Family

True Love Doesn’t Need Bling — or Insults

Rude sales clerk attacks young couple's genuine commitment

Ariel Desiree McRae of Martin, Tennessee, was thrilled to marry her boyfriend Quinn McRae last month after two years of dating. Deciding to skip the big fancy wedding — money is tight for this young couple — they ran over to the courthouse to say their “I do’s” instead.

Quinn McRae did want to follow one marriage tradition, however — he wanted to give his beloved wife-to-be matching wedding and engagement rings.

“Rings are symbols of commitment, not displays of wealth.”

Ariel McRae said in a Facebook post that the two “scrape and scrape just to pay the bills and put food in their bellies,” but that her beloved was able to save up $130 to buy her matching wedding and engagement rings.

“While we were purchasing my rings, however, another lady that was working there came over to help the lady selling them to us,” Ariel McRae posted. “She said, ‘Y’all, can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic.'”

The young woman said she saw her beloved’s face fall when the woman made these remarks — and quickly responded, “It isn’t the ring that matters. It’s the love that goes into buying one that does!”

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Words hurt. And the clerk’s awful ridicule tarnished a special moment for this young couple — a moment that only happens once. Ariel McRae jumped to defend her husband and their treasured rings in a Facebook post that has since gone viral — garnering 69,000 likes and over 54,000 shares as of this morning.

“Y’all, I would have gotten married to this man if it had been a 25¢ gum ball machine ring,” she wrote. “When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her $3,000+ jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring? Sure, they are nice, sure the sentiment is wonderful and I’m not trying to cut down any of your experiences, but when did it come to all that? Why do material possessions equate love??”

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“My husband was so afraid of me not wanting him because he couldn’t afford a piece of jewelry,” she continued. “The world has made it this way and it is so sad.”

Related: Seven Secrets of Lasting Marriage

This sensible, loving couple will no doubt ride out life’s bumps just fine.

One Boston-area husband who has been married for 31 years sympathized with the young newlyweds. “What I would tell them is, my wife and I bought our rings at a wholesale club, not a fancy jewelry store. We were young and broke, too. But those rings still sit on our fingers — we had them engraved for each other on our 25th anniversary, and we never take them off. Rings are symbols of commitment — not displays of wealth. Or they shouldn’t be, anyway.”

A New York woman and mother of two sons noted that she and her husband paid for everything themselves and handled all wedding expenses — as a result, their wedding wasn’t lavish, fancy, or wild. “But we did the best we could with what we had, and we cherish what we have given each other over the years. And by the way, our guests said they had a good time! So no one suffered — and everyone was happy.”

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The McRaes, for their part, seem to be on the path to a long and joyous marriage.

“He was afraid that the love I have for him would pale, because he couldn’t afford the wedding set I wanted,” Ariel McRae said in her post. “But here I am, though, court house-married, $130 ring set, the love of my life by my side, and happier than I could ever imagine.”

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