I am told that buying an engagement ring is even more stressful than mustering the gumption to propose.
Choosing the right ring is an expression of who you are and what you feel. It can leave you a wreck, feeling like you should check into a halfway house for spiritual guidance.
An enterprising online jewelry brand called Ocappi would like to give you a chance of survival, an opportunity to finally impress your lover beyond standing next to her at a party and grinning like a stuffed fish.
Ocappi will send six rings of your choice to your home, so that you can stroke them, talk to them like Prince Charles talks to his plants, and attempt to choose which one sends the appropriate message to the world at large.
Yes, it's a little like online dating.
The man behind this enthralling wheeze is Isaac Gurary, who's a mere 29 years old and clearly in love with Ashton Kutcher. Well, his business sense, at least.
"It's time to bring new technology and an appreciation for convenience, like Warby Parker is doing for eyewear, to what is too often an intimidating experience," he explained in a press release.
I did once accompany a lady friend to a jewelry store. Her often-inebriated fiance thought it was too much trouble to choose the ring himself. What I learned was that there are so many factors that contribute to a woman's ultimate satisfaction in an engagement ring.
What will it look like when accompanied by a wedding ring? Does it have the sparkle that fully reflects the joy in her heart? And, for quite a few Americans, is it so big that my friends will see it the minute I walk out of the office elevator? Will everyone who sees it turn greener than a Guinness on St. Patrick's Day?
You will be wondering just how Ocappi can send out valuable diamond rings. It can't. Instead, it creates cubic zirconium versions, sized perfectly for your beloved's finger.
The thrifty will be uplifted that they can actually keep the cubic zirconium version and have their credit charged a mere $75.
Yes, there is no insistence that, after receiving the six rings and showing them to all of your highly interested (because inebriated) friends, you must spend the $5,000 to $45,000 it costs to buy a real diamond ring from Ocappi.
However, the whole Ocappi brand exists so that your fiancee doesn't mutter over the brown butter at the highly overpriced restaurant: "Oh, crappy."
I fear, though, that this idea -- tear-jerking though it is -- still doesn't account for the fact that few men have taste.
More Technically Incorrect
How can anyone expect a khaki-clad, clod-headed financial planner to have any idea what might be beautiful on the gentle finger of his chosen artist love? You could send him 26 rings and he still would be as enlightened as a congressman when faced with an actual fact.
Ocappi does offer expert -- and, no doubt, charming -- advice by phone, e-mail, and chat. In the end, though, the moment of truth may depend on the discernment of a dolt.
Naturally, the company has commissioned research, which startlingly declares that 85 percent of respondents say that engagement-ring buying is not "guy friendly." Perhaps even more startlingly, only 1 percent declared that buying a ring made them reconsider getting married. Perhaps most startling is that 71 percent of respondents heartily agreed that purchasing an engagement ring online was "rewarding" or "highly rewarding."
These words can be used to describe marriages too. They simply aren't used often enough.
For myself, I would be entirely fascinated by this novel process of buying an engagement ring. It's just that I haven't gotten around to that proposal part yet.
However, just like the management of Ocappi, I still believe.