When I met my husband, I had already been divorced twice and he had never been married before. In addition to this, I am over five years older than he is. That doesn’t make much difference now, but at the time he was only 22 while I was 28. I certainly felt like I wasn’t quite good enough for him. It definitely didn’t help that I was teased by friends and family for “robbing the cradle.” However my husband, Jeff, always treated me like a princess and believed that I was not only as good as, but better than other women. He believed that it was good for him to be dating someone who was older and therefore didn’t play games. Jeff had recently been engaged to another woman who not only played games, but had actually cheated on him with a coworker. So when I asked him what he expected of me, his only answer was to love him which I did and do.
After we had been dating about six months, Jeff was suddenly being quite evasive. On a couple of occasions he had made me quite nervous, because he was inexplicably gone for a few hours with no explanation. I had questioned him repeatedly and even gotten upset at him. But the only response that I got was it’s a secret. Now coming from an abusive past, I don’t really like secrets. I finally gave up and tried to let it go. A few days later, Jeff called me out to the living room from the bedroom to show me something. On the couch was a hand-colored computer-written note saying “nannette will you marry me?” This was during the days of the dot-matrix printers instead of today’s color printers. I was thrilled, but apprehensive too. After all this would be my third marriage, and the odds against success are not very high for third marriages.
Jeff then removed from his pocket a ring to give me. This wasn’t just any ring either. His previous fiancée had made him purchase a ring that was probably too expensive compared to his income at the time. He didn’t want to let this ring go to waste and couldn’t purchase a new ring that was comparable in price. So behind my back, Jeff had taken this ring and a men’s gold ring that he also owned down to the jewelers. He and the jeweler had then redesigned a ring just for me. My “new” ring is totally different than any other ring that I’ve seen; in fact I’ve never even seen a ring quite like it before. The band is very thick gold chosen to suite my tomboy lifestyle. There is a center diamond that is from the original ring which is surrounded by two aquamarines. Aquamarines are Jeff’s birthstone. Next to the aquamarines are four smaller diamonds. Maybe on purpose or maybe on accident I’ve never really been sure, Jeff designed the absolutely perfect ring. It is a reflection on who we are and who we wish to be. It was incredibly romantic. The ring is a blend of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Whenever I look at my ring, I am reassured that I am both worthy and loved. By the way, we are celebrating our 16th anniversary this year and are still happy and in love.