The Naked Apple

Repoting from the modern middle class

How I Bought My Second Engagement Ring

with 3 comments


“I need you to make a decision, as I can’t start married life with a white lie. I have found the engagement ring of your dreams, bigger than you could ever imagine in a red Cartier box from Paris. But, the ring is for sale by a divorcee in Manhattan.” Pause. “This is the only way we can afford such a ring. But I won’t be able to lie about how I acquired it. So that’s your first option, perfect ring – bad story. The second is something a little more modest and will be bought by conventional means from a jeweler in the diamond district.” I waited for her to speak like she was deciding where we’d spend the rest of out lives together. Would we chase trinkets, ambition or love together.

“Will you be cross if I want the Cartier one?”

With the matter settled and my conscience clear, I began the transaction. The seller and I communicated by email and when we finally met on the corner of Church and Broadway, I was surprised to learn that Charlie was a woman. She’d brought a male friend with her in case I was setting her up though he looked too small for the job; until then I hadn’t contemplated the transaction from the seller’s side. Our meeting took place in a small jeweler’s store that I’d chosen where an elderly gent, armed with a monocle, confirmed the stone’s authenticity.

We met a second time, a few days later at a Commerce Bank in Brooklyn Heights. Sat at the bank manager’s desk together, I wired $16,000 to her account and handed her the receipt. The cashier assumed we were a couple nervously transferring a deposit on our first apartment; I smiled, and explained that the world moves in funny ways sometimes and summarized my short relationship to Charlie.
Afterwards, we crossed the road, talking like awkward friends who have neglected to stay in touch, and found a table in a nearby Starbucks . The red box was passed across the table and she began to cry quietly as if letting go of an unwanted love like it was an abandoned infant. I quickly placed the box out of sight and stumbled over the appropriate things to say.

I spent the rest of the afternoon studying the papers, an unorthodox archive of two strangers’’ lives together. The ring was purchased in Short Hills, New Jersey where the sales taxes are lower than Manhattan by a Mr Biltmore and fitted 3 weeks later. Looking at the date on the receipt, they had been engaged and married less than three years . I later took the ring to Cartier on Fifth Avenue and arranged to have it serviced (including a fresh polishing of Iridium over the platinum) at no cost to me. I had a difficult time explaining why I was not Mr Biltmore and how the ring had come into my posession. Still the bauble came back a week later and I think the Australian sales assistant forgave me when he saw my face:
“Now that’s better , Sir isn’t it? “ I purchased two wedding bands from him and left with my trio of red boxes.

The following Sunday morning, my lady and I lay in bed with sunlight streaming in through the sooted windows of her studio apartment . She screwed her eyes tighly shut and I carefully slid on the engagement band and wedding ring onto the third finger of her Russian right hand “just to make sure they fit it” before returning the items to their hiding place inside the non-working fireplace. And so for five happy minutes we were husband and wife, six months ahead of schedule.


Written by The Naked Apple

February 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I LOVE IT 🙂


    February 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm



    February 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm

  3. MEH…


    March 19, 2009 at 2:16 pm

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