A number of months ago, I was reading some kind of “men’s interest” magazine. No, not porn. One of those magazines like GQ or Men’s Journal that teaches you how to tie a bow tie and bait a hook and properly groom your ball sack.
Anyway, there was an article in the magazine that said that a gentleman with class should never spend less than $20,000 on an engagement ring. This got me thinking about two things. First, perhaps I need to start reading less douchebaggy magazines. Second, if I ever proposed to a Cambodian woman, how much should I spend on the engagement ring?
I think there are good reasons why you shouldn’t spend a ton of money on an engagement ring for a Cambodian woman. The classic rule in the U.S. for engagement ring buying is that you spend “two months salary.” The average income in Cambodia is about $100 per month. Therefore, you should logically be able to get away with spending well under $500 for an engagement ring for a Cambodian bride.
More importantly, there are safety reasons why it may not make sense to buy your Cambodian fiancee a $20,000 diamond ring and then let her go skipping around Phnom Penh wearing that on her finger. The Phnom Penh Post’s “Police Blotter” is full of stories of Cambodians violently attacking each other over 3000 riel disputes. $20,000 is more than enough motive for many Cambodian thieves to chew off your fiancee’s finger if necessary just to steal her ring.
We know of the Cambodian nature to boast about all things money-related. If you buy your fiancee an expensive ring and if she knows it’s an expensive ring, she’s going to tell all of her friends and neighbors and anyone who will listen about how expensive the ring on her finger is. This all puts her at further risk of being attacked, robbed, kidnapped for ransom, etc.
On the other hand, I don’t think a white guy who marries a Cambodian woman should skimp on the ring either. Presumably you’ll be marrying a Cambodian girl who is younger and better looking but much poorer than you. That’s kind of the whole point. A big reason why she would marry an older white guy is that she can then enjoy luxuries like decent jewelry that Khmer dudes can’t give her. If you get down on one knee and then offer her a cheap and tiny engagement ring that a motodop could offer her, she has no reason to say yes.
Also, even if you get her to say yes by offering her a modest $1,000 ring in Cambodia, what happens when you move her back to the U.S., where the average cost of the engagement rings of all the other women she meets is about $5,000? She’s going to figure out pretty soon that you went cheap on her engagement ring and took a substantial dark skin bride discount. She probably won’t appreciate that.
Lastly, let’s say you have an “end game” strategy that you want your young Cambodian bride to stick around for a while and take care of you when you are old? What’s the best way to guarantee that? Answer: keep buying her a lot of really expensive sh*t so that she never leaves you for a younger and better looking guy. That starts with buying her a proper engagement ring.