After 20 years, the ring looks cheap

I’ve been married to my husband for 20 years and have never liked the engagement ring he surprised me with. It has a small diamond and is a cheap ring. This is the symbol of his love that I have to look at every day.

Dear Annie: I’ve been married to my husband for 20 years and have never liked the engagement ring he surprised me with. It has a small diamond and is a cheap ring. This is the symbol of his love that I have to look at every day.

Even though I have told him I’d like a bigger stone, he says “maybe someday” and nothing happens. My husband is not materialistic and neither am I, but I believe I am classy and enjoy the finer things in life.

We are in our early 50s and otherwise happy, and we both have good jobs and a comfortable life. What’s a girl to do? — Ring-a-Ding

Dear Ring: You do sound a little materialistic, dearie. That inexpensive ring may have been the best your husband could afford at the time. It’s possible he is saving a new ring for your 25th wedding anniversary, but if not, nothing is stopping you from getting the stone of your dreams on your own. There’s no reason to be frustrated waiting for him to purchase it for you.

Dear Annie: My fiance, “Tom,” has a 17-year-old daughter, “Laura.” She’s had her driver’s licence for six months. During the three years Tom and I have been together, there have been a lot of behaviour issues with Laura.

Because of this, I question the decision to allow her to get her licence. Laura totalled the first car her parents bought her and has received two speeding tickets in the second. Still, Tom and his ex insist that Laura be allowed to keep driving.

I’ve suggested Laura may simply not be mature enough to be a safe driver, and that they should consider taking her privileges away. He says I worry too much, and since she has a part-time job and plays sports, it’s not practical for them to chauffeur her everywhere.

I don’t want to be the wicked soon-to-be stepmother. I simply don’t want anything horrible to happen. — Worried in Pennsylvania

Dear Worried: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and 16-year-olds have the highest crash rates. They are three times more likely to die in a crash, and the chance of driver death increases with each additional passenger. Drivers with one prior crash have a subsequent crash rate 1.5 times higher.

However, if Laura’s parents find it too inconvenient to take away the keys, suggest a driver safety class.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

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