A not very nice story from Buffalo, New York today. In short, a fifty-something man sent a text message to his thirty-something fiancée, telling her the wedding was off. He answered her complaints by texting that at least she had her "$50,000 parting ring. Enough for a down payment on a house." I'm glad she kept that text because later he decided he wanted the ring back. The court ruled he couldn't have it back.
I am struck by many details in this story, and by the attitudes in the combox under it. The first detail is that the man broke the engagement with a text message. That's low. The next detail is that his response to her complaints was to say, hey, you have a $50,000 ring, so suck it up. The woman could have been broken-hearted. A broken engagement is a big deal, especially just three months before the wedding. This lady had already been paying for the preparations, and no doubt all her friends and family knew about it. Having your fiancé treat you like a prostitute (hey, I paid) must have been the sour cherry on the mud-cake.
The combox is full of men shouting "gold-digger", which I find incredibly demeaning. They assume this lady is a gold-digger because she is a "nail technician" and because she is fifteen years younger than her ex-fiancé. That's outrageous.
First of all, I have met a lot of beauticians in my time, and they are not scum. They are trained professionals. The ones who speak English and actually went to beauty school have really good people skills and earn a steady income. The ones I know are very well groomed and attractive. They occasionally branch out, take business courses and open their own salons. My favourite back home in Canada became a saleswoman for OPI. Meanwhile, I enjoy talking to beauticians here in Edinburgh. I hope they enjoy talking to me! Sometimes they talk to me about their upcoming weddings, and I point out here that the lady in this story had paid nine thousand dollars of her own money towards hers.
Second, it is not at all surprising to me that a fifty-year-old business-owner would fall for a thirty-five year old "nail technician." And it is not at all surprising to me that a thirty-five year old would date a fifty year old because, as I have written before, once you are over thirty, men aged forty and over are no longer invisible or necessarily gross. If you had to learn the hard way, you now know that personality matters more than looks. And a business-running personality can certainly be an attractive one. It beats the personality of a swithering thirty-something guy who wonders if maybe he has a vocation to the priesthood after all, swither, swither, moan, groan.
But one problem with some older men, in my experience, is that they are so terrified of gold-diggers that they insult perfectly nice women by treating them as if they were gold-diggers. (This is one reason, by the way, that you shouldn't accept expensive presents from unrelated men, or let your increasingly boring boyfriend pay for every single dinner. Like for Mr Text Message here, there is such a thing as giver's remorse.) I once went out with an older guy who made weird remarks about money, and then it dawned on me that he was worried I might take him to the cleaners one day. Reader, I didn't marry him--and my mother was SO relieved. She thought he just wanted a nurse. Nobody ever talks about nurse-diggers.
Third, Yahoo News says the lady was in touch with the man's family. Well, duh. They were going to be HER family in three months, and she probably had relationships well established with them all. If anything, the fact that she was talking to his family suggests to me that there was a real relationship here. A fiancée is not a call-girl a man can just dismiss.
Anyway, all I know about this Buffalo story is what is being reported in the press (and I see the length of the engagement changes from news report to news report). But I find it strange that there is not a single word about the woman's broken heart and blighted hopes--just about how rude it is for a man to break off an engagement by text.
Me, I would not have kept the ring. But on the other hand, I would not have accepted such an expensive ring in the first place. Jeepers! Fifty-thousand dollars on ONE RING? Ringzilla came from a crowded little antique shop on Cockburn Street, und ich bin stolz darauf!*
That said, if I had been openly living with the guy for years, I would keep the ring. It would be some recompense for the wasted years of my life and wear and tear on my body and soul, heart and nerves---as Buddy-boy didn't quite tell his ex-fiancée. Looking at the guy, and considering his nasty dismissal and lawsuit, I'd say his fiancée--if she was indeed his bedmate--earned it. Hope the lawyers didn't get it all.
*"Sophie Scholl" reference.