By Michelle Graff

A colleague forwarded this amusing Miss Manners item about the proper etiquette when it comes to a diamond ring self-purchase.

The advice-seeker, who is in a relationship with no plans for marriage, wonders if buying a diamond right-hand ring for herself would be a faux pas. While advised that socially there's nothing wrong with it, Miss Manners says the ring could cause speculation among nosy friends and family, and discomfort for the boyfriend.

She opines:

Do you think for one moment that everyone you know will refrain from zeroing in on your diamond ring and asking when the wedding will be? (No doubt they do this already, the nosy things, but this will reopen the subject.) And if you deny it, they will assume you are equivocating.

Furthermore, the elephant will show up when you and the gentleman think you are alone. Even if you manage to refrain from asking him how he likes it, the thought will occur to him that it is intended as a reproach.

I agree with this logic, but I also think the question opens up another marketing possibility for diamond jewelry: The Subliminal Manipulation Ring. Not only does it look fabulous, but you can use it to trick those busybodies into thinking you're engaged, while simultaneously pushing the man in your life to get with the program. I'm sure it would be a big hit for Valentine's Day. And if it causes a break up, at least she'll have a diamond ring.

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