Dear Blake,

When my then-boyfriend asked me to marry him, he didn’t have a ring ready, but I happily accepted his proposal. We were in our late 20s and had been dating for almost 10 years. He then took me to the jewelry store so I could select one to my taste and liking (within budget). We took a picture of the ring, and he told me he would bring his mother back to the jewelry shop with him so she could help with the price haggling.

A week later, he told me he had made the purchase and we both couldn’t wait for our engagement ceremony as we took the next step in our relationship. On that day, to my surprise, the ring he put on my finger wasn’t the one I had selected. However, in front of his family, my family and probably 40 guests, I pretended nothing happened.

I wasn’t happy at all and told him later, in private, that it wasn’t the ring I chose. His answer was, his mother thought this one would look better (in my opinion, cheaper and tackier) than the one I liked and that I was overreacting. I told him that had he not taken me shopping, I would have appreciated any ring he bought. He brushes me off when I try to discuss it. Why did he take me and then disregard my opinion? Am I overreacting?

Signed, Alyssa
From Concord, New Hampshire

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Dear Alyssa,

I do not feel you are overreacting in the least. You should’ve tried to embarrass him in front of all of the guests, and acted like you thought it was a prank as you threw the ring down while laughing as you stomped on the “junk jewelry”. Here are some other options you should’ve entertained. You should’ve punched him in the face hard enough to knock him out, and even though many people would’ve filmed the engagement ceremony, there’s no way a jury with any women on it would’ve convicted you. You could’ve told his mother you can’t believe that he would value her opinion, considering the things he had said about her when he was intoxicated, some of which were so disturbing, you didn’t know if you should urge her to get counseling, or if you should call the police and have her arrested. Or, you could get your mother involved, and let him see you walking hand in hand with another man. And when he looks at the two of you, hurt and in shock, tell him your mother said you would like the new guy “better”. Lastly, if you knew that his mother picked it out, but they didn’t know that you knew, then you should’ve done this. When the engagement ring was given to you, you should’ve looked at it with disgust, and then said in front of the guests, “The type of woman that would pick out this bawdy ring, is probably an over-the-hill former prostitute that’s trying to relive her former glory days, instead of accepting the fact that her previous lifestyle is responsible for her accelerated aging/physical deterioration.” And later in the evening when no one was around, you should’ve asked his mother has she ever had in any adverse reactions to penicillin? I hope this helps.