5) Measuring Up

Ray was the boy next door, or at least two blocks
away – when he broke up our skipping rope games on his tricked-out
bicycle. That didn’t stop us falling in love – He was ten and I
was nine. We spent our early teenage-hood hanging out together but
work experience in Germany took me away from him for almost two
years. When I returned to Dublin, I was nineteen – he was twenty
and had swapped his pushbike for a gleaming Harley Davidson. I hoped,
but never expected us to get together again but we did. To my absolute
delight we fell back into the "best friends and lovers"
slot. He had transformed from a skinny redheaded teenager into an
athletic body-builder with sandy blonde hair. Older women used to
call him "Robert Redford", I hid my jealousy well.

It was the enlightened eighties and even though I secretly wished
for it more than anything else, I just couldn?t imagine him ever
proposing to me. He was too hip, and I was "from the wrong
side of the tracks" according to his posh mum.

One evening we were sipping juice in our local bar when he explained
that he was taking a trip to London to buy a suit of leathers for
his new bike. There was a Harley Ride Out planned for the following
weekend, and I was invited to be his pillion!

" What size jacket do you take?" he asked me. I answered
him, somewhat puzzled.

" And your jeans would be about 26" waist?" was the
next question.

" Yes, why do you need to know?" I replied.

" For your suit of leathers" he said. "I’m buying
you a suit in London, to keep you safe on the bike."

I looked into his eyes, still puzzled. He flashed a mischievous
grin and taking my right hand, he kissed it gently.

" Well, it’s the suit of leathers, or an engagement ring- your
choice" Ray whispered into my ear.

" And as pretty as those diamonds are, they wouldn’t give the
sort of protection on the bike I would wish for my WIFE."

That was it – the proposal. No more, no less. He muttered that there
would always be time to buy me a ring when I stopped being a tomboy.
You could have picked me up off the floor.

We are twenty-two years married this month, and I still don’t have
the engagement ring but I do have a loving husband (still freaky
about chrome and stylish fairings) and a teenage boy who I expect
will break a few hearts along the way. I just hope my son sticks
with tradition and put a lovely sparkler on the right lady’s finger.

Miriam Connolly

Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland


The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, is one of the worlds top diamond experts, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
Fred The Diamond Guy
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