Normally I enjoy shopping. Of course I'm a guy, and I like guy toys. I can't afford to shop for cars often, but if my ship comes in I'm so ready. I speak car. Or electronics, I am so there. My living room system rocks. Plus I have built a complete 5.1 home theater for my bedroom. A good one. Computers? Dual Monitors baby. I speak f-stop. Digital anything? Yep. I possess that most valuable of male attributes: expertise. Art? Books? Where's my winning lottery ticket.

But these days. I'm operating outside my comfort zone. You see I'm shopping for jewelry. Specifically, a certain type of ring.

So I am approaching this like I usually do: with research. Materials, Cut, Color, Clarity, settings, blah, blah, blah. I admit I can easily immerse myself in the inner details of a suspension system. But this jewelry thing is mind-numbing. In order to know the darned thing is any good you have to look at it through a flippin' microscope! Test drive? Not possible. Audition? Only after purchase. And what's a good deal anyway?

And then there's the price. The fine people at DeBeers suggest I spend three months salary. People, I'm buying a ring, not a car. My baby says "you don't have to spend too much." Exactly what does that mean? This is the sort of thing becomes a major sort of conversation immediately upon arrival. Her female friends and co-workers will admire and dissect the new item with the same enthusiasm men do when confronted with a new Skyline GT-R. I don't want her friends to think I'm a cheap-shit SOB. More importantly, I don't want them telling her that's what I am.

On the other hand, I'm in love with a woman who loves me back. Maybe I should just stop worrying.