Jan 262009
 

Two years after the divorce, I sold my engage- ment ring, bought a used mountain bike, and set out for a bicycle tour of northeast Tanzania. Diamonds weren’t forever. The platinum also passed. And so I wanted to invest in something more enduring: experience.

Selling my besmirched merch took more than a year, as the market for used engagement rings is about as hopping as turtles in a tar pit. But eventually Craigslist revealed a buyer—a lawyer of the reduce/reuse/recycle set.

We met at a bank. He paid in cash. I hadn’t predicted the awesomeness of seeing so many Ben Franklins at once, and so all I had on hand to document the moment was my craptastic cell phone. Hence this classy snap, “Bens for Bling.”

I also hadn’t prepared myself for the small gasp of sadness in my heart when I parted with the last vestige of my married life. The feeling passed, however, when my beaming buyer turned to me and said, “Can I hug you?” I had not anticipated the tonic of his joy.

That night he proposed to his girlfriend, who promptly accepted.

The next day, flush with cash, I reserved my spot on the International Bicycle Fund’s “Tanzania Surf to Summit” tour, prowled for used mountain bikes on Craigslist, and started over, all over again.