Sometimes, I read an advice column and learn something that will help me avoid doing something regrettable. When I read a Social Q’s question and answer that will appear in this Sunday’s paper, I wondered how a person could be so stupid. J.S. in Brooklyn, NY, bought a woman he had been dating for two years a $16,000 engagement ring after she sent him a photo of the ring and threatened to end their relationship if he didn’t give it to her. After he had the ring made, she told him she was committed to another man. We’re not really sure what went down, but it seems a little strange for two people to be together for years and one of them to be “committed” to someone else. Anyway, J.S. wants to know whether, since jewelers tell him the ring has limited value since it was custom made, his ex-fiancée should share in the financial loss.
Dude should have seen the problems coming and never bought her the ring in the first place. In his letter to Social Q’s, he admits that this ex-fiancée disapproved of the mediation he and his ex-wife used for their divorce. In lieu of advice, columnist Philip Galanes berates J.S.:
No sane person (other than executives at Court TV or Nancy Grace) would forgo peaceful mediation in favor of all-out war. And how did you reach 55 without learning the lesson of ultimatums?
Galanes goes on to say that J.S. was stupid enough to buy the ring in the first place, and he should suck up the cost: “So, rather than haggle over a contribution, prepare for the next time: Figure out why you behaved like a love-struck teenager with a gold card.” Maybe J.S. should sell the ring at a loss, and then use the money to buy some self-help books or therapy sessions, because he needs to buy a clue. [NY Times]