It’s only money

By Mir
April 3, 2007

My levels of cheapskatery are legendary. It causes me pain to part with my money (“Ouch! My caution!”) and I would probably benefit from a 12-step program dedicated to admitting that I am powerless over my bank statements.

Barring any such program, do you know what’s the best way to get over your aversion to spending? That’s right! Getting married! Because anyone who tells you that getting married is about finding your one special someone and uniting with them in holy matrimony has NEVER GOTTEN MARRIED BEFORE. There’s no reason to do it UNLESS you’ve found that special someone, of course, but it’s really all about everything costing too much money.

I kid. I’m feeling the magic, truly. But it’s not going to be very interesting around here if I constantly tell you “Otto is swell. I love him so much. He smells good.” Those things are all true, but that is not entertainment.

Entertainment is when your beloved is so picky about what ring he wants that the process drags on and on and on and then when you FINALLY reach agreement and go to order the ring, it turns out to be out of stock. Entertainment is when all of that has happened and you find yourself utterly panicked about getting a ring in time.

*insert mental image of me tap-dancing here*

So today, in addition to my normal work and errands and such, I set myself a number of wedding-related tasks. Number 1 on the list: Order a damn ring that meets Otto’s 72 criteria and will be here before the wedding.

I had to work myself up to it, see. Because I was pretty sure I knew which ring to order and from where, but it was… well… let’s just say that I was needing to spend some quality time with my head between my legs, breathing into a paper bag, whilst contemplating this particular purchase.

So as a sort of warm-up exercise, I spent some time online with Susan and Chris, looking at every tie in the universe. You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m telling you, I have now seen every tie ever made. Including several which I very much wish I’d never seen.

Otto requires an extra-long tie, while Monkey requires a boy-sized tie. Go figure. And I require that they wear ties that are pretty and somehow coordinate with my dress, because I have only three feminine molecules in my body and two of them believe in fabulous shoes and the remaining one believes that grey suits are boring and must be offset by colorful ties that just happen to go with my dress. Obviously.


Anyway, Chris helped me as long as she could until the urge to strangle me in my poor taste and indecision overwhelmed her and she had to leave the computer for a while. Susan valiantly continued to assist me, and by the time Otto popped online for a bit I was able to show him the ties I was considering and he picked one, and then I picked a tie for Monkey that went with that tie.

And then I spent half an hour looking for coupon codes while Susan laughed at me. (I saved $1.70! I ROCK!)

But once all of that was (finally) done, it was time to order Otto’s ring. So I took a deep breath and I DID IT. A gorgeous Irish band with trinity knots (that coordinates with my engagement ring, because my wedding ring will be my great-grandmother’s eternity band) has been ordered FROM IRELAND, presumably chock-full of good Irish karma (though not, so far as I know, official Irish dirt).

And then I got a Very Concerned Phone Call from my credit card company, wanting to know if my card hard been stolen. Apparently my reluctance to spend money has been noticed even by them!

I assured them that Otto is worth it, and they dropped the fraud alert. (Well, okay, I also told them my mother’s maiden name. But Otto totally IS worth it.)

After all of that excitement, I realized that I had spent money and the world hadn’t stopped spinning and my brain hadn’t imploded, and maybe this spending money thing could actually be, well, fun. So I spent the next hour researching Bed and Breakfasts and daydreaming about the (teeny tiny, very brief) honeymoon we might take.

I may even spring for a bottle of champagne. With a CORK.


  1. chris

    WITH A CORK?!?!

    C’mon don’t get all crazy now.

  2. Sheryl

    I hear the Budget Inn is nice this time of year *ducking*. Seriously though, that tie. That TIE! Did they have one featuring Chlamydia too?

  3. Lady M

    Can’t imagine a better thing to spend money one. Good for you!

  4. jess

    Yay for trinity knots and rings from Ireland! My husband and I custom ordered our rings (complete also with trinity knots) from Ireland, too. It was worth the cost and a bit more hassle, believe me.

    I hate shopping because it involves spending money, so I get it. We just bought a couch that was over $200 off and didn’t end up being that expensive (for a couch), but I’m still second-guessing, “Do we REALLY need a couch?” (yes) and “Should we have kept looking in hopes that we’d find one even cheaper?” (good luck on that), etc. I’m glad you found what you wanted and that you believe Otto to be worth it.

    (I just got my husband something from the same place we got our rings from a year ago and felt a nudging of the same old buyer’s guilt for spending even a nickel, although it was somewhat alleviated by two facts: (1) I’m not as cheap for other people and (2) I really, really, really love my husband and think he’s worth it. Oh, all right, and (3) I had a really good coupon deal, too. *laughs*)

  5. Heather

    That is a truly horrifying tie. Just sayin. I’m glad you found a ring for Otto :-)

  6. Rachel May

    So happy you finally ordered the ring. I’m sure Otto will be excited about it!

    I spent $250 on Knight’s ring, and now he doesn’t even wear it because it’s too tight. (Six years of home cookin’ does that to a man, I guess… or maybe it was the Whataburgers for his lunches. Dunno.)

    Congrats on the ties, too.

  7. Therese

    For our 25th anniversary, I just replaced our $29.99 wedding bands (which were the only ones we could afford at that time) with bands ordered from Ireland. I just got them last week, and they are awesome. Told hubby that he is signing up for at least another 25 if he wears it. He told me he signed up for life with the first one. He’s still so cute!

  8. cce

    If Otto’s like My Better Half he’ll lose the ring six months after the wedding and you’ll have to go through this process again but hopefully you’ll be all casual about and won’t need to breath into a bag because you’ll have had yesterday’s experience with big ticket purchasing to prepare you. Also, once they’ve lost the first ring, it’s okay to buy a much cheaper version the second time around.

  9. ChristieNY

    I’m not even going to TELL you how my husband went and lost his brand new wedding band (Irish trinity knots on it and all) on our HONEYMOON not a week after I lovingly slipped it on his finger. Okay I will. We were snorkelling. In St. Maarten. Yeah. So don’t go snorkelling on your honeymoon, k? Just sayin. ;)

  10. Sara

    I’m still trying to insert a mental picture of you tap dancing.

  11. Melanie

    I love that your credit card company called because you spent money! With all the shoes, you’d think they’d be used to it by now, but I guess the bargain hunting makes the shoes very, very cheap and wedding rings are not so.

  12. meritt

    “(Well, okay, I also told them my mother’s maiden name. But Otto totally IS worth it.)”

    That was my FAVORITE LINE of this post. LOL.

    I, like you, am very very frugal. Yes, I have had the credit card call me to verify I spent money, but more embarassing here is this quick little story….

    I was 9 months pregnant and due with my third baby any time. I needed to do pretty much ALL the Christmas shopping for our other two children, our parents, my nephews, a Godchild. I went to Toys R Us to knock out as much as I could in one trip. I was checking out, ready to pay and? DENIED! Standing right there the bleached-white headed, black smeared mascara, gum smacking 17 year old ringing me up too GREAT pride in telling me it wouldn’t take it.

    To make this story really short I’ll tell you the ending, that included using the TRU manager’s cellphone to call my credit card company from the store and make them tell the manager that it was approved and that he should let me check out.

    IT ENDS UP IT WAS NOT DENIED! The ‘error’ code of E2 or whatever it read meant: “This person doesn’t normally buy things… so PLEASE CHECK FOR ID”

    That’ it.

    All that gum smacking girlie had to do was SEE MY ID to check out but she didn’t care and didn’t read the code.

    Moral of the story might be: That I need to use my credit card more often? Or I need to know that if it flashes E2 it doesn’t mean ‘denied’ it means; Ask for a drivers license.


  13. Susan

    Oh my god why WHY did I click that tie link??? WHYYYYYY?

    You think I would have learned my lesson yesterday. But no.

  14. Aimee

    Me too, Susan. Me too. Gah!

  15. Genevieve

    Hmmm, it doesn’t like my comments. Wonder why?

    Anyway, YAY on the ring for Otto, horrified gasps for the mad cow tie, and snort for the credit card company realizing that you don’t usually spend money!

    The pretty pretty fuschia shoes that I linked yesterday are not showing up at Zappos today (only the white ones are), so here’s the Talbots Kids link. Really, I’m not obsessed, I just like pretty girls shoes and I have a boy so I never get to shop for them! Plus you have given us so many wonderful tips on Want Not that I want to give you some.

  16. elena

    oh, that’s just what the world needs…tropical cocktail ties to go with your alcoholic wedding dress! hehehehehe

  17. JayMonster

    So you time is worth… let’s see… $3.40/hour?

    See, I knew by the title that this post was a forgery and could not have been done by Mir. :)

    Of course, I will not even start in on the absolutely insane practice of a wedding, and what it costs. I will be married 13 years this August, and I think we just finished paying everything off. (What can I say, didn’t exist back then)

  18. The Other Leanne

    HA! “Official Irish Dirt”! When friends went to Ireland recently I asked them to bring me back some dirt (not jewelry, not hand-knitted scarves, nothing that would cost me any money) because I’m too cheap (and sensible) to order dirt online and pay for shipping. Well, it’s not as if they hadn’t already paid for the tickets. Did you know you can be just as nervous smuggling dirt through Customs as any other contraband?
    Do we get to see a picture of the ring?

  19. Brown Eyed Girl

    Oh…that was funny. Breathing into a paper bag…

    Did I tell you I had to do that when I first saw the hospital bill for Casey’s stay?

    When you have a preemie that just came home after 38 days and the bill says

    $83,763.24 you start seeing stars.

    You lose your ability to breathe and pass out when the disclaimer says “You will be billed seperately by any physicians or specialists.”

    Oh I can’t wait to see it all once you are married!

  20. Liise

    Guess what could be worse? A sunburned hairline from where the sunscreen missed its mark, and is now peeling and making it look like you have a serious dandruff problem.

    What? This isn’t about me?

  21. Cele

    I spent over $300 on Ducky’s ring 15 years ago. I bought a broad, gold, comfort fit ring. I knew that as a mechanic he’d only wear it on special occasions. I just didn’t realize our wedding would be the only special occasion we’d get to enjoy its donning. His fingers swelled up and it has never fit since. Trinity knots sound fabulous.

    Do they let demonic artist out of some cellar to design those ties? *shivers*

  22. BOSSY

    Nice to see you’re keeping an eye on only the most important aspects of a life together: devotion, honesty, bridegroom gifts…

  23. MomCat

    Brown Eyed Girl, we got a bill for $148,000 from the hospital after the first week our daughter was in the NICU, with the same disclaimer about separate bills from doctors. All I could do is laugh! (But compared to baby being born so early, it was funny) At the end, the total was about $2 million. But she’s a good kid. :D

  24. daring one

    I’ve been working hard to teach Dan how to spend money. He is recovering slowly and I’m glad to see you are too.

  25. MomCat

    Oh, and after seeing that Mad Cow tie, I’d bet there IS a belt with scrotums on it. *shudders*

  26. dorothy

    I am so proud of you. (wipes tear)

  27. LadyBug Crossing

    LOL!!! The more you spend, the easier it will get. Pretty soon you won’t care how much you spent… that’s when you know it’s time to pack up the credit card and hide in the freezer in a block of ice…


  28. Carol

    And now you know why when I got married the 2nd time, I opted for a borrowed dress and Vegas ;)

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