When Toby and I got engaged, we had the hardest time shopping for a ring. For starters, we wanted a blood-free diamond, free of Sierra Leone. And considering the majority of America’s diamonds come from there, we were assuming we’d need to find something other than a diamond. So I set my sights on gems like sapphires or garnets. We were ready to spend a pretty penny on it, too. Armed with cash, we set out on weekends in search of that perfect ring.
We were living in D.C. at the time and considering neither one of us had ever looked for expensive jewelry before, we weren’t exactly sure where to go. We headed to Georgetown, first, which is perhaps the most ritzy place in D.C. proper. There, we were greeted by a man who actually suggested we buy a 79 dollar ring. The thing had a seam. I even checked to see if you could push it together to make it smaller and further apart to make it larger.
Just think, for that price, you can still take her to dinner when it’s all over.
Toby Joe was furious.
Doesn’t that cheap motherfucker realize I could BUY HIM?! I make more than that asshole. I make more per year than he’ll see in his lifetime. Cheap asshole.
Needless to say, we left the store empty fingered.
We looked in a few more places in Georgetown and were properly ignored in every last one of them. If people paid attention it took place in the less expensive stores. This was something we were soon going to get used. We headed to Pentagon City that day but by then the excitement of having a new ring to celebrate our new engagement was pretty much extracted from me thanks to the apparent judgment by others.
The following weekend we put on nicer clothing and headed out to Tyson’s Corner in Virginia, home of the biggest shopping complex I have ever been to. It spans a highway, it’s so big. We knew there’d be jewelry stores galore there and if that didn’t work out, there was a Tiffany’s across the street.
We visited at least 7 stores and were spoken to by one person. The rest of them wanted nothing to do with us. The guy we did manage to speak to claimed he would have no way of knowing where a diamond came from. Which, I am told, is a flat-out lie unless, of course, you’re buying your precious stones from the back of a truck in which case it came from a back of a truck—nuff said.
We didn’t have much luck at Tiffany’s either. They didn’t even make eye-contact with us.
In the end, Bailey Banks and Biddle was the place we ended up giving our money to. And that’s pretty much what it was like for the two of us; we had all this money set aside for a big fat, blood-free diamond and nobody wanted it.
Big mistake. HUGE.
But I’m not writing for pity. It’s a good day when your bad day consists of several failed attempts at buying a diamond ring. The reason I am writing is to suggest that someone go into the non-judgmental diamond-selling business because there are a slew of young, unkempt, non-suit wearing folks out there who have money to spend on expensive jewelry. And, you know what? They might appear to be “too young” as well. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have money. That doesn’t mean they can’t drop 8+ grand on a big effin’ rock.
Do you have to be judgmental asshole to work in a jewelry store or what?
Goodbye, I have to go shopping now.