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I hope my headline didn’t mislead you, but this is not a column about Colin Kapernick or the appropriate posture for the National Anthem.

I write instead in the interests of anyone contemplating getting engaged this Holiday season. And my message to you is simply this: Consider popping the question some time other than Christmas Day. Now I know that may sound kind of “bah humbuggy,” but hear me out.

Let’s just assume that the engagement doesn’t work out. It happens. Gary Lewis and the Playboys had a huge hit in the 1960’s with the song “This Diamond Ring,” which is all about that sad scenario.

So, if we acknowledge the risk, the next question is what happens to the ring if things don’t work out? Does the recipient get to keep it? Does it come back to the disappointed proposer? These are interesting hypothetical questions, but imagine actually finding yourself in that position. They become kind of critical.

That’s where timing plays a role. If the ring is strictly an engagement ring the law considers it a “conditional gift.” I’m not making this up. In the eyes of the law, the ring is given “in contemplation of marriage.” And if the condition isn’t met, unless there is an agreement to the contrary, the proposer is entitled to get it back.

The Ohio State Bar Association has an entire FAQ on this. One of the questions is, what if the recipient not only calls off the engagement, but throws the ring in the river? The answer is the giver is entitled to the dollar value of the ring. That would be a fun lawsuit.

And apparently, even if the person who bought the ring is the one who breaks off the engagement, that person gets the ring back. THAT might be an even more interesting lawsuit.

Of course, a conditional gift is different from the run of the mill gift, which is not conditional. Once I get a tacky sweater from my aunt, it’s mine. No ifs, ands, or buts. Those gifts are considered “irrevocable.” So if the ring is also a Christmas gift, the water gets a little muddy. Because a Christmas gift is typically not conditional. Which means you are asking for trouble if you pop the question on Christmas Day.

So consider asking for your beloved’s hand some time before the actual Holiday. And get a Holiday gift in addition to the ring. Forewarned is forearmed, even during the Holiday season.

You’re welcome. Your friend, Ebeneezer