Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Upgrade

I continue to be amazed at the way life works. I went back and forth for a very long time about what to do about my engagement ring and wedding band. Divorce is such a strange process. For those of you who have never been through it (and I hope you never have to) the engagement ring is a "contract" between you and your partner. As long as the engagement ring wasn’t “gifted” on a holiday, you went through with the wedding ceremony and were legally married, the contract has been fulfilled and the woman gets to keep the engagement ring. Since I can check all the boxes off to meet this criteria, the ring is mine (insert Sméagol "my precious" voice here).

I was torn. Some people told me to have custom jewelry made. But do I really want to wear something regularly that was the cause of so much pain? Others told me to just sell the diamonds, scrap the bands, and build my savings or take a trip with the money I make on them. But I knew I'd never make back what they're actually worth. Ultimately I decided to take the lemons that were given to me and make lemonade.
Charo doesn't like selfies

I started this process back in July. I visited a local, family owned jeweler (not a large chain) and brought in my rings. As I sat and told the salesman what I thought I wanted, the shop dog (Charo, the Chihuahua) jumped up onto my lap and made herself comfortable. At that moment I knew I was in the right place. Dave helped shape my vision into something even greater than I imagined. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, I went ahead and spent an exorbitant amount of money on myself, visiting the store a total of three separate times to get my vision of the jewelry correct. The end result was my center engagement diamond custom designed into a necklace setting and the remaining side diamonds from my bands into stack-able rings. I won't lie, I felt guilty spending the money on myself, especially going so many years "without" while I was married in order to make ends meet. Then I remember that I'm worth it, and I'm the only one I've got, so why not take something that almost broke me and make it into something that shines.

I got the call that my pieces were finally ready towards the end of the day while I was at work last Thursday. Realizing the date was the 14th, it reminded me that it was about this time last year I had my court date. Flipping back to last year's calendar the irony hit me; it was exactly one year on the day that my divorce was legally finalized. Talk about timing.

Cheers to a fresh start
I scheduled to pick them up over the weekend and wasn't sure how I'd feel, having these new pieces but knowing where the diamonds came from. When I walked into the store Saturday the salesman I had worked with exclaimed (as he was with other clients) "Here she is! Every time she comes in here she's happy. I've never met someone who's always in such a good mood, I don't know how she does it." His co-worker, whom I've also spoken with on my multiple visits, was equally as elated and told me "I already asked Dave if it was okay to put the necklace on you, wait until you see how it came out! We're so excited for you". I closed my eyes (at their request) until the necklace was clasped at the base of my neck. When I re-opened them to look in the mirror, I wanted to cry. It was perfect.

That's when I knew that I had made the right decision to have the pieces remade. Wearing these would be to remind myself that I survived; that the painful experiences I went through have helped me learn and grow. My bubbly personality hasn't been lost, but rather continues to sparkle as I build these next new chapters in my life.





(If you live in the South Jersey area it's Family & Co Jewelers on Rt 70 in Marlton. They're fantastic, and tell them I sent you!)

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