August 26, 2009

Things That Make Me A Bad Fiancé: Cubic Zirconia

Welcome to another installment of the Bad Boyfriend Chronicles. We're going to venture into a HIGHLY FICTIONAL realm here and imagine a scenario in which I've actually successfully wooed you (unlikely), kept you interested for a period of at least a year (highly unlikely), and popped the big question to which you've said yes (lightning strike).

Since we've established a few things that make me a bad boyfriend, we're going to dive right in and start off my role as a bad fiancé in the best way possible. I'm going to kick off the whole engagement with a lie:
I'm going to buy you a cubic zirconia and act like it's a real diamond.
I know that sounds fucked up, but let's just be realistic. The most expensive thing I've ever purchased is the high-def TV that currently sits in my living room. It was $2,000. To me, that's an ungodly amount of money. But, now I get to wake up to Matt Lauer in crisp high-def as I eat my cornflakes. And when I come home from work, I can watch epic movies and VH1 reality shows to my heart's content in stunning detail. Not bad!

Imagine for a moment that someone invented a high-def TV that was 1/10th the price and looked EXACTLY the same and displayed that same crisp high-def picture and looked awesome. Maybe it had some cheaper components, but only someone highly trained in HDTV technology could tell the difference. I'd be all over that in a heartbeat. Give me the cheaper TV. I don't know any better. Ignorance is bliss.

Unless you're a gemologist with a magnifying glass, you're not going to know that I bought you a CZ. Now, this isn't amateur hour. I'm not going to get some ridiculously large CZ and try to pass it off as a diamond. My entry-level marketing job and aging Honda Civic are pretty clear indicators of my income bracket. Instead, I'll pick out something reasonable that you wouldn't suspect to be a fake.

In the end, this will all be for the best. Instead of going into debt to finance an overpriced rock that you wear on your finger, I'll save a bunch of money that will be spent in our inevitable divorce settlement once you find out that I make a bad husband in addition to being a bad boyfriend and bad fiancé.

Long after the marriage is dissolved and you've burned all the photographs and other evidence of me, you'll go to get the ring appraised to sell as a final "fuck you!" And that's when you'll find out it was a CZ the whole time. That's also when I'll officially win.

Unless of course, we never get divorced and manage to live happily ever after, in which case, I win as well.

As you can see, there's really no downside to the cubic zirconia, aside from the fact that it most definitely makes me a bad fiancé.

27 comments:

Anna said...

Ok, this is funny because I would actually PREFER a cz. I'd feel really bad making my future hubby (lightning strike) fork out so much money over a trinket.

Also, I'd feel bad if I were to lose it. And, I've watched the movie Blood Diamond and I am concerned about how the diamond industry is insanely fucked up.

AND, I also shop at T.J. Maxx so we all know how much I like to get a bargain. If you add all that up, it's cz all the way for me!

Lisatella said...

I would have rather had the CZ than the crappy diamond the store told us was worth 2k. When I went to sell that baby I did not get 2k. I did not get anywhere near 2k.

leseizemai said...

Moissanite is another good diamond simulant - It's created synthetically, in a lab, by scientists. Which is awesome because it's A) pretty nerdy and B) free of social injustice.
Still expensive, or so I've heard.

Brie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

Brie! The link is broken! Re-post it, please.

Phil said...

Yeah Brie, now I'm intrigued! You had me at "civil war".

Brie said...

a solution:

www.ericaweiner.com/r_herkimer.php

phil, as a civil war nerd this seems more your style than CZ

Jon K said...

That Blood Diamond movie was the best thing to happen to guys in my particular income bracket since regional rail. I'm pretty sure I could get away with buying a ruby or sapphire or something instead of a diamond and pretend it was an ethical decision.

Brie said...

(newly posted link should work. :) sorry--clumsy fingers on my iPhone left out a w in the critical "www").

www.ericaweiner.com/r_herkimer.php

Lora said...

ever since i was little i've wanted a Ring Pop as an engagement ring, because it would be delicious as well as meaningful. My guy would have to constantly buy new ones as I ate them, thus proclaiming his love for me every few days when he presented me with a new ring. Plus, there would be different colors and flavors to represent how love changes over time. And all of them would probably add up to the price of a real ring anyways.

Katie D. said...

Wouldn't you feel awful lying like that, though?

Phil said...

I wouldn't necessarily LIE. I'm not going out of my way to say it's a real diamond. But I'm also not going to announce "Here, darling, is the best CZ money can buy.."

Timothy said...

Wow, this post took an unexpectedly cynical turn!

thesimplicity said...

Pro tip: you can find a nice indie jeweler/metalsmith on Etsy and get a custom engagement ring (without a diamond in it) for a few hundred bucks.

If I were to ever propose to a girl, whip out an awesome and unique engagement ring, and she complains because there's no stone in it... there's no way we'd be getting married. I'd probably consider that a bullet dodged.

achagallery said...

My mom would totally support you! She's a human health teacher/teen mom counselor and ALWAYS tells the young adults that think they need to blow their savings/rack up tons of credit card debt/etc. over some silly stone, that it's just not worth it.

Julia said...

I would actually prefer no ring, I don't need an overpriced stone as a promise that you'll betroth this little lady.

Erika said...

Ditto. No ring is the way to go. Wedding rings make some sense and have a pretty long history, but engagement rings are very new and very much a (yet another) manufactured "need." http://www.slate.com/id/2167870/

Erika said...

Oh, also, as that article explains, there's also the whole ring as a sort of financial exchange for a woman's purity (cause, I mean, that's all she has to give anyway!). Yuck. No thanks. No ring.

polianarchy said...

Another vote for the CZ/other stone made by SCIENCE! camp. Spending tons of money on a wee li'l ring is silly. That scratch should be used on awesome things like traveling, a house, or his & hers vintage Vespas.

Julia said...

excellent article Erika, it really sums up how I feel about engagement rings.

Have you experienced negative reactions from friends when they learn of your aversion to this custom? I have gotten some really strong negative reactions from mine.

Michelle on the Border said...

I am strongly and openly anti-diamond engagement ring (okay, anti-diamond anything). I've got a lot of reasons, ethical (the diamond trade is, for the most part, bloody and violent) and financial (It's insane how much people spend on just one piece of jewelry), but also because I refuse to buy into a manufactured demand for diamonds which arose thanks to arguably the most successful marketing campaigns in history. Fuck you, DeBeers.

I don't need a dude to "prove" his love for me by throwing down the cost of a car down payment on a ring. I hope that if any guy ever decides to get down on one knee, he'll do it with a CZ ring, or one of those cool science diamonds, or even better yet, a funky $10 ring that he found at a garage sale.

And hey, if he really wanted to spend two months salary on me, he could pay off some of my student loans, or perhaps start a savings account for our future children. Much more practical, much more romantic.

Michelle on the Border said...

Oh yeah, Julia: I've really offended some friends by expressing my feelings about engagement rings. Interestingly, it's the women who get upset - guys always tend to agree with me.

Phil said...

To all who have commented that have no problems with a CZ, I have put all your names on my "Possibly to marry" list.

Expect a call in 2-4 years.

Erika said...

I haven't run into any issues, but my family has me filed in the "when hell freezes over" drawer of potential mariages anyway. And with friends it just doesn't come up because I think most people don't know how completely manufactured this whole ring thing is. I'd heard about the diamond marketing, but I didn't realize they had basically created the entire concept.

Also, like the article notes, since even really liberated women have engagement rings, I had never thought about it. Last names? Sure, people talk about that all the time, but engagement rings aren't even considered an issue.

I hope when/if I get engaged that the dude gets this whole concept cause it'd be a bad indication of our compatiblity if he did not.

LizardQueen said...

I wasn't going to post since Anna summed up my thoughts pretty exactly, but now that Phil's making a list... Hey, gotta keep the options open. If there were some way for me to make a list of guys who'd NOT buy me a real diamond come that day I'd make it.

Bethsoda said...

My little brother bought a small diamond off of some website and just got it placed in a simple band - you can also get other jewels that are cheaper (like saphirres, emeralds, rubies, etc. with a pretty setting and maybe little diamond chips for sparkle for A LOT less) I think a ring like that would be a really cute, sweet way to propose!

antique engagement rings said...

Another solution Artdecodiamonds.com , because we ladies love antiques!

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