The Next Family

By: Heather Somaini

Rings.  So tricky trying to figure this one out.  I never thought I would buy a ring for a woman – it seemed silly.  That’s what men do for women, not us.  We were supposed to live as a part of a sub-culture that didn’t do those kinds of things.  But Tere had changed everything.  She wanted a ring – she was getting a ring.  Tere never once felt less than our straight counterparts.  I did.  But it was starting to wear off.

I started planning.  I had a few months to figure it all out.  I knew that “getting engaged” should happen at the one-year mark in our relationship.  It just made the most sense.  We had met in person on Christmas Day – why not get engaged at Christmas too?  Tere had flown up to San Francisco to meet me so there should be some sort of flying involved with the engagement.  Yeah, I know I’m weird – but it’s a good weird.

So back to the ring.  Research, I needed to do research.  I knew nothing about cut, color or clarity let alone what carat size to get.  Two months salary…who came up with that?  I started looking online and ultimately found www.BlueNile.com.  It allowed me to learn about diamonds without having to talk to anyone!  BlueNile was started by Mark Vadon after he tried to buy an engagement ring at Tiffany’s but left empty-handed.  He searched and found a small online retailer and bought it.  Funny enough, Mark just launched www.Zulily.com earlier this year as a baby/kids private sale site.  It seems kinda cool but I digress.

So I pick out the setting and start looking at diamonds.  I know how much I want to spend so I keep adjusting the size and clarity, etc. until I narrow it down to two or three stones.  Then I called.  I got a very nice woman on the phone and explained that I wanted her advice between a few stones.  She happily discussed all of them with me and ultimately told me which one to buy.  Now I just had to buy it.  It was the fall of 2001 and not everyone was buying like crazy online but here I was about to buy this very expensive item and they were going to overnight it to me!

I did it – I hit the BUY button and off it went.  Now the waiting – I make it sound like an eternity but it was all of maybe two or three days.  The FedEx man arrived, I signed for it and there it was in its little red box.  It seemed perfect to me!  I hid it in the closet and continued my countdown to the holidays.  I had created what I thought was one of the most elaborate engagement requests ever.  Now to just pull it off without a hitch!

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