifteen years selling the ex’s engagement ring was a little difficult, but this is all part of the process of moving on after a relationship ends, right? There’s no sense in hanging on to old baggage.
“They want $19.99 a month!”
“What? What are you talking about? Who does?” Sarah asked.
“JDate. They want $19.99 a month for a six month membership. It’s $39.99 per month if you only sign up for one month. That’s online dating highway robbery!”
“Well, maybe they’re trying to keep out the riff raff.”
“Well, maybe you’re getting what you pay for with these free online dating websites. Think about it. If a guy’s paying twenty dollars a month to meet a woman, he’s probably somewhat serious about wanting a relationship.”
“Well, I did the analysis on this when I tried Match.com and it wasn’t worth the price. At twenty dollars a month, at one date a week, that’s five dollars per date with no quality guarantee.”
“Yeah, but if a guy is willing to pay five dollars a date to meet someone maybe you would meet less freaky coffee dates and more quality men.”
“But I have no way of knowing that and I have no way of knowing whether or not these Jewish men will even want to go out with me. Do you know that when I go on JDate to fill out a profile I have to pick a tribe? There’s no category for “shiksa goddess.” They expect the members of JDate to, you know, actually be Jewish. How do I know I won’t be shunned?”
Sarah just sat there looking at me. I swear I saw a slight smile on her face, like she was really having fun with this. “Well, that does present a problem, doesn’t it?” she sighed.
“Well, I’m not paying that to find out. I think everyone is wrong. I don’t need to meet a Jewish doctor. I need to meet a Jewish economist. I love economists.”
“You’re so cheap.”
“I’m not cheap. I’m frugal. There’s a difference.”
“Yeah, well, you’re going to make some Jewish man very happy someday.”