DEAR TKB: “When an Engagement Ring Divides a Family.” | Also, is it wrong to want to use the soundtrack to Ryan Gosling’s “Drive” for bedroom wrestling… or is it oh so right?

Happy holiday-I’m-not-sure-you-celebrate!  It’s the crack of Tuesday morning as I publish this, because I wanted to be sure I blogged tonight/this morning before I completely conked out from the exhaustion of traveling over holiday weekends.  Plus, there’s this reader question I feel I need to answer LIKE RIGHT NOW, or else somebody’s world could blow up.  You’ll understand in a few.

But first, did you have a pleasant weekend?  If you celebrate Easter, did you take home any leftovers?  One of the shelves in our fridge is fully engulfed by the Easter leftovers my other family members didn’t want to have around in case the urge to snack hit.  And if I HAD to muster a complaint about that, I would say that I’m not looking forward to putting all that tupperware in the dishwasher, and then having it fly about and end up turned over and full of gross dishwasher water when the cycle’s done.  But on the plus side, free dinner for a week, sooo…

Ohhh, did you see Saturday night live, and that new girl Kate McKinnon?  She almost completely made up for those five robot boys who tried to sing a couple of times during the time when SNL usually schedules a band to come on.  When those boys came on, the One Direction I wanted them to go was off stage.  By the way, usually I wouldn’t just go and say something so opinionated, but if you’re a huge One Direction fan chances are you’re not old enough to get married so I’m not all that concerned about having lost you just now.  In fact we probably don’t have a lot in common beyond maybe a shared love of the internet, so you’ve probably saved us both a lot of wasted time.  I should be thanking you!

Anyway, like I said, Honey and I have just gotten back into town from suburbia this Monday evening, and I for one am delighted to be able to return to a place where grass is the recessive gene in the city’s landscape.  Sweet, sweet pavement, dog poo and mounds of glass shards fallen from broken side-view-mirrors – it is good to be walking upon you, again!  This– this is home.

Of course I jest.  I do wish my sojourns into lands where trees and grass don’t have to be legally forbidden from being paved, would last a bit longer.  Grassy backyards are seriously underrated, people-who-have-backyards.  Honey and I will sometimes be watching one of those home shows where a couple is searching for a home not in a big city and we’ll both be like…

at the sight of the backyards.  Because seriously, seeing a home with a backyard when you live in NYC is like seeing the mer-child you nannied from infancy decide to whore herself out in exchange for shelter and nice clothing.

We make decisions for the couples on those shows based almost wholly on the quality of the backyards.  … What’s that?  The master bedroom is the size of a toddler’s closet and the kitchen has linoleum flooring?  THE BACKYARD’S AMAZE, THEY’VE GOTTA TAKE IT.  Oh, the boiler needs to be replaced and there are literally no closets in the home?  BUT LOOK AT THAT BACKYAAARD!  HOUSE 2 ALL THE WAY.

We learned a fun lesson, by the way, this Easter weekend.  We learned that somewhere along the way, we went from being people who would seriously consider weaving in and out of lanes to get home faster after a holiday weekend, to people who cannot believe the way some people weave in and out of lanes just to get home faster after a holiday weekend.  And if you guessed that that makes me feel very old, then you guessed right.

Ok.  Enough about me.  In other more relevant news, a lovely but very, very frustrated reader wrote in with a question.  So naturally, that means it’s time for a…

Dear TKB:

My fiance and I got engaged, and it was wonderful and magical and everything I had hoped for! My family was extremely excited, everyone was happy…. or so I thought. A few days after our engagement, I hear from a cousin of mine, who we will name J, informed me that another cousin, who we will name Q, was very angry with my engagement and pretty much chewed J a new asshole over the whole thing. Now J, who had no idea we were getting engaged (obviously, because no one knew but my fiance) didn’t know how to react to Q’s craziness. Q went on and on about how he was older, he should have gotten engaged first, blah blah blah. Stupid s**t. Oh, let me mention, Q, is a guy. So J calls me and informs of this and I decide to confront Q about this. He plays all cool and as though he has no idea what the hell I am talking about. “Fine.” I reply and leave it at that. Now Q has a girlfriend who so happened to be out of the province at this time. He then flies down to see her. This is about a week after the engagement now. We then get news that he has also gotten engaged! Yay! So freakin’ fantastic! Q starts texting me asking me to “add” his new fiance to Facebook. Let’s make this clear – I have NEVER met this woman in my life. Even though we live in the same town, she’s kind of a loser. Whatever. So I add her, nothing happes. We don’t speak, nothing. Then about 2 days later, I open my Facebook and what comes up in the news feed?? Well, it’s MY engagement ring! So beautiful, so sparkly, and so… on someone else’s finger! WTF! I look at the picture again and examine it only to realize… that it’s my cousin’s new fiance! With my freakin’ engagement ring on her freakin’ finger! BAHHHHH!!!!! Really, this is happening to me!? Seriously… someone is playing a joke. Nope, no joke. Just reality. So what had happened is I decided to post my ring on my Facebook the day after my fiance and I got engaged. Why? Because I wanted to share it with my family and friends who I would not be seeing. Now, after adding Q’s fiance, she decided it would be a GREAT idea to check out my pictures, I can only assume. She sees the ring, picks the ring, Q buys the ring, she wears the ring. Now Q, being the oh so nice guy he is, decides to let her pick her own ring! And she picks mine! Come on, people! It’s a ring, there are millions of rings, but no, the same one as mine! Same designer, same style, same size diamond, everything! Oh PALEASE! I decide it’s time to confront Q with a text asking why he bought her the exact same right as mine. He then proceeds to tell me it’s not the same, it’s different, blah, blah, blah. I ask if his new love saw my ring on Facebook, he claims she did not. Of course he is going to say that! Q keeps texting with more excuses and explainations and I choose to ignore him. He then calls me, again I ignore it. Q then decides to call MY mother! Really? He calls my mom to ask her what she thinks of the whole. Obviously I called my mom the second I saw the picture! I mean come on, you stole my engagement and now my ring! My mom proceeds to tell him she doesn’t think what he did is right. Q then decides TO TAKE THE RING BACK! Him and his grown up mind decide to go pick a different ring. They remove the picture they posted on Facebook and go return the ring. Okay, I figured they had a pretty conscience if they went and returned. I also thought this was done and we were now moving on…. oh wouldn’t that be nice. No, we’re not moving on, we are only getting started. Q calls his mommy and cried and whines and does whatever else a little boy does to make his mommy feel bad for him. She then proceeds to delete me off Facebook, Q and his new love delete me off Facebook and BLOCK ME! WTF! Okay, whatever. I get a call from another family member informing me they will not be attending my wedding until I fix this. Fix what? What the hell did I do?! They then proceed to tell me that they are disappointed in me and that Q’s mother has called them to tell them she will not be attending my wedding and wants nothing to do with my family anymore. She has now decided she is no longer speaking to me, my mother, my fiance, my father, my god-mother and her family. Hmm.. weird for an adult to act this way. Now I have fully accepted that they are not coming to our wedding, but did I really do something wrong by confronting Q about the ring? Should I have left it alone? Please help me out!

Thanks so much for everything you do! I love your blog! It has really saved mine and my fiance’s relationship, especially when dealing the with mother-in-law. So fun!

Thanks again,

A xo

Dear Miss A:

I have to begin this reply with two timeworn phrases:

“You cannot pick your relatives.”  (– cousin Q).  And, “No good deed goes unpunished.” (– adding Q’s fiancée to your Facebook).

If Q and his fiancée loved your ring, as they must have, then a common courtesy would have been to tell you and then ask if you would mind if they got the same one.  If they had asked that, you would have been flattered.  Your answer is irrelevant now because that didn’t happen, although it should have.  What happened is that you felt blind-sided and taken advantage of, by Q and his fiancée.

Some people have great taste and style, and those who may not, but admire the style of others, often copy (for lack of a better word) what those others do.  This is completely normal.  Every wedding dress designer wants hundreds of brides to order the same dress.  Every ring designer wants the same ring style to also be chosen by hundreds of couples.

The unwillingness of Q and his fiancée to admit to wanting the same ring after seeing it on your Facebook page is what set your inter-family relationships on a downward spiral.  Sounds so silly for such a trivial thing to cause such a ruckus, but it’s more common than many of us would like to think.

Could you go to every family member who was told a self-serving version of Q’s story and tell each the simple truth, as stated above?  I suppose you could do that or just send a mass email to them.  But, since they were too quick to find fault with you, rather than talk to you, it may not work.  Their loyalties seem to be with Q.

I would be inclined to do the mass email though.  They still might not come to the wedding but it will be because of their embarrassment and not their undeserved self-righteous indignation.

If it works, that will be great.  If it doesn’t, you will know that you tried, and just remember: The things a bride does not need at her wedding are negativity or judgmental people.

Good luck!

Okie dokie you guys…

1) I would love to hear YOUR thoughts/advice for Miss A.  I’m just one person, so I don’t assume my advice is the be all end all.  What are your reactions to her situation?

2) With regard to my question in the title, I LURRRRVE the soundtrack to the movie Drive, starring Mr. F**k Yeah himself, Ryan Gosling.  ’Tis very sexy.  Also, Ryan Gosling is very sexy, in the movie, sooo, there’s that, too.  And it is for that reason that I feel kind of weird and guilty about liking it for a romp in the hay.  So I just need to know… is that silly?  No seriously is it silly.  Because I’m *this close* to using it.  Be my Ethics Committee on this one, except actually be ethical, unlike how it works in government.

3) Third and final question, since we’re on the topic of bedroom wrestling soundtracks.  I was thinking it might be fun to share some of my top favorite tunes to have on your playlist for when you’re boinking… but then I was like: eww, Alison, that’s gross, you’re gross.  They don’t wanna hear what’s on “The Hotness.”  (The Hotness is my special playlist, for special hugs.)  … Anyway, so, am I gross?  Or would that be fun to hear about in a blog post?

xoxo!  - Alison

lead image: Ivan Apfel Photography

Ivan Apfel Photography is a member of Vendor Love.  Explore more of his work here, in our guide.

Label(s): "DEAR TKB..." Advice Column, Ryan Gosling

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  1. Elizabeth on April 10, 2012

    I think you definitely have every right to be angry about the ring! I’m honestly surprised that that the ring is the focus of your anger; I would be more upset about your cousin trying to steal the spotlight from your engagement. He is acting like a child who is jealous of someone else’s toy. I would never want him at my wedding…and if anyone is supporting Q, then you don’t want them at your wedding. They are like adults giving candy to a child for hitting a sibling. What’s next? Will he happen to choose the same wedding date!?

  2. Cassie | Meet Mrs. B on April 10, 2012

    As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Q’s fiance clearly doesn’t have a mind of her own, or her own taste for that matter if she has to go and steal your engagement ring. So sad.

    As for your family…Life is too short to be surrounded by people who don’t support and love you. You can send a mass email if you want, but I have a fear that it will fall on deaf ears.

    Your wedding is the most SPECIAL day of your life, and don’t let Q take that away from you because of his own pity party. If he wants to kick and scream and turn everyone against you…that’s just him wasting his energy on something incredibly ugly. You don’t have time for that junk.

    You have way more important things coming up and important decisions to make regarding your wedding, so enjoy this wonderful time with your fiance! Congratulations on your wedding! You shouldn’t let Q rob this happiness from you!

  3. Mollie on April 10, 2012

    ”Because seriously, seeing a home with a backyard when you live in NYC is like seeing the mer-child you nannied from infancy decide to whore herself out in exchange for shelter and nice clothing.”

    I spewed my diet coke all over my computer screen. I want to be your friend.

  4. cori on April 10, 2012

    I have to be honest here… I find myself getting super annoyed by most everything family does… BUT – I don’t quite understand Miss A’s anger directed towards the ring??? In her words – she said it was only a week after SHE herself was engaged…. and, as one who has been engaged, it takes far more time than that to have a jeweler make a ring to your specifications EVEN if they don’t have to order the band/etc. in. Even if you buy it directly from a store; it’s unlikely the size would be correct and that takes another 10 days.
    If the shoe were on the other foot, and let’s just say it is for the sake of argument; maybe Q was upset that Miss A was engaged to first…. because he had ALREADY CHOSEN THAT IDENTICAL RING HIMSELF FOR HIS OWN FUTURE FIANCE.
    As a bridezilla myself; it always feels like someone is doing something you wanted FIRST, BETTER, having an EASIER go of it… but it’s simply not true. Weddings are for family, for friends, to mostly celebrate LOVE and I think that getting caught up in a petty issue such as a ring really detracts from that.
    And if it ALL comes down to that and if he DID “steal” your ring by viewing it first and then picking it out himself; isn’t that a form of flattery? Miss A – you don’t have to be friends with this girl; you said so yourself she’s a “loser”…. so my suggestion would be to not sweat those little details. It isn’t worth it.

  5. Shannon on April 10, 2012

    12 year olds shouldn’t get married is all I could think while reading that mess.

    Unless you spend a lot of time with Q, which clearly you don’t, it shouldn’t matter what ring he got his “loser” fiancee. I would like to add I hope you learn how to disagree in the future without namecalling, it will make your life better.

    Apologize for being a drama queen bridezilla and then forget about it. And then don’t engage in the drama, although I seriously doubt you can resist. The way to avoid it is to say “I overreacted to Q choosing the same engagement ring, and I have apologized. I’m not going to discuss the situation any further, thanks for your concern.” And then shut up.

    I really hope everyone involved in this mess is under 20.

  6. Candice Cossel on April 10, 2012

    Hey this makes the “who don’t I invite so I can afford the things that are really important to me?” question pretty darn easy right?

    Here’s the deal. We hear all the time about how people can’t afford the pictures, the video, the whatever is important to them that they want….and then find out that they are spending all butt load of money on guests…..whom a portion of them I guarantee are not close enough to warrant $150 a plate. Be HAPPY that they made it clear now and not at your wedding! Now go out and buy yourself something fabulous with that $$$ you’re saving on them. You deserve it for putting up with their sorry butts.

  7. Courtney on April 10, 2012

    I’m rather surprised by some of the other comments on this post. To be perfectly honest, I would feel the same way Miss A feels. Assuming that everything happened the way she says, I would be incredibly hurt that someone in my family would treat me the ways she has been treated.
    My advice is to do whatever you feel you need to do. If it were me, I wouldn’t feel right in just letting the whole thing go when I could do something to fix it. Like Alison suggested, I would probably send an email to the family, starting with the aunt and explain the other side of the story, since they have only heard Q’s. If it helps things, great! If it doesn’t, at least you know that you have made an effort to mend things. People are going to believe whatever they want, so at least give them the option to hear the rest of the story.

  8. Carly on April 10, 2012

    It sounds like everyone in the situation is overreacting, including you. Although I get that it is TOTALLY annoying and rude that he got her the same ring, you should’ve just been the bigger person and kept your mouth shut. You don’t have the ability to control what other people do. And having the same ring as her in no way affects your future marriage. But you can’t change the past, so again, I say be the bigger person, apologize, and hopefully they will do the same. If they don’t you can sleep well at night knowing you did the right thing.

  9. Stacey on April 10, 2012

    Gross. Ditto to everything that Shannon said.

  10. Rachel on April 10, 2012

    Alison, the two favorite things about my house: my backyard and my garage (it’s massive and probably the reason we bought the house! :) ) I would say Go right on with tour bad self and listen to that drive soundtrack…my only concern would be that there would be a lot more thinking about Ryan gosling than honey might approve of (I know wthats what would be going through my mind!). I think a list of your gettin busy horizontal mambo songs would be amazing and just another way for us to all know more about you! As for Miss A– Q handled himself poorly from the beginning…you’re a dude, if you want to be engaged first, you ask first..most of us women have no say in when we get engaged as we usually don’t know about it! *Am I the only one who feels a little bad for the “loser” because I don’t know if Q proposed just because A was engaged and he felt the pressure??* Call me old fashioned, but if the guy proposes without having a ring we have some serious issues here! However, I feel like getting mad about it is a bit childish and reminds me of being in middle school and some beatch getting mad because you bought the same shoes as them. I understand it upsetting you, but it’s something that I probably would have just bitched about to a couplel of close friends…and then when I met her and saw the ring, I’d make a few ridiculous comments, “Oh, your ring is beautiful. I wish this is what mine looked like! Oh, wait……” BOOM!

  11. Kelly on April 10, 2012

    Don’t let this plague your fiance’s engagement to you. Give it time, things will change. They may come to you first. Just be a beautiful bride and not worry about what others do. Be happy, enjoy it, and let all this roll of your back. Be the water, not the flame.

  12. Tahleen on April 10, 2012

    People, people. I hope that when your friends are upset you don’t treat them the way you just treated this poor girl you don’t know. Think about which words you use and realize that you are being rude and hurtful.

    Miss A, I understand why you’re upset, especially since it has created this whole fiasco. I’m going through something similar right now, though it doesn’t have to do with a ring, but with a family feud. For me, it’s about the principles involved and how adults can act like children, not necessarily the details of the situation. This is a character issue, not a ring issue.

    It’s too bad Q’s family is being so juvenile about the whole thing, but at least they won’t make a scene in front of your family. That is my main worry for my situation; basically I got finger-wagged and an earful at my bridal shower in front of a lot of people for not being willing to invite my cousin’s girlfriend. Oh by the way, my cousin is 17 and rarely goes to family functions without someone in tow because he doesn’t like to spend time with us. So they’ll all be coming, with the girlfriend, whether she is invited or not, and I’ll have to see them all on my wedding day. Good times.

    Good luck with your situation. If that’s the way they want to be, then it sounds like it’s no skin off your nose. If it’s a problem with extended family, I hope whatever you do to resolve the situation goes well and everyone cools down enough to see reason.

  13. Katie on April 10, 2012

    Oh yeah, I’m dying to know what is on “The Hotness”!!!! I need some tips for a good “sexy” mix and I have no skills in the playlist-making-department! I don’t think it’s gross, I completely support you and honey getting down with your bad selves!

    As for Miss A – I’m sorry. I get easily annoyed with such drama but my family is just as crazy sometimes. They like to pull drama like this when they hear the word wedding too. Sadly, I don’t have much advice except love them from afar and don’t let them rain on your wedding. Life is too short for that! I feel your pain and wish you the best!

  14. Ashley on April 10, 2012

    Did not you know about person? A REAL Freak. I think we simply avoid this kinda person. And you are right about your anger. Your mistake is to add her on facebook. Why did you do that? Q.s family should not come and this is better for you. Whatever,hope you will have a great wedding. Wish you all the best.

  15. Katie on April 10, 2012

    Less mouths to feed, props to you! These people are not very close family if they don’t bother to hear you out. Your cousin is immature and his fiance should’ve thought about it. I would be annoyed too…but really, when are you two going to be near enough each other for someone else to notice you’re both wearing the same engagement ring?!? Try to make peace, especially with those you would like to have share your special day, and forget about the rest of them.

  16. Lena on April 10, 2012

    Oh boy, this is just one big comments mess, huh? In keeping with my usual response to crises, I’m taking everyone’s side: Miss A, Miss A’s betrothed, Q and his main squeeze. Everyone’s got to be pretty upset for this to have come apart at the seams, and maybe there’s something about this family situation that hasn’t been disclosed for a response like this.

    Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but there’s a reason the adage puts a positive spin on it–it also sucks. And I can understand why you were upset, Miss A. But it also seems like you pushed Q into a corner, and what was bought was already paid for. Think seriously about what role you hope Q and his family will have–in your wedding, and more importantly, in your life. If they matter to you (and I can’t imagine you’d be so upset if they didn’t), there has to be a way to at least broker a peace. Apologize for over-reacting, and explain how upset you were when you thought they’d copied you. Who knows, maybe they’re telling the truth when they say they didn’t. And if you decide you want these people beside you celebrating, then let it go once it’s been repaired. It’s not worth being upset over, either way.

    As for her Knottiness, I so feel that way when I think about my parents’ yard. Sometimes I forget, and then I see photos and feel crushed. It’s just not fair.

  17. Aer on April 11, 2012

    I must say that life is too short……..they will learn one day!

  18. nora on April 20, 2012

    definitely want to hear this play list.

    but for the ring, yeah, i would be suuuuper annoyed if someone copied me. but take the high road for the rest of your family because its this person being a jerk, not you. if they don’t take your attempt to be nice, again they’re not worth it.

  19. Marie on May 10, 2012

    We had someone freak out and get engaged within a week of our engagement as well. We’ve opted to just try to separate our wedding from theirs. They are rushing to get married before we do, and the bride has been copying some of the things she knows that I wanted, and it frustrates me, but we are just continuing on with our plans for what we want to do.

  20. Estefy on May 24, 2012

    I’m late on this but why are some people being so nasty to this girl. You know that there are rings stores carry more than just the one if it wasn’t specifically designed people, so her cousin could have gone to the same store and got the same ring sizing doesn’t take very long.

    I would be upset about the fit the guy had, though I’m not sure I would have said anything. It is shady that a. he proposed a week later and b. he got the same ring. I don’t know that it makes sense to even say anything now – I’m with some of the nicer people in saying that it’s just easier to not have people who don’t really want to be at your wedding and save the monies for the honeymoon or other wedding awesomeness!

  21. Belle Thomson on October 11, 2012

    This is terrible and I can understand why you are angry about this. Maybe her’s was a used engagement ring?


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