Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I found a sub-culture of men on Craigslist that were in need of my services.
They weren’t boys looking for someone to spank, or someone to marry for a green card, or someone to take shopping on Victoria’s Secret in exchange to be seen on their arm at the mall.

These guys were really nice, typically in their mid-twenties, cute, kind, and sincere. These were guys that wanted to propose to their girlfriends. They didn’t have 10 grand to spend on a ring, or 5 grand, or even 500. Their budgets were usually around $100-$400, and I became the girl that could accommodate them.

I found this niche in an odd sort of way, I had listed a couple of rings of mine on Craigslist, some of them with tiny diamonds, and I started to get mail from these young guys. They would ask me if this ring would make a good engagement ring, and they would purchase it, sometimes after making installments of $20 dollars a week. I had a soft spot for these guys, and a need for cash. That’s when the business woman in me rose up and I realized, that there was money to be made here.

So started to troll ebay for vintage engagement rings that I could purchase with enough room for a mark up. A lot of these rings on ebay were expensive, but I soon learned how to search the ones that fell through the cracks, the ones that were dirt cheap, from people that didn’t know what they had, or how to list them with the proper search words.

Pretty soon, I had a vast collection of really pretty vintage engagement rings, and I started to list them on Craigslist for my target market of commitment ready love smitten boys.

The business started to pour in, the guys would come by to our predetermined meeting place, usually the pizzaria, where they had good lighting, which would the diamonds to be shown to their best advantage. In almost every case, the fellow would ask me “the history” of the ring. I started to make up stories, they wanted something to tell their future fiancés, so I came up with one that I settled on. My mother grew up in Dayton, Ohio, a quaint town that’s name had a great romantic, quaint ring to it. So, I said that I had been visiting my dear Grandmother there, and that we had come upon a charming little antique store, and that I had purchased the ring from there, to mark the trip. The truth was, I had never been back to visit my grandmother in Dayton since I was a child, she was a deeply troubled woman who was very hard to be around, I had been reading up on Borderline Personality Disorder recently, and she was textbook. I had gone back to Dayton once since my childhood, to go to her burial, at the request of my mother. There was no cherished Grandmother, no antique shop, there was no ring as a momento of the trip, there was just this story, but minutes after telling the tale to the eager young buck, I would close the sale.

This was over a year ago, I had since gotten out of the engagement ring business, but I had a ring or two left, and I listed one yesterday. It was very similar to one I had sold to a fellow, many rings of this era had a very similar look. Soon, I got an email from sweet sounding girl. It was a nice note, asking politely to arrange to come by and take a look at it the very next day. I responded immediately. As soon as I hit ‘send’, I got another email in my inbox. It was from this guy, “Patrick”. He was panicked. He had bought a very similar ring from me for his fiancé a year ago, he had implied to his fiancé that it had been expensive, although the ring had cost him just over $100. Now this similar ring was listed, at the same price, and his fiancé spotted it on Craigslist. She thought it was the identical ring, that it was a scam, or that perhaps he had paid 100 dollars for her ring, so she told him that she was going to respond to the post. And now it was too late, I had responded, and I told poor Patrick so. He emailed me back, said that he had quickly gone in to her email, and deleted my response, and if he promised to come by the next day by noon and purchase this ring as well, would I promise to immediately delete the posting, and I obliged him.

He came by just now, such a kind, sweet young man, an earnest smile and big blue eyes that never lie. He took a look at the ring, and actually liked it better than the one his fiancé now wore. He joked that he would switch it out on her finger, when she was sleeping, but the truth was, he would now have this second ring in secret, forever. I told him not to keep it in their apartment, that she would surely find it, and then there would be no turning back. He had already figured out a place for it, he would hide it between the pages of a book, in his office, where it, and his secret would stay hidden ‘til the end of time.

He handed me the money, plus a little extra for my duplicity. We talked about his karma around this episode, and I wondered about mine. Was the Dayton, Ohio story the beginning of the spiral downward? Was it wrong to paint that romantic picture for the wide-eyed buyer? Was it wrong for him to exaggerate its value? Was there just no turning back when he went in to her email, and deleted my email? At what point does that white lie turn black - when he snuck out on his lunch hour to buy the twin, when he told her he was just going out to have a sandwich in the park? Lies can start out so small, but you blink, and somehow they multiply and morph in to say, "The Giant Ring That Ate A Marriage". But Patrick and his fiancé are getting married next June, in a barn, out in Connecticut, at least that’s what he said. And me, I still have two vintage engagement rings left to sell. And when I’m standing with that next earnest young man, and he wants to hear that pretty story, I’m going to think twice before I take him back to that little antique store in Dayton, Ohio.


  1. Nice post, probably my favorite to date.

  2. Why thank you, Nash! :)

  3. Are you still alive?

  4. Well, let me check... YES!! I have been on brief hiatus, thanks for asking. Cooking up story ideas as we speak....