Too Many Choices

Damn kids.

They have an uncanny knack for making you feel old. Take the other day. I actually found myself saying "Well, in MY day..."

Oh. Gad.

I sounded like my mother.

What forced that ancient saying from my lips was a discussion about school rings.

In 1975 I was in Grade 10. My parents agreed to buy my school ring that year to avoid the rising price of silver that was forecast to occur.

That ring still adorns my right hand, has been for *Gak!* 33 years now (and is torture to try to remove, so you get a photo of my ugly fingers too).

Glenlawn Lion ring, circa 1975
Back then when we placed our orders, we had the following choices:

Silver or Gold

Yup. That was the grand total of how we could "customize" our rings.

And the cost of my silver ring was a whopping $28.

Now that Daughter is in Grade 12, she asked if she could get a school ring.

"Of course, honey! You NEED one, I love mine and I'll pay for it."

Sucker. I should have known better.

Today there are a titch more than two decisions to make. In fact when visiting the flash-powered "Ring Designer", you'll be bombarded by the following options over at

97 designs
19 stone colours
151 stone cuts
3 metal colors
12 metal qualities
2 metal finishes
2 band types (smooth or textured)
483 logos

My calculator couldn't fully display the number of permutations that produces without that stupid "E" thingy...

While playing around designing her ring online, Daughter thought she'd be a smart-ass and sent me the following ring for approval via their email service:

Fishy Business
She finally decided on what she wanted (silver, blue stone) and we ordered it.

It'll be here in November and I am praying that it comes sans fish.

Oh, and not only have the choices skyrocketed, so have the prices. That little baby is setting me back a grand total of $388.


"In MY day, we'd NEVER have to spend that much!"

Yes. I AM old. I admit it. K?

32 People would rather be commenting:

Irene said...

Sounds like I'll have to add more than my 2 cents worth with the cost of that ring. Frankly, that is outrageous, but I guess she can't be left behind. Do all schools do this?

Anonymous said...

That price is obscene! I think mine came in under a hundred, and you know what? I don't even know where it is. I'm sure I lost it forever. Cool that you still wear yours. It's very pretty.

Anonymous said...

I actually hated my school.

So much that I didn't even go to graduation and bother getting my diploma.

I held my grudge against the low teaching standards and the administration.

Even if I got a high-school ring for free, I'd have given it to Frodo Baggins to toss it into the bowels of Mount Doom !

Technodoll said...

That is one gorgeous ring you have there! And for the price, eh? LOL

I resent having so many choices in life nowadays, it makes things so much more complicated than they need to be. Resisted getting cable just for that reason, for example. Sigh.

The 70's totally rocked!

Ed (zoesdad) said...

$28 is a bargain. I think mine was about $100. It was one of only 3 like it. Two of my buddies and I revolted and ordered our ring from another distributer because we liked the choices better. My ring was stolen just after college when may car was broken into. I kind of miss it.

Anonymous said...

I figured I wouldn't wear my ring after leaving high school and only spent about $30 on it myself. I cracked the stone throwing something out a car window that turned out to be closed - and then lost it for months. I found it udner the driver's seat when I was cleaning out the car to sell it. It now rests, cracked stone and all... someplace, what did I do with that?

Bruce Johnson said...

Jewelry, I just don't get it......seriously

Ed & Jeanne said...

Let's see...adjusting for inflation...carry the zero...yep, cost about the same...

Babs (Beetle) said...

You're kidding right? $388 is £225 for a SILVER ring? I guess it has a large diamond in it then?

Thank goodness we don't have School rings in the UK everyone would be remortgaging their homes!

I truly can't see how they can justify that price.

JoJo said...

HOLY COW that's expensive!!!!!!! I think mine was about $95 in 1982 - it came from the Balfour Company and is silver w/ a sapphire stone, b/c my school's colours are blue & white. I think we had our choice of silver/gold and the birthstones too. Then we could choose what design we wanted on one side.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I never had one, but I'm sure my son will want one if all the cool kids are doing it. I'm not looking forward to another expense from the Catholic High School experience!

Amie Adams said...

Some schools had the coolest rings--rings I'd still wear today.

Mine? I have no idea where it is.

I never should have asked my parents to buy it.

Maureen said...

Irene: Every penny will help! ;) Yes, all schools (at least around here) have been doing this for decades… I do want her to have one, but I was shocked by the final price tag (and she didn’t even order the most expensive one – can you believe they will even put diamonds in them now? Geesh…)

Kathy: Aw, too bad you lost yours. I love mine; I feel nekkid without it.

Oh, Jaffer… I am so sorry to hear that. I guess I WOULDN’T want a ring if it simply brought back bad memories.

Technodoll: Thanks! I too am overwhelmed with choices nowadays. The 70’s were a simpler time, no?

Ed: Yeah, back then it was an average price for a ring. That sucks that yours was stolen! Josten’s even have a feature that you can go back to and order rings that have grad years from the 40’s!

Dan: Wow, now that’s a story! If you ever find it, get a new stone!

Bruce: Ah, we all have our vices. I have very little GOOD jewelry. Most of mine is of the costume variety.

VE: Har! You are probably right.

Babs: Nope. Not kidding. Had to put a $50 deposit down. We pay the rest when it gets here. It’s a racket, I tell ya.

JoJo: I couldn’t believe some of the options for the side design. Who the heck would want a turkey on their ring??? Yes. Turkey. And fish, of course… weird.

Fancy Schmancy: Beware! The guy’s rings are even more expensive than the girl’s ones… (they're larger).

Mamma: I know! I love my Lion. Glad our mascot wasn’t a turkey. Or a fish. I hope one day you find yours!

Bee said...

Holy crap! I only spent about $100 on mine.
Wow. Having kids is expensive! :o)

Da Old Man said...

That isn't a school ring. It's just a ring. When I went, we basically all had the same one, a commonality. Now, not so much. I don't see the point.

Anonymous said...

I was relieved when my youngest's ipod broke shortly before she graduated - she decided replacing that was more important than a school ring. Saved me about $150!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

No freaking way I would pay that much for my kid's ring. I would probably give him $100 for toward it and let him pay the rest. Ok, $150 but not a penny more. Fortunately, my boys don't give a crap about their high school, so I'm off the hook. But we'll see about my daughter.

I paid around $75 for mine (key word there... "I") and I loved that ring. And then one day I lost it in a snowbank and was never able to find it. I must have gone back 10 times to look for it when the snow finally melted but still couldn't find it. I'm still secretly hoping somebody will find it some day and send it to me. How pathetic is THAT story!

Maureen said...

Bee: It sure is! Good thing we only have one! ;)

Da Old Man: Things ain't what they used to be... that's for sure! (Oh, Gad, I sound OLD again...)

Flit: Ha! Well, I guess she had priorities... it's always something, isn't it?

Jeff: I don't mind, really. She's our only kid, and I am really proud of her for paying for her first car on her own. She saved up and took a lot of shifts at Starbucks over the summer, especially to pay for it. So a ring is small potatoes compared to that.

Sucks about your ring though... I wonder why someone would want one if they probably didn't go to that school?

ImitationAngel said...

That price is the exact reason why I wasn't allowed to get a ring for my high school graduation. I made up for it when I graduated college though. My ring set my parents back a cool $350 lol.

Tara R. said...

My 10th grader ordered his ring a few weeks ago. He'll get it around Christmas. I think we will have to take out a loan to pay for it. The boy better not lose it... dangit!

VioletSky said...

I got a school ring (also in the 70's) but never particularly liked it. It was just the thing that everybody did. I remember thinking it strange to get a school ring once you were finished with that school. I'm now wondering where mine is...

Anonymous said...

Thank heavens we don't do class rings over here! LOL!

One thing I don't understand. I thought that class rings were a single design with the school and year engraved on them somewhere, something everyone had that was all the same? What's the point if you have so many different designs that no-one can say 'this is THE class ring for such-and-such school and this-particular-year'?

toners said...

No! You're not old! Cos then I'd be old too - and that's just not true!

I'd better tell DH we need to start saving now for Nattie's and Jamie's rings...yikes!

Cupcake Blonde said...

Ha! I remember my parents flipping out over the fact my ring was a whopping $149! They said they only paid about twenty dollars for theirs and it was expensive then. I did not have quite as many choices as your daughter does now but there were a few. However, I was sad to discover the quality was worse. Like your school ring, my parents' look as nice as the day they were purchased. Mine got dingy and some of the black accents have worn off and the stone chipped so easily I stopped wearing it which made me sad.

Ann(ie) said...

I'm old, too. That's a lotta money. And I love that you still wear yours!!!

Maureen said...

Imitation Angel: Ha! See, they got you anyway! Hopefully daughter won’t want another ring after University… but I’m not holding my breath about that either.

Tara: Yeah, good idea to get it in Grade 10. I did the same thing; now the boy better graduate, eh???

Violet Sky: Yeah, by getting it in Grade 10, at least I had three years to wear it while IN school!

Jay: Must be a North American thing… I thought everyone did this! Well, they all have the name of the school and the grad year, but in our day we also had to have the school logo (mine was a Lion) and the Provincial Seal (for Manitoba, it is a Buffalo). Today they can choose a Turkey if they wish! Crazy!

Toners: Ha! Thanks! Yep, start saving… and buy early. At least we only had one to purchase!

Lady Banana: You are lucky indeed! I can’t image those parents with triplets who all graduate at the same time… yikes!

Vegas Princess: See, if I did a graph of all these responses, years and amounts paid, you would see a definite straight trend up. And then another graph showing the quality diminishing at the same rate, unfortunately…

Ann(ie): Well, I think the fact that it is nearly impossible to remove from my finger answers the question as to how I was able to keep it all these years…

Unknown said...

Teacher here, recently retired. I just went through this with some parents who were equally shocked at $400 + prices their kids "expected" them to pay for as part of the package. Package today seems to include free college, free insured car, off campus apartment living and "forget about that summer job business- nobody does that anymore."
-Charlie, in Maine

Day Dreamer said...

Mine was $150 in 1987 with the same options you had.

Think what another 10 years will bring to that price! EGAD!

Day Dreamer said...

PS...your finger isn't UGLY! lol

Janet said...

I can totally relate. We bought DD's school ring last year, although I think she chose the economy model. lol

I think you're the only grown-up I know who is still wearing her ring! I don't even know where mine is!!

Audi said...

Don't feel bad. I graduated 10 years ago. Got me ring my sophmore year in High School. Had just about as many choices as your daughter. Chose to get 10k gold in mine and it set my parents back a few hundred dollars. Still have mine but it no longer fits so I get to relive my high school years everytime I open my jewlery box.

Audi said...

I forgot to add that if memory serves me correctly if those of you who ordered you ring through Jostens and lost it they can replace if for a fee if you wanted them too.

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