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Caught between rock and in-laws

Dear Carolyn: I am engaged, and my future in-laws are harassing their son regarding my engagement ring. I am not much of a jewelry-wearing person, and I told my fiance that I didn’t want anything big and flashy, just whatever he felt I would like. He chose a beautiful nontraditional ring with two rubies and several small diamonds – to me, it’s perfect.

His parents HATE it and keep making snide comments about it: “Couldn’t you have gotten her something not from a gumball machine?” I think the problem is that they are very status-conscious.

If they make comments within earshot, I always state how much I love my ring and how it is exactly what I wanted, but they keep insisting I’m just being polite. They have harped on this so much my fiance has started apologizing and offering to switch it to something better. How do I get everyone to believe me that I love my ring and just want them to shut the bleep up? – Diamonds aren’t this girl’s friend

Three things, in ascending order of importance:

(1) It is not your job to “get” people to “believe” anything.

(2) Right now you’re saying you love the ring, which may be true, but it isn’t the relevant truth anymore. That truth is the desperation you feel to get these hyenas off your back. So, that’s the truth you need to communicate now. Maybe: “When you insult this ring, you insult me, because it’s exactly my taste. Can we please talk about something else?”

(3) Don’t have any illusions that “something else” will be any better. The problem isn’t that your boundary- challenged, status- conscious, snide-swiping future in-laws are contemptuous of your ring; it’s that you have boundary-challenged, status-conscious, snide- swiping future in-laws. That means now is a fine time to brush up on your line-holding, starting with the ring.