One of the decisions you've got to make when you get divorced: What do you do with the wedding ring?
Of course, "sell it" is the number one most popular course of action. But for me, it was a lot harder than that. I'm a very sentimental type. I also tend to think things out way too many steps beyond where I really need to be thinking. So, when I thought about selling my ring, the thought didn't immediately end with "Get cash." It had to delve into "And then, what do I do with that cash?" and of course it snowballed from there. Anything I buy will be tainted with the knowledge that I bought it with wedding ring money. And because things did NOT end nicely for us, there will always be the patina of my resentment and bitterness and anguish, as well as all of the memories the ring contained, all over whatever I bought.
So it wasn't an easy process. It took me a while to finally get up the gumption to go through with it. And when I did, I was utterly stymied with what to do with the money. I didn't want to buy clothes, because I knew I'd never wear those clothes. I didn't want to buy collectables, because I'd never value them.
I left for New York a few days later, and a friend of mine took me out shopping to cheer me up. She bought me some really nice clothes (I was also much skinnier due to my lack of eating and none of my clothing fit right), and told me a piece of advice that, to this day, is still one of the most helpful things I've heard throughout my divorce process: "You should date yourself."
She meant I should take myself out to movies I want to see, eat nice dinners, go on trips, and otherwise just treat myself as well as I would treat my ex. And the best part: I was guaranteed to get laid every night.
And that's when I realized what I needed to do with my ring money.
I have some really, really amazing friends, and they have some even more amazing friends. One of my friends has connections at the most exclusive restaurant in all of New York, Per Se. So I called him and asked if he could pull a few strings and get me dinner reservations. It was Valentine's Day, so I thought the chances were non-existent.
He pulled it off, and on Valentine's Day night, I took myself out to one of the best dinners I've ever had in my life. I had a Chef's Rare lamb shank with homemade mint jelly. I had truffled mashed potatoes. I had lobster. I had one of the best split pea soups I've ever had. I had two desserts. And to wash it all down, I bought myself a bottle of Dom Perignon.
I've always wanted to just say "bring me a bottle of Dom." And that's exactly what I did. And you know what? It tastes just like champagne. But that wasn't the point.
The tab came to just a little over what I got for my ring. It was perfect. I took myself out, treated myself nicely, paid for it with my ring money, and went home and shit it all out. No objects to remind me of what poison memories were contained in the money it was bought with. No reminders that I only have that possession because something else so much more important, ended. Just a lovely dinner date for myself.
And for the record: I totally got laid.
* * *