Q: Regarding your 3/29/11 "Heirloom Engagement Ring" post, if one's parents have volunteered a family heirloom ring for the engagement of their dear daughter, what is the best approach in setting forth such ring for the soon-to-be betrothed aspiring MB?
Ed. note: As Laurie stated, this question is a follow-up to the heirloom diamond question. Since the Spectacular Bitch answered that one, here she is again.
A: Oh, Laurie! I am simply all a'dither! Do you know Shane? Are you two young love birds getting ready to take the plunge? How very exciting! Congratulations!
Now, if I understand your question correctly, you are wondering how to avoid the decidedly unromantic prospect of your mother giving you the ring, you giving the ring to your beau, so that he can turn around and give it back to you when he proposes. Just because you are lucky enough to have an heirloom diamond heading your way, is no reason you two should be deprived of the romance inherent in a proposal.
Here's how it's going to work. Shane will pay a visit to your parents to ask for your hand in marriage, not because you need their permission, but because it's an honorable thing to do and your parents will be tickled. Hopefully, it will go swimmingly. Your dad will get all red in the face and clap Shane on the back while your mother weeps and struggles to get that ring off her finger to give to Shane. It may be slightly ambiguous whether she's crying about losing a daughter, losing a diamond, or gaining the awesome Shane, which only adds to the dramatic tension of the moment. All good. Shane will need to keep the ring safe until such time as he is ready to propose to you.
Now for the practicalities. The last thing you want is for your guy to have to ask for that ring if your mom is so flustered she fails to cough it up. You need a third party (siblings work well for this) to give your parents a small heads up, so that they are adequately prepared for Shane's visit, with the ring and some cocktails at the ready. If you don't have siblings, then you can leave your laptop open to this post in a conspicuous location and they'll get the message. In short, the ring needs to go directly to Shane and you two can deal with making it right for you after the proposal.
Best of luck, dear, and DO keep me posted!