I know I mentioned that Derek and I went out to eat yesterday, but at the time I wrote the blog I was trying with everything I had to hold my eyes open and I couldn’t fully delve into our evening because I was not feeling very entertaining, but our conversation over dinner was very entertaining and educational to say the least and I wanted to share because for the exact reason that probably every woman reading this will say, “RUN NOW!” It turns out that is the exact reason I want to hold him close.
Dinner started off like you would expect. We ordered water to drink and looked over the menu. As I mentioned yesterday, I was not feeling very hot. I had a headache and I was nauseous and I probably could have gone all night without eating, but when a man says, “Let’s get you something to eat,” you don’t argue. Especially when you are kind of in love with that man. So we are eating our salad and complimentary bread, when we get on the subject of death. He lost his aunt a year ago and he has a keychain with her picture so he looked at it and said he couldn’t believe it had been a year already. Then I, of course, want to know what an African funeral is like. He tells me it is different than in the States because there is no rush to bury the person. You have to come up with the money to pay for everything, family has to fly in if they don’t live there, and it’s a process. Then we get on the subject of burial versus cremation. He wants to be buried. I want to be cremated. His reason- he never read about any cremation in the bible. My reason- I want to be set on top of a funeral pyre with coins placed over my eyes and burned Game of Thrones style.
The next subject that comes up, naturally, is weddings. So he starts to tell me how a traditional “proposal” happens in Ghana. He’s been married twice. His first wife passed away. The second one ended in divorce. Both proposals happened here in the States so it was not the “traditional” way of his country, but he’s not much for traditions, it seems. In the midst of the proposal conversation, he mentions a $20 wedding ring. He said he went to Wal-Mart and got a ring for $20 both times. After I got done laughing, I was like, “seriously?” And he said, “Of course.” He then explained that the ring is just a symbol so why pay so much for it when it can be lost or dropped or thrown or whatever. So I said, “And they were ok with that?” And he said, “Well if they weren’t they could get their own ring.” By this time, I’m highly amused with this conversation. He says if they want a $5000 engagement ring, they need to find someone else to marry because he’s not the one for them. And he was telling me how he told his friends that and they couldn’t believe it. So he finished telling me his $20 Wal-Mart ring story and he was waiting for my reaction, I suppose, but nothing he said sounded unreasonable to me. Partly because I never really imagined myself wearing a wedding ring anyway, but mostly because by time we finished that conversation he was dropping $40 on our dinner bill and if I have to pick, I choose food. So I didn’t really react except for the initial laughter because the way he said it was highly amusing. My response was more along the lines of, “If we get to that point, can you do me a solid and get my $20 ring at Target and not Wal-Mart?” Because I respect Target’s business practices more. He said of course. To him, Wal-Mart and Target were basically the same. It made plenty of sense when he said he’d rather spend his money on food or traveling. Hell, I’d rather spend mine the same way too. Then he neatly folded up one of the twenties that he had just gotten back in change and with a devilish grin he put it in his wallet separate from his other money and said that was for my Target ring. We both laughed and left the restaurant full and happy.
As I sat pondering the conversation later, I wondered if I would really care if my engagement ring cost $20. And I came to the conclusion that, honestly, it wouldn’t bother me a bit. I concluded that the thing that would bother me would be if he put no thought into the kind of ring he proposed to me with because I’m not a diamond and pearls kind of girl, well, I could be a black diamond kind of girl, but I’m not even a gold kind of girl. I’m more of a sterling silver, tribal band, tree of life, hippie kind of girl. Not that I’m expecting him to propose any time soon or at all if I can’t get my psycho in check, but I did find it amusing. And I was thinking I bet 90% of women would be thinking, “Oh, hell no!” And then I thought maybe not. Maybe most women would rather have love and experiences and a $20 ring over a fat rock and an empty heart and empty passport. Or at least I hope so. Thoughts?