I’m not a very sentimental person. Every now and then something hits me in a sentimental way, but otherwise not really. I think I’ve only looked at my wedding pictures to choose which ones get put on the wall. I don’t save report cards or spend a fortune on photography for them. I don’t even know where my high school year book is. Sentiment is really not something I specialize in. This fact probably adds onto my reputation for being cold. I like to think that I’m not cold; just overly rational. Just like I like to think that I’m not cheap; I’m just “thrifty” or “frugal” or “fiscally conservative”.
Last week my oldest son came home with an order book for his class ring. I never had a class ring. I don’t even think I wanted one. My son, he bleeds Colt blue and gold. (Which is hilarious because as it turns out, his ring will have neither blue or gold on it.) He lives in his championship swim coat or his “name” swimming hoodie. Sometimes both, depending on the weather. He probably has a dozen other hoodies for his school as well. He’ll probably want the beanie too, come swim season. Needless to say, he wants this ring. I refused to look at the book because expensive things tend to make me get nervous.
Finally, I sat down with the book. I never swear in front of my kids, but I was certainly going off on that book. “That ring is more than my mortgage!” “I could buy a month’s worth of groceries with the price of that ring!” I said “No”. I admit it. I said “No”. The only selling factor for it is unlike every other expensive thing that I’ve bought him, he can’t chew through a ring even with his rodent teeth. I want to give my boy the world… but between that and needing to come up with money for Senior dues, and everything else. It seemed unrealistic to me to purchase this high ticket item, especially for a kid that seems to lose everything.
However, my husband is a sucker. He’s everything I’m not. He’s not frugal. He’s very much a sentimental guy. And he has this inability to say “No” to either of the boys. His boys get the world and that’s that. If he had a daughter, I’m pretty sure she would break him. He asked our son if he had a ring in mind. “No, I didn’t want to get my heart set on something and have you guys say I couldn’t get it.” Reasonable. He’s overly logical like me. My husband responded, “pick one, within reason.” My not-so little boy’s eyes lit up. He excitedly picked through until he picked “the ring”. I gave a max of $400. This ring was right there at the max, only to go over with the price of the $20 box and such. I cringed. He looked further and saw a ring that he liked more, could get everything he wanted, and even with the $20 add on, was just under this $400 limit. (It’s a black metal with a topaz, his birthstone.) He was going to put the tennis and swimming icons on it. Get a crest. He was excited. He even picked it out right down to the look of the gem.
Me? I’m happy that he’s happy. I keep obsessing over the numbers, because that’s what I do. For the price of this ring, he better wear it. So help me, he better wear it. My husband, walks away the hero for the day (and ever in the eyes of everyone in this family.) Maybe today we’ll go to the school and order it, while I cry. Not because my son is a sophomore who is going through all of these rites of passages. But because I’m about to plunk down $400 on an overpriced class ring. I just hope that maybe I’ll get a coupon for the yearbook or something.