"Forever" Dies Hard

I didn't want to sell my engagement ring -- more out of obstinate pride than any sentimental reason. When my husband and I got a divorce, I did the tasteful thing and offered to return the ring to him. He told me to keep it. Leaving a cushy executive job made sense if one was going to be a wife. But surely I didn't think this silly notion of supporting myself as a writer was going to work out? "Keep it," he said. "You'll probably need to pawn it before the year's out." ...more
I have to say, I've always preferred the aquamarine stone - but then again, all value is ...more

Where DOES gold come from? You don't want to know.

Five years ago, I hadn't heard of Tegucigalpa and it's been at least that long since I've played a game of pool, but still I found myself there in October, teaching a group of Guatemalan Mayan men the ropes. Honestly, I wouldn't have been so confident as to teach them had I thought they'd ever played before, because I am a fraud. Knowing only the basic rules, I'm not qualified to be a teacher, but they were eager to learn and I couldn't refuse an opportunity to bond with them outside of the day's more serious agenda. ...more

There are no conflict free diamonds

Hard to believe that less than 70 years ago, people rarely gave diamond engagement rings. Now it is the gold standard by which a man's love and the stability of the relationship is based on. De Beers really did a number on us, because we don't question this idea that a diamond is a symbol of love. We don't question that an engagement ring has to be a diamond, and needs to be as big as the guy can possibly afford. And we don't question that the best stone to buy is a diamond because after all, they're a girl's best friend. ...more