Recompense

“What are you buying me for a wedding present?”

Moments ago, I was awaken from my mindless TV watching as Meg pounced onto the couch next to me. A big, ass kissing smile on her face told me she wanted something. She dropped this question on me after positioning her head a solid 3 inches from my face.

Still stunned, I found myself shocked not only at the seemingly random nature of the question… not only at the bold, upfront, and downright Villanova-esque interrogation… but mostly taken aback at the idea that I have to buy her a wedding present. On a day to celebrate us as a couple (or so I’m reminded every time I express disinterest in this sacred day), I had not given much thought to the fact that I would have to get Meg a present. I could argue that being married should be present enough for her, but I know the sarcastic asses I have reading this site would be stumbling over themselves on the way to the comment entry form. I could argue that just putting up with her over the course of the last 16 months and preparing for the three day marathon that is our wedding is further present enough for her, but that would still send everyone (still sarcastic asses, mind you) racing to the comment entry form.

I regained my composure and rejoined the conversation. I say rejoined because I’ve tried the zoned out routine before. Unfortunately for me, Meg will continue the conversation despite my vegetative state, filling in what she wants to hear as answers to questions posed to me. If you don’t believe me, realize that had I been paying attention, you people wouldn’t have STDs stuck on your fridge (yes, I still maintain that they better be there, damnit).

“I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it yet.”
[whispers] “Diamond tennis bracelet.”

And so, a blog entry is born. I’m almost disappointed in myself for having thought Meg was done with her wonderful nuggets of wedding wisdom. A small part of me thought that in the remaining 58 days, I would be able to coast by without being blindsided by another wedding “tradition” of which I was unaware.

A small part of me died tonight.

As it had been a while since I partook in one of these lose-lose conversations, I was hit with a bit of nostalgia and decided to subject myself to the pain.

“By the way, what the hell is a tennis bracelet?”
“I don’t know.”

That was all she said out loud, but the implied ending to that response is “… but I know I want one.”

Which brings me back, once again, to our friends at Helzberg. Through their mystical mind control advertising campaigns, they have managed to instill the term “diamond tennis bracelet” into both the minds of the sane (me) and the easily swayed minds of those hypnotized by all things sparkly (Meg). Furthermore, Helzberg has managed to convey that this is something of much desire and symbolic of a big occasion. These bracelets are to be used to wow or to apologize. To “take her breath away” as Helzeberg would put it (or, as Ron White would put it, “that’ll shut her up”). Again, all of this is communicated without a proper understanding of just what the hell constitutes a tennis bracelet.

My breathing became more rapid. I daresay I began to sweat a bit. I looked up at Meg emphatically, almost begging her to keep talking. Could this finally be material for a new blog entry?

“Just think, if you got me that then I could take up tennis.”

Well, guess she answered that question for me.

One of the things I love about Meg is that she can be really fun to hang out with. She can be one of the guys. But she can still be sweet. She can get all dressed up to go to a bar only to later that night inhale a cheesesteak from Genos. She’ll read a wedding magazine while on a treadmill.

And at comments like that, I am reminded that she is still, at heart, a Villanova business major.

27 comments

  1. ya know… i’ve always wondered why it’s called a ‘tennis bracelet’? so thank you for being a man and bringing it up.. cuz i’d feel stupid if i had to ask a girl that question… ahhaha

    ron white references: always funny.. instead of the bracelet, why don’t you buy her some tater salad… ugh

  2. HAHA I would have never guessed I would be such a gold mine (no pun intended) for blogs.

    Just a slight correction – It is a Villanova Commerce and Finance Major… we aren’t just mere business majors.

  3. Wow! I’ve already hit Jon up… our conversation went something like “I want that one” (as we’re walking through Jared).
    Him: “Um… for what?”
    Me: “Your present to me for the wedding.”

    He did try the “Marrying me is enough of a present” approach. It just didn’t get him anywhere :)

  4. Picture Chandler at the end of the Friends episode where he couldn’t make fun of anyone, when he finally lets it all go and just berates every person in the room. That’s me right now.

    1) The notion of couples exchanging wedding gifts on the day of their wedding is the most preposterous and insulting concept ever. I’m sorry ladies, but this is just the final kick in the groin for the groom. Let’s recap, shall we? He’s paid for an extremely expensive engagement ring. He’s paid for a wedding ring 3-5 times more expensive than the one he’ll receive. He’s paid for the honeymoon. He’s watched the woman he loves become a detail obsessed emotional monster, and suffered through MONTHS of torturous wedding planning discussions. He’s been criticized and berated for not being excited or involved enough. Every suggestion he has made has been mocked and laughed at. He’s been treated like a mentally disabled child who is to be tolerated only because he cannot possibly grasp certain wedding related concepts.

    Whatever happened to the honeymoon being a reward for all of this? The only justifiable gift giving that should occur does NOT involve spending money, that’s for certain. You know you’re nodding your heads in agreement guys, even if you’re too cowardly to admit it.

    2) Jewelry Stores = Electronics Stores. Do you need anything from Helzberg? Absolutely not. Do you want everything they have for sale? Of course. Same can be said for guys at Best Buy.

    Where you ladies start playing dirty is when you attach emotional sentiment to jewelry. You’ll argue that a tennis bracelet is somehow a more justifiable purchase than the cash equivalent in video games because jewelry is “romantic.” Well guess what? Men don’t see it that way at all.

    If it was custom for a woman to propose marriage to a man then she would buy him an HDTV set instead of an engagement ring. And he would shed freaking tears of joy the moment he laid eyes on it. Just remember to do your research – and I’m afraid there are no 4 C’s here ladies, only screen size, native resolution, contrast ratio, and digital inputs. Wouldn’t want him to have to suffer for years with only 720p until his first “upgrade,” would we?

    3) Villanova Commerce and Finance Majors – I’m not going to go here, because it’s far too easy. I mean, they had a class centered on the proper use of Microsoft PowerPoint, with a required reading book and everything.

    [pant, pant] Did I miss anything?

  5. A quick google search came up with…

    Dear Yahoo!:
    Why are diamond bracelets called tennis bracelets?
    Bare Wristed
    Sugarland, Texas

    Dear Bare Wristed:
    Tennis bracelets, also known as diamond line bracelets, are thin, elegant pieces of wrist jewelry that feature a symmetrical pattern of diamonds. Unlike charm bracelets, they lack pendants or mementos.

    According to numerous web sites, such as Professional Jeweler Magazine and Normans of Mosman, tennis star Chris Evert was known for her diamond line bracelets. She lost one during the 1987 U.S. Open, and the game had to be temporarily halted while she prowled the court for it. The “tennis bracelet” incident sparked a new name for the item, as well as a huge jewelry trend.

    Following in the footsteps of the great Chris Evert, last year Serena Williams wore a custom-design Harry Winston tennis bracelet at the U.S. Open. According to the press release, “Winston added an extra secure safety clasp to the bracelet to make sure the flexible and fluid piece will stay securely on Williams’ 7 and one-half inch wrist.”

    Jon’s sleeping on the couch tonight :)

  6. Thank you, Heather, for that extremely detailed [cough]anal-retentive[cough] explanation.

    Anyone else notice that not a single word of that description mentioned a wedding present?

  7. Ohhh Harry Winston… I think I need one of those tennis bracelets….

    As quoted from above: “Where you ladies start playing dirty is when you attach emotional sentiment to jewelry. You’ll argue that a tennis bracelet is somehow a more justifiable purchase than the cash equivalent in video games because jewelry is “romantic.” Well guess what? Men don’t see it that way at all.”

    To women jewelery is sentimental. I can tell you every piece of jewelry Jay bought me, and for what occasion it was bought. I dont think that justifies a jewelry purchase, nor does it not justify a video game purchase. I have bought Jay video games before and would have no problem buying one for his wedding present.

  8. “I have bought Jay video games before and would have no problem buying one for his wedding present.”

    Hell yeah, I told you she rules. Time to start leaving subtle hints around the house.

  9. “I have bought Jay video games before and would have no problem buying one for his wedding present.”

    Agreed, Meg rules.

    On another note: what do men attach sentiment to? Anything?

  10. Jeff did buy me a diamond pendant to wear for the wedding, but since Meg had such a hard time finding something that she felt complimented her dress, that’s out. Although I have to say, I was only 20 when we got married and was not aware that we were supposed to buy anything for each other. True, I did get the engagement ring but he got me. I’d say that was a pretty good trade off :) If it’s any relief at all, somewhere down the road she may even say she doesn’t need anymore jewelry. We came to that plateau a few years back and basically (actually it was exactly) what I said was…you can’t buy me off, I’d much rather you help me out more. Translation: It takes much more effort and devotion to SHOW someone how much you care by the things you do rather than the things you buy :)

  11. Nancy, so what you’re saying is that once I’m done having to buy all this jewelry, I get to serve a sentence of hard labor to show my love. There are a lot of hard to please women on this site…

  12. Hard labor… let’s not get carried away! Since we got the indoor plumbing we don’t have to beat the clothes on a rock down by the stream.

  13. “It takes much more effort and devotion to SHOW someone how much you care by the things you do rather than the things you buy :)”

    Heather rakes me over the coals on this one all the time, and I really can’t blame her. A woman doesn’t exactly need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to show a guy that she loves him. In fact, typically monogamy is all a guy needs to truly “know” that a woman loves her. Bonus points are awarded for any tolerance of “total guy” behavior and cooking.

    But women seem to need to constant nuturing and outward reassurance from their men, which is largely a recipe for disaster given that these needs are often overlooked by men who simply cannot relate to such needs.

    Heather actually has to vocally remind me that she’s due for some romantic time and effort over and above day to day life together, which usually catches me like a deer in headlights.

    “We live together, what more do you need?”

    Yeah, I’m definitely sleeping on the couch tonight.

  14. Kodos to Heather for coming up with the information on tennis bracelets. I didn’t know any of that, although I did know what a tennis bracelet was. And Jay did ask what is was. So now he knows.

    I also will volunteer to accompany Jay to Helzbergs to buy one for Meghan, although he may not want me to since I have a tendency to pick out the expensive stuff. However, I am more than will to go with Jay.

    Jay – you should take to your grandfather about buying jewelry. he claims it can only appreciate in value, so if you think he way your adding to your assets. He never hesitates to buy jewelry for Babci.

    I also think a wedding gift is a lovely idea. Something you’ll treasure always, and in a women’s case may be the last piece of expensive jewelry she will get until the kids are out of college. It seems priorities change when you have children. \

    SO – ALL of the women reading this – Go for the Jewelry NOW.

    All of the men will never think like we do, so buy them BEST BUY stuff – if that is what they want. To each her/his own.

    P.S. (see Tony, I do it too.

    Jay – you should try selling this wedding blog
    concept, and all the script and comments, to the tv studios. I would make a great sitcom.

    Do they do this kind of blog for pregnancies. Poor Meg (if they do) her life will be on the internet for the whole nine months.

  15. Doesn’t anyone find the prospect that a piece of jewelry being toted as necessary to be worn during a sport, a little scary? For one, I would be skeptical if my woman conned me into buying her a piece of jewelry so she could take up a sport, I would also be skeptical of the fact that a ball winging at her while with her “encouraged-to-wear” diamond piece of jewelry. Isn’t that just asking to be hit by the ball, broken (while the diamonds fly over the court) and broken on the ground with little impossible to see diamonds flying all over the place? Then while frantically picking up the pieces of precious jewelry, scraping the engagement ring on the rough court and the diamond falling out…? There is a reason people take OFF jewelry when playing sports, not put on specific expensive jewelry as touted necessary for a sport.

    Sounds like another sucker punch for us guys from another company trying to line their pockets with even more money than they already are…

    BTW – Helzberg saying it’s necessary to have a bracelet specifically for tennis sounds suspiciously like De Beers influencing women to think that diamonds are necessary for marriage (they weren’t until De Beers suckered people into it) and then influencing men to buy bigger diamonds as a sign they love their woman more… hence what started this whole mess to begin with….

  16. Ryan is right – Maybe I shouldn’t take up tennis. I did take tennis lessons for 3 years, but I was never really good. Although, maybe a tennis bracelet would have helped…….

  17. Definitely Meg, a piece of jewelry you only wear during a sport is kinda dumb anyhow, make Jason trade in your diamond for one twice the size instead! It’s only one thing to lose instead of two!

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