Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Playing House

My boyfriend's parents treated us to a weekend of skiing and relaxation two weeks ago at their Sunriver, OR vacation house. We ate great food (my boyfriend is a fantastic cook!) and drank good wine. We stayed up late, slept in, took naps. We skiied on freshly fallen, perfectly powdery snow. We played games. We soaked in the hot tub after a little coaxing on his part (I was not about to walk outside in a bikini, where it was snowing and zero degrees!). It was peaceful and lovely, and so much fun to play house with him!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Red is NOT the New Blue

Yesterday was a pretty big day -- we went shopping. For my engagement ring! And although I don’t get the final word on the ring that will be purchased, and although I don’t get to know when or where or how he is going to ask that very important question, I am so excited when I think of spending my life with this man that I can hardly wait!

Neither one of us has been engaged or married before, so this was a completely new experience for us. And it was definitely a little overwhelming. But still, so much fun!

We visited all the jewelers at a local upscale shopping venue. We received numerous lessons on the four “Cs” of diamonds – color, clarity, cut, carat. We tried on hundreds of rings to find the shape and size and design that looks best on my dainty little hand. In the end, we kept coming back to one particular style that we both loved.

Having a pretty good idea of what we wanted at this point, we decided to make our final stop at Cartier to take a peek at their selection. Now, I realize that Cartier is a high-end store, but I thought it was in roughly the same category as Tiffany & Co., where I shop fairly regularly. So I expected that there would be at least a few things there in our price range.

Our sales representative was very helpful. We tried on nearly every ring they had on display. She detailed the history of Cartier and provided some general information on their financing plans (the very fact that they have financing plans should have tipped me off to the horror that my eyes would soon behold!). She explained how you pay a little more for the Cartier name and the red box, but that the pieces hold their value better because of that Cartier inscription.

Then I tried the ring. The very same style we fell in love with hours before at another jeweler. The one that will likely be worn on my hand for the next 50+ years. (Unless he completely throws me for a loop and chooses something else.) It was exquisite. A 2-carat, nearly flawless, round brilliant diamond perfectly set on a platinum and pave-set diamond band. With a matching eternity wedding band. I can’t adequately describe how beautiful it looks on my hand. When I took it off my finger, I caught a glimpse of the price. And that’s when I almost fell over.


Surely, it was a misprint. Maybe the comma was in the wrong place. Or maybe that wasn’t in U.S. Dollars. Because how could a ring possibly cost as much as a luxury car? Especially when the center stone is only 2 carats! I mean, the exact same ring was just under $10,000 in every other store!

Not wanting to seem like I didn’t belong there, I tried to regain my breath and finish our conversation. When we left, I asked my love if he happened to see the price tag. He told me he, too, had almost had a heart attack.

Apparently, we’re just not Cartier kind of people.

A Special Announcement for All Members of the Nicole Fan Club:

Yes, this is for all one of you...

I am a totally legitimate recording artist now. Sure I've had a CD out for nine months now. But with the software that is available today, anyone with a computer and a microphone can record their own CD. But I have one-upped the thousands of unsigned garage bands out there...

I am on iTunes.

It actually happened a few months ago, but I forgot to tell you. Sorry.

Anyway, if you want to listen to clips or buy the songs, just search for "Wartime Radio Revue." I sang on the "Kiss the Boys Goodbye" record.

Oh. And if you want the entire album, contact me. I can get it for you cheaper than buying all the individual songs on iTunes. Plus, you'll get the CD cover with my name in print. ;-)