Last month, my mum lost the diamond out of her engagement ring. Okay, not the most thrilling start to an article promising to reassure you that chivalry wasn’t washed away with the 20th century. But, I guess that just goes to show that every cloud has a silver lining, and every fairytale sure does have a happily ever after…
My parents got engaged in 1987 and were married two years later. The wedding photos are beautiful; my mum sporting a rather wild perm and my dad a thick, black moustache, both in true 80’s style. They did the whole ‘dog before kids’ thing just as I hope to do one day, though I fear remembering to feed both myself and the dog would be a challenge in itself for someone like me (apologies, future husband!).
Nowadays, I guess it’s tough to tell how a relationship will pan out over time. It seems things don’t work quite like they used to. We’ve become a society of things being better left broken rather than learning to make do and mend as the older generations did. Twenty six years ago today, maybe my parents didn’t expect to have paid off the mortgage, have two kids who adore them, and still be in their happy little bubble. Maybe they didn’t realise themselves just how much they actually meant the vows they made on that day.
Like most married women, my mum cherished her rings and guarded them with her life. They rarely left her fingers, and if they did it was only to prevent damaging them. So, I’m sure you can imagine how devastating it must have been when she was out walking last month to suddenly look down and realise that the precious diamond from the centre of her engagement ring was missing.
My dad, the absolute hero that he is, reassured her “at least you’ve still got me” to which my mum, though very upset, managed a slight smile.
Despite countless attempts to discard if from her mind, it’s been clear that this was all that my mum could think of, as she’s made small talk with friends about their own rings, and how nice it would be to have her own back to its former glory. But that’s exactly where the magic happens.
Today is my parents’ 26th wedding anniversary. They usually avoid buying gifts for anniversaries (I mean what with birthdays, Christmas, Valentines and what not), but it seems my dad had something quite different in mind for this year.
He asks me: can you keep a secret? I pause. I’m not sure journo, huge gossip and blogger are the best combination for a person being asked to keep a secret, but I nod anyway. There’s a silence.
In the film Easy A, Emma Stone’s character, Olive, asks: “What ever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies?” As much as I’m tempted to agree sometimes, what I’ve experienced in life through my parents reassures me otherwise.
I haven’t needed to trawl through hours and hours’ worth of movie footage to see what love looks like. I’ve never watched Disney movies and cursed at the screen, asking why reality is so much different. Why? Because it doesn’t have to be.
And yeah sure, my expectations of what a gentleman should be are now sky high (you have my chivalrous dad to thank for that one!), but as I’ve always taken pride in saying: “If you shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”.
Happy anniversary mum and dad! x
Featured image: kate fisher/ Flickr.