wings and things

Chapter 65: The engagement ring fiasco [1992]

on December 5, 2021

I thought I had finished writing these vignettes but I keep remembering more and more. The delay in piecing all of the fragments of the longer story together is due to me discovering a wonderful person who is now helping me with format. So this is a rather useful delay in that it gives me more time to re-remember and write more of these little stories.

In writing the horrible in-law stories (I think there were three posts), I unwittingly put myself through a weird, retrospective trauma and experienced feelings of absolute rejection that, as a new wife, I was too busy to acknowledge at the time.

It was useful to gain insight from the daughter of my brother and sister-in-law, but it has also meant yet another falling out with her and, when I suggested to her that I email her parents with a view to reconcile, she was adamant that “Mum will not respond.” She was right.

After that, I realised that I had to stop being so afraid to tell the truth of my experience. I don’t enjoy writing about these situations, but I do think it’s important to relate how cruelly we were treated from day one of our engagement.

The engagement ring fiasco is a good example:

Anthony had picked out an engagement ring at Marjorie Young’s antique jewelers in Perth and I loved it! We had so much fun that day and, when we stopped at a restaurant for lunch, he put the diamonds onto my finger and laughed at my shy, embarrassed joy.

But, halfway through our smoked salmon salads, he said he had something to ask me. I was a bemused as we had already gone beyond a marriage proposal.

ANTHONY: Would you be willing to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, Jules?

I only vaguely knew what this was as I did occasionally read magazines. I think I thought he was joking at the time but I did get a bit of a shiver of alarm.

ME: Is this a joke, Ants?

ANTHONY: It’s not my idea, Jules.

ME: Oh, I see.

So I took the engagement ring off my finger and calmly put it on the table in front of his bread roll, got up and walked away and down the street. In those moments, Anthony’s brother nearly won, as I was in tears of despair that my future husband would have so little trust for me.

It took many weeks for the trust to return – not his trust for me, but mine for him!

After we were married, Anthony and I tried so many times to reconcile, or at least be able to make small talk, with his brother and wife, but it was mostly impossible. Now that Anthony is gone, it is even more impossible because I inherited his farm, a legacy they wanted and I actually understand their disappointment but not their behavior.

The engagement ring fiasco is the last bad memory I want to talk about in this blog-book. I am certain that this kind of experience is not mine alone.

8 responses to “Chapter 65: The engagement ring fiasco [1992]

  1. Anonymous says:

    This story breaks my heart.

  2. beth says:

    heartbreaking for many reasons

  3. susanpoozan says:

    So sad, why did they inflict so much pain on you? What good dod it do them?

  4. Who I am says:

    This is sad when family members disagree. You stayed strong and this carried through your life with Ants

  5. You would think his brother would have been happy for him instead of causing trouble

  6. tootlepedal says:

    Upsetting both at the time and to look back on. It is sad that there seems to be no chance of any resolution.

  7. My view is, it is their loss, it is they that have missed out. You should not feel any guilt, you and Ant allowed your hearts to rule your heads and you have made wonderful memories together. They probably have many regrets over how they have been, but will never admit that to you or to themselves, they have to live with that, they didn’t deserve the farm.

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