What: A bespoke gold-plated, hand-engraved signet ring
Source of remorse?: A dual Christmas and birthday present for my ex-boyfriend gifted on the day we broke up
Some stupid things people do for love:
- Steal things
- Appear on 90 Day Fiance
- Wear matching head-to-toe denim in front of the world’s paparazzi. Deliberately.
- Spunk three-hundred and twenty quid (£320!!!!!) on a bespoke, hand-engraved signet ring for their boyfriend of four months. Who dumps them the day they hand over the bling.
Love for me has always been an expensive pursuit, both emotionally and financially taxing. My love language is gifts. I have no interest in receiving them – if you love me, I simply want your time, energy, perhaps your entire soul, that’s all – but when I fall, it’s my bank account that is hit the hardest. Gifts are how I demonstrate that I see you.
In the case of my ex-boyfriend, it was relatively simple to see him. Three things formed the cornerstones of his personality: a devotion to Chelsea FC, deceased icon Prince, and gold jewellery, in that order. The rest of the gaps were filled by a curious mix of extreme confidence, incredible charisma and a large helping of unfounded self-loathing that he insisted on repressing, to destructive effect.
Netflix rom-com Set It Up has a motif revolving around loving someone despite every sign pointing to the fact that your relationship just won’t work out. And by the time I slid into the DMs of a jeweller recommended by my friend to place the order for the ring, it was clear to everyone, including me, that we were on borrowed time.
It’s complicated, but basically, we ended with a whimper five days before Christmas. He’d made plans solely for the purpose of avoiding me until the New Year; the air was thick with the tension of ignoring the issue. Eventually I cut the Gordian Knot and it was all extremely civil, lying stiffly in bed, agreeing to part ways. I presented him with the ring – a warped anti-proposal. But it seemed a shame to deny him a gift that had been made with so much love and besides, I didn’t want it lying around.
To my great satisfaction, he proclaimed it the best present ever. It fit like a glove. We promised sagely to stay great friends. Three weeks later I saw him with another girl on Instagram, promptly unfollowed him and we never spoke again.
Six months ago I prized quasi-altruism and thought my gesture left me looking dignified in the face of rejection. But now? Fuck that! I want my money back! And my dignity! And my naive romanticism! Thanks to this gift, Pete Davidson and I are now bonded by a penchant for giving rings to people who are going to dump us. And that’s enough to provoke remorse in the heart of any buyer.