Just recently M and I got engaged and to help celebrate the occasion I gave her a lovely diamond engagement ring. When she walked into work the next Monday she was able to show all her coworkers her new bling. In fact anybody who wishes to see her ring will get an enthusiastic yes from M. It has been over a month since and she still smiles when she looks down at her hand.
The whole scene above could be written about any newly engaged couple. It is a pretty familiar script where the guy buys a girl an *expensive diamond ring and then the wedding planning begins. If you would like to read a wonderful short article on the history of engagement rings check out this article on Slate. From reading that article I learned how the diamond engagement ring became popular as well as the writer’s opinion on how the engagement ring is basically not fair. The girl receives this piece of jewelry “while her beau is out there sign-free and all too easily trespassable, until the wedding.”
*The rule I had always been told was that it was 2 months salary. I never knew if that meant pre-tax salary, post-tax, post tax and 401K, etc. I mean 2 months salary is a lot of money no matter how you slice and dice it, but if it is 2 months of pre-tax salary then we are talking about a ridiculous amount.
Right now I am not going to get into the history of the diamond ring or whether or not that is an appropriate symbol of love. I am not going to get into the marketing campaign ("a diamond is forever") or the outrageous cost burden a diamond ring places on some people. These things concern me, but right now I am just going to get into the fairness of the engagement ring.
My idea tries to remedy the problem of fairness as well as allow guys to announce to the world that they are also engaged. This additional step is blatant consumerism that should make certain retailers happy, but more importantly I think it will make the groom-to-be happy. It is no more ridiculous and made up than the engagement ring. The additional step is for the bride-to-be to buy the guy an engagement jersey.
What is an engagement jersey you might wonder? An engagement jersey is an authentic retro jersey that the sports-minded guy who just got engaged would be able to wear around proudly in much the same way an engagement ring is worn by the girl. Engagement jerseys are expensive, but considering how much the guy pays on the ring I think most girls would be ok with that deal. In fact I think the general rule of thumb should be that the girl spends between 5%-10% of the cost of the diamond ring on the engagement jersey. Therefore if the average engagement ring is between $3500 and $4000 (reference here) then the average engagement jersey should be between $175 and $400. It just so happens that the Tiffany’s of jerseys (Mitchell and Ness ) falls in this range with most of their jerseys coming in at the $275/$300 mark. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the company, Mitchell and Ness is sports retailer known for their quality and their accuracy in providing the avid sports fan with authentic retro jerseys.
M is familiar with my engagement jersey rule and is waiting on my decision on which jersey I like the best. I have been going through the website and have considered many jerseys. You see this is my one time to get it right since you only get one engagement jersey. My frontrunners are a 1984 Dan Marino jersey, a 1983 Walter Payton jersey and a 1965 Harmon Killebrew jersey. Or if I wanted Mary to get off cheap I could ask for a Rod Carew jersey or even an old Shane Battier Duke jersey. The jury is still out on which jersey I will pick, but in the meantime I would like to focus your attention on the three most random jerseys that Mitchell and Ness makes:
1995/1996 – Dan Majerle All Star game jersey - For the fan who just loves Thunder Dan Majerle, but doesn't want his normal home jersey. In fact this jersey shown below is perfect for those fans who just love Majerle's 1995/1996 All Star game appearance. Just in case you didn't know Dan Majerle went 4-12 with 10 points in a Western Conference win. Six players on his own team scored more points than him in the game and only one player (Gary Payton) shot a worse percentage. Seriously, why would anyone get this jersey?
1989 – Dave Dravecky Giants jersey - I had never heard of this guy, so I looked him up and found the following on his Wikipedia page. A former baseball player who broke his arm twice (including one while throwing a normal pitch) and then later became a Christian motivational speaker. Seriously this jersey has to be for a very specialized market.
1995 Eddie Jones Rookie Game jersey - The most random of all jerseys. It is a jersey for a random Nba. player who at one point in his career could be considered above-average. Not only that, but it is a jersey for a Rookie Game. Not an All-Star game, but a Rookie Game. Here is how Mitchell and Ness describes the jersey:
"On February 11, 1995 the finest rookies in the NBA took the hardwood at the American West Arena for the Second Annual Rookie Game in Phoenix. Eddie Jones, a breakout star from Temple University representing the Los Angeles Lakers received the game MVP award. Despite a loss for his team in overtime, Jones managed to outscore every other rookie on the court in just 29 minutes of playing time capturing the MVP title. "
I can't figure out for the life of me why anyone would want the below jersey:
Anyway, I need to get some rest because tomorrow is a big day of packing up for the move into our new place in Edina. I am very excited for the luxuries (otherwise known as normal stuff for other people) of our new place.
Happy birthday M.