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Arguably, one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have in your life is the one in which you tell your former spouse you are going to sell your engagement ring.  Surprisingly, the conversations in which you ask for a separation, or to convert your separation to a divorce are not nearly as challenging.  Because when you decide to end your marriage, you are merely stating the obvious.

But when you get rid of your engagement ring, you acknowledge what Gary Lewis & the Playboys so eloquently put to music a generation or two ago, which is to say, this diamond ring doesn’t shine for me anymore; and this diamond ring doesn’t mean what it did before…  You realize that an engagement ring is a symbol of potential, and that the potential has been spent.

And that day that the hard stone and cold metal are individually worth more than the sum of the parts, then a sale’s the thing.

It is a sad day indeed.

You think it will be an easy thing to say; you think the ring is just a thing.  But no matter how much you liked or loathed the ring, and no matter how romantic or not your proposal might have been, you were once affianced; and you were once The Girl With the Diamond Ring…like Steig Larson had dreamed you right up.

So you’ve steeled yourself against feeling, and you slip the mention of a sale into a conversation about other, quotidian things.  But the words catch in your throat.  Because they’re extraordinary words; they’re awful words.  And you suddenly remember the feel of the platinum on your hand, and what your fingers looked like with diamonds on them.  You remember buying gloves a size larger the year you got engaged, because the solitaire caught on the cashmere lining.

They say that I should sell it between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, because most people get engaged then, so diamonds are better appraised.

That’s a great idea, Darling.

(Did he say it did he call me by my name or by his name for me what’s my name sometimes I don’t remember my own name I have so many names by the court says that they’ve given me my name back now…)

And you sit.  In the feeling of a broken promise.  The both of you realizing the gravity of your situation.  Or lack thereof — the absence of a situation.

So this is what “sitting in a feeling” feels like.  Horrible.  It feels dreadful.

A beat.  An awful beat.

I, uh, don’t want you to spend the money.  I think we should put it in trust for you.

(He’s right.)

So you say thank you.  You realize, suddenly, that things have come full-circle.  And that a what seemed like a failed promise has become a new possibility.  The jagged feelings have tumbled together long enough to sand off the rough corners; perhaps even to shine the surface of the pressure-cooked last two years to a polished sheen.

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