DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I both wear wedding bands with carved designs. My ring has no diamonds or jewels of any kind. I don’t have an engagement ring. I respect other women’s preferences, but I did not want my husband to spend unnecessary money on jewels. Our bands were not expensive and they are comfortable to wear.
Some people seem to think that a lack of jewels is an indicator that the husband is not truly devoted. One person even implied that an inexpensive ring means that there was a “shotgun wedding,” for an unexpected pregnancy.
We have been married for seven years, are financially comfortable, and we have no children by choice. How should I respond to people who ask why he didn’t buy me a diamond?
GENTLE READER: As if someone had questioned the value of one of your most treasured possessions.
Miss Manners is not advising a counterattack of the “I do not waste money on baubles” variety. The sentiment-vs.-expense point can be made more subtly. Your face should convey surprise, hurt and vulnerability, as you explain that your husband knows you so well that he guessed that this ring would mean more to you than any rocks would have.
(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)