Would you do this w/ your 'engagement ring'? Emotional/Practical

oofasisSeptember 19, 2007

When my husband and I got engaged 30 years ago, I didnÂt want a diamond ring. I still had plenty of my hippie-influenced values and (Silly me! What was I thinking!) didnÂt see the point of thousands of bucks resting on my finger at the time. What I really wanted was a potterÂs wheel, and thatÂs what DH gave me. And over the 30 years weÂve been together, itÂs brought much happiness to me. IÂve never sold my pots, havenÂt wanted to - what I throw on the wheel is purely for my personal pleasure. Back then, our homes in NY had basements for me to set up my wheel. When we moved to CA twenty years ago we bought a home with a three-car garage, so I again had space for my wheel. Nine years ago we down-sized and moved here to a much smaller home with only a two-car garage and no space at all to set up my wheel. It has collected dust in a closet under the stairs since then.

WeÂve remodeled and added a lot of space, but at the cost of remodeling our space decisions were practicality-driven, i.e., no room/$$ for a place to throw my pots. Combine that with full-throttle menopause, and I truly havenÂt felt "centered" enough to go back to my wheel. ItÂs a big and very heavy piece and takes up valuable storage space.

We could continue to keep it, but it would just be packed away and not used. Or I could give it away to someone who would really want it, "pay it forward" as they they say.

I have very strong emotional ties to the wheel, but theyÂre just emotions after all.

Would you let it go? What would you do?

P.S. IÂve had 2.40 carats on my left finger for many years now! My old hippie mentality about diamonds went out the window a long time ago!

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I think it would be great to find someone to give it to who would get as much pleasure from it as you have.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:21PM
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If you REALLY think you wouldn't use it again (really?), then give it away to someone or some place (a school?) where they'd enjoy it.

But you asked what I would do, and I wouldn't give it away. I can't get rid of sentimental stuff. But you shouldn't do what I would do, you should do what feels right for you.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Why don't you ask your DH? Having his blessing to give your wheel to a school or to someone who would use it to make 'beautiful' might help you release it.

But who knows, he might not want to see it leave...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:19PM
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He has given me his blessing to make my own decision. He's a tender man and he has a modest attachment to the gift he gave me for the same sentimental reasons. We discussed it the other day at length, and he freely gave me my own choice to decide.

It's weighed heavily on my mind these last few days. In the eight years we've had it tucked inside the closet under the stairs, it was mostly "out of sight, out of mind." Now that we're in cleaning-out mode under the weight of the remodel, I've done quite a bit of letting go. Maybe - just maybe - I'm thinking that I may just tuck it back in the closet again, and see how I feel about it in another eight years...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:56PM
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Unless you are 90 years old and expecting to die soon, you WILL want to use that wheel again. The problems of menopause will pass fairly quickly and once you come out on the other side, you'll probably want to get back to throwing pots. You'll be feeling creative again. I'd keep it.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 9:33AM
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You don't mention if you have children or not or maybe nieces or nephews who might hate it now but will someday appreciate the history of that wonderful old piece and the beautiful story behind it (and it is a beautiful story).

Keep it.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 1:31PM
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I faced that decision with my darkroom which was set up in the half bath off of the garage. I had the enlarger set up permanately there. But the more I got into digital photography and Photoshop, the less I used it. It got to the point I stopped using it for a year. It was time to let it go, so I sold it on ebay. No regrets.

I also was that way about diamond rings and didn't want something so materalistic. We had the whole hippie wedding with homemade dress, cake, etc. But 7 years and 1 kid later I changed my mind and when we were in Hong Kong we visited all the jewelry shops and there are a lot. I got my 1 ct. then but moved up to 2 ct. at 20 year anniversary and 2.5 at 25. Got the pendant and earrings at 30. I figured I earned it all.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 6:38PM
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I think you answered your question in your op: I have very strong emotional ties to the wheel, but theyÂre just emotions after all.

Just emotions ? Not just.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 8:23PM
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I hope it isn't obvious that I didn't read thru every reply, but what about talking to your husband about selling it, and using the proceeds to buysomething just as special for you, that would have the same kind of meaning, and just not take up so much room?

After all, it's not the potter's wheel that means so much, but the thought and memories behind it.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:46PM
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Hmmm...(I'm thinking...)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 12:55AM
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Keep the lovely memories and the pots you made on the wheel, but let the wheel go. It's a wheel :) it can be replaced but those memories can't :) I'm with Bill on this one. Sell it and make a new memory to treasure! Or both of you give it to someone who will appreciate it (school etc) and enjoy the memory of passing it on to others to enjoy :)

My first sewing machine was from my grandmother. I have lovely memories of her teaching me to sew on that machine. And the hours I spent with her so when she died and they were going to throw it out I begged for it. So at my house it sat...I didn't sew any more. Ten years later I decided to make a quilt with grandma's machine. I opened it up after spending hours cutting this quilt and started sewing. The tension kept slipping off, the thing didn't do a back stitch, no automatic stop...it won't cut thread, threading it is a nightmare....

I gave it to someone who wanted a machine but couldn't afford one. She loves it, ticks and all. I purchased a lovely computerized machine that does everything including umm sew (something my old darling didn't do well).

I still have my memories of grandma :) and she'd love to know someone is using the old bugger, but she'd also probably enjoy a new computerized model herself if she were now with me :) so I think she's ok with me keeping the memories and letting that big old box go!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Funny about diamonds. When dh and I got married, I just wanted a band. I wanted to spend the money on a house and other more practical things. When I had twins on our 22nd anniversary (yes, I said our 22nd) anniversary he asked me if I would like some kind of special gift and I asked for a 2 carat ring--one for each baby. I figured I earned it!

I wear that ring proudly. My (mostly sweet) 26 yr old dd thinks it is terribly materialistic and reminds me of all of the horrible stories re: mining of diamonds.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 5:09PM
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Could you give the out the pottery wheel on loan to a place that can really use it, like a local school? I agree with momj47 that it is very likely that your love for pottery will return one day soon. It is very common for art lovers to give out their pieces on loan. We have a beautiful piano on loan from my sil because she cannot ship it across the continent right now. We've had it for 4 years now and most likely will keep it for quite some time. But who knows when or if she'll take it back. That's fine with us. And she get's to see it every time she visits - which unfortunately is not very often.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 10:26AM
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Oh, really, sell the rock and use the money to build a studio for gosh sakes. Or better, yet, sell one of the cars and use that space.

Menopause makes one feel crappy, but it's only for awhile and then you punch right on through and it changes your perspective on what's important.

Shrinks advise never making big decisions in the immediate throes of emotional upheavals, and menopause is one of the biggest upheavals on the books. Store the wheel or loan it, but don't write your creative energies off, yet.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 2:17AM
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Thanks to all for sharing. Sometimes when we ask for opinions, we're really not looking to be swayed - just talking out loud.

While the potter's wheel has been hidden away in the closet under the stairs for the last eight years, it has never once asked for bread.

Looking at it this way, I've decided that the "real estate" the wheel consumes in the shallowest corner under the stairs in the closet isn't crucial.

In the deepest honesty of my heart, the big clunky wheel that was the preferred symbol of our intent to marry is cherished by me, regardless of its usability at this time.

It's a keeper.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 9:22AM
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Looks like you've already decided and I'm late chiming in but I simply can't resist.

I love igloochick's answer, but I think her case is just a bit different than yours. Your potter's wheel is not outdated or non-working, it's just not being used at the moment. And unless it's costing you something to keep it, I don't see any reason to let it go.

My name is lowspark and I'm a pack rat. Yeah, I am. So who am I to give advice? Well the point is, if it's easy to get rid of it with no agonizing then it's time to get rid of it. But any agonizing at all means keep it.

I kept my fine china from my first marriage long after I'd divorced. Why? Emotional ties -- I hardly ever used it when I was married but afterwards, I never used it. It finally came to the point where I thought about it and said, OK, I'm ready to let go. At that point, there was no decision, no hemming & hawing, no wondering if I was doing the right thing. I didn't want them anymore, done deal. I sold it all on ebay and the money I got went into my Remodel The Kitchen Fund.

So, when the decision is hard, that means keep it. When it's really time to let go, if that time ever comes, you won't have to come post here, you'll just know it's ok and it will go.

Good for you for making (what I think is) the right decision.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 5:37PM
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So, when the decision is hard, that means keep it.

Lowspark-- any chance you're related to my wife? You wanna talk about a pack rat? We have a storage space PACKED with stuff she "can't" get rid of-- everything from unused canning jars to an old flamingo pink beauty parlor hair dryer chair!! There comes a time when it's time to let go. Save the memories-- not the stuff that won't be used any more for anything other than to collect dust.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:48PM
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You're right, Bill, I know you're right! Trouble is, I HAVE thrown away/given away stuff before that I later wished I'd kept. I'm a packrat but not an extreme one so it works for me. I do know that some people get excessive about it. And if it was COSTING me $$$ to keep stuff (paying for a storage space), it would be a different story.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 10:05AM
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I just figure that a storage space is a whole lot cheaper than a pair of divorce attornies!! :-)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 5:54PM
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I'm w/ lowspark, mostly.

The thing is, I *can* let go of stuff. I can go through the box of "heirlooms" (sentimental stuff, not nec. valuable), and identify stuff that just doesn't matter, and I can ditch it.

I can ditch practical stuff, and not have pangs about having to buy a new version of it later on.

So, for me, since I know I can get rid of things, that little twinge really is saying, "not yet."

Someday I'll actually use it again, or I'll get a place to display it again. My ceramic penguins come to mind--I just stuck them WAY back on a top shelf, but one day, when I don't have little kid toys and little kid crafts all over my living room, I know I will want to get them back out.

And if, when I get them back out, and some of them don't move me anymore, I know that I will be ABLE to let go of those. Even though they are penguins.

If everytime oofasis opens that closet and sees that potter's wheel, she remembers their early love, and how much her DH-to-be valued her and her art, then it *IS* being used. Just as much as a painting on the wall is being used.

Just as much as my stuffed doll (given to me by "my little old lady on the block" when I was 4) is being used as it sits on top of my lingerie chest and gets dusty.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 5:17PM
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Talley Sue - My email alerted me to a new post on my thread. Thank you for a very touching expression: If everytime oofasis opens that closet and sees that potter's wheel, she remembers their early love, and how much her DH-to-be valued her and her art, then it *IS* being used. I said aloud, "Yes, that's how it is." You just gave me the right words for it.

At the time that I began wondering if I should continue to hold on to my wheel, I was in high-gear purge mode of our remodel. I do think I would have achingly regretted a decision to let go of my wheel, as it's so much more than a Big Thing occupying space.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:53PM
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