By Judy Bluhm

There’s an old saying, “Be careful what you ask for – you might get it.” It seems that there is truth in those words. A colleague of mine, “Alice,” had been asking her husband for a “substantial” diamond to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. Imagine her surprise (and joy) when he bought her a three-carat diamond ring that looks like an ice cube perched on a slim band. It actually weighs her hand down. Shocked at the size, mesmerized by the pure dazzling beauty and horrified at the appraisal certificate that came with it, my friend claims she is a “victim of bling.”

Costing more than her vehicle and looking like the Hope Diamond, that only a movie star would wear, the ring sits in a secret hiding place, far away from potential thieves or staring eyes. When Alice first wore the rock to work, her colleagues laughed. One commented that she had seen the same cubic zirconium on QVC. When Alice pointed out that the ring was the real deal, mouths flew open and eyes popped out of people’s heads. Silence crept over the office. Co-workers viewed Alice differently. Had she robbed a bank? Was she nutty for wearing something so precious to work? Was she suddenly rich? What was she thinking?

Alice promptly stopped wearing the ring to work. She wore it out to dinner with her husband but thought she felt the stares of other people at the restaurant. Was she becoming paranoid? She was afraid a man might follow she and husband out to their car and cut off her finger to get at the ring. She had read stories about that happening in places like Los Angeles. Scared for her life (or finger), Alice never wanted to wear the ring out in public.

Alice, who wanted some “Big Bling,” was reduced to hiding the rock in various secret spots around her home. Unable to keep it in her jewelry box (too obvious), she couldn’t leave the house without putting it in a place no one would ever look. Devoted to keeping the rock safe, she worried about where to secretly stash it.

Alice ended up carefully wrapping the ring in plastic and stuffed it inside a jar of mayonnaise in the refrigerator. Here is where the story turns frightful. Alice’s 80-year-old mother-in-law was visiting and thought she would be helpful by doing some little chores around the house. While wiping down the refrigerator, she threw out any jars that had passed their expiration dates. A few days later (after the trash was picked up), the tragedy was discovered. One small effort to help, one tossed jar of mayonnaise and one “Big Bling” ended up in a landfill. Last I heard, the poor mother-in-law was sent packing back to Wisconsin into a blizzard.

What’s the moral of the story? Objects that take up too much of our money, time, emotions or worry, probably aren’t worth it. Maybe “rocks” are best left in the garden. Or, just pass the mayo, have a sandwich, and pay no attention to those darn expiration dates.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at