Monday, May 10, 2010

The Ring

(PICTURE: Ring shopping with Chi!)

The first time I knew I might marry Huyen was a long long time ago. It was actually within the first few months of us dating. I remember distinctly that we were walking around Hoam Kiem lake and I asked her some cultural question about marriage. I asked if Vietnamese men gave engagement rings and she said yes. I asked how much they spent on them and she said like 2,000,000 VND...which is just over $100. Coming from Los Angeles where women wore diamond rings worth more than the car I drove, this was, music to my ears!

Sooooooooo about two months ago I decided I was gonna pop the big question on our anniversary. I asked Huyen's sister if she could help me ring shop but unfortunately she was too busy (she literally works as an accountant for four different companies on top of being a mom). My back up ring shopper was my good friend Chi. Chi was really excited to help me out and within two hours of sending her my initial text asking if she could give me an assist, we were in our first jewelry shop. I felt quite confident shopping with Chi even though she freely admitted she knew as much as I did about getting engagement rings.

Chi and I went to a few jewelry shops and saw some rings that we liked. We ended up at a very nice shop that had diamond rings. Here's one thing that makes sense but hadn't really crossed my mind: Diamonds are the same price in Vietnam and America. I thought about getting Huyen a diamond for about ten minutes...until I called Huyen's sister. Huyen's sister gave me the best advice I've ever gotten, "Get a cheap ring!"

This was all the encouragement I needed to end any thoughts of emptying my Vietnamese bank account. Chi and I went back to a shop where we had spotted a nice ring earlier in the day and made the purchase. The ring has a white gold band with a small mounted stone on it. I have no idea what kind of stone it is but from a few feet away it actually looks like a diamond!

(PICTURE: That smile on my face was for the very real prospect of getting married...while still having the majority of my previous two months salary in my wallet.)

I told Huyen that when we move to the states I'll get her a diamond ring if she wants one. Huyen smiled at this but said she isn't gonna want one...

...and that's why I will point to this blog a few years from now when she comes back from brunch with all of her LA girlfriends and says, "I want a diamond ring..."


Anonymous said...

the DeBeers company still controls the market worldwide...glad you didn't fall for their trap! if Huyen does want a diamond someday, you can get simulated diamonds...they can be "perfect" stones (literally), and they are lab created, so there is no conflict or exploitation involved. also, they are a tiny fraction of the price of mined diamonds.

Anonymous said...

^ great post anonymous, down with conflict diamonds! u know vietnamese men who move to the US are even afraid of their wives being "corrupted" in the US ahaha. for one they're afraid they will no longer be subservient, but the last comment in your post is pretty funny but sad and true - people become a lot more materialistic after a few years in the US :P

Huyen said...

You are really smart, Ben :)). But I think if girls in America ask about my ring, I would say this is not diamond, but this is very very rare and expensive stone which you JUST can find in Vietnam!!! I love it a lot. Thank you again Ben!

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Liem said...

humm!! what would I say. First congratulation on your engagement! I am sure you really love this girl and you want her to be your wife. However, in the men's point of view, diamond or no diamond it shouldn't matter. But we're dealing with women here. All men hoping for our wife to say" babe, no need for diamond as long as i am happy with you." hahaha..I was in for a rude awakening. So get her a diamond ring when you can because you don't want your wife to feel bad when she is out with her friends. Btw, don't bring her to the state if you know what i mean. Good luck!!