*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
This past fall my little sister Grace got married to my new brother-in-law, Rich. I was surprised and offended that more than one person asked whether it bothered me that my little sister was getting married before me. The fact was, it did and it didn’t bother me.
I’ve always been a bit jealous of Grace, feeling like she got a better childhood than I did with the benefit of both of our parents raising her. By the time she was in grade school, I had already moved out of the house, so we were never close, and I could see from afar how much more she was spoiled than I had been growing up. She was also encouraged and supported more by our parents, who had never really pushed me to go to college to have a better life.
The thing that made me not jealous was that I don’t particularly care for her husband, Rich, or the kind of relationship they seem to have together. If they had the kind of happiness together that I want to have, maybe things would be different, but their union seems to be one based on shared ambition rather than deep, passionate love.
The other thing I have no jealousy of is her wedding ring. Grace’s ring is a one-and-a-half carat oval diamond set in rose gold with a ring of smaller diamonds around the band. I have never been a fan of diamonds or anything with that much sparkle. I prefer my stones to glow. Give me an opal or a moonstone any day.
One afternoon when Grace and I were visiting our parents at the same time, she made a joke about how one of her friends, Tara, would love to steal her ring.
“Has she stolen rings in the past from people?” I asked.
Grace laughed, rolled her eyes, and launched into telling us one of the wackiest stories I’ve ever heard.
Grace and her friend Tara are the same age, twenty-eight years old, but Tara has already been married and divorced six times. She was married for the first time to her college sweetheart at eighteen and had swapped husbands roughly every other year since then. However, Grace said the divorces had nothing to do with the men, it had to do with Tara’s quest for the perfect wedding ring.
Tara was honest at least with some of her friends that she would marry a man just to keep the wedding ring he gave her. When asked why she didn’t just break off engagements if she knew she wasn’t in love, she would scoff and say, “Well, then I wouldn’t be entitled to keep the ring!”
Shortly after the seventh ring was slipped onto Tara’s finger, Grace found herself sitting next to Tara at a lunch with mutual friends.
Tara leaned back in her chair to introduce Grace to her new husband, a much older man in his fifties, named John.
“Congratulations,” Tara told them, shaking John’s hand.
“I don’t know what I did to deserve her,” John said, beaming at his young wife.
Apparently, Tara held out her hand so Grace could admire her rather large diamond rings, and then pressed that hand against John’s chest, saying:
“It’s because I knew you could afford a great one.”
Grace had to keep her mouth from dropping open, so shocked she was at Tara’s comment, but it didn’t seem to phase John in the slightest.
What do you think of Tara’s conquests?
Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation: https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan
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