A married Savannah man has gone viral after posting his romantic gesture to the woman of his dreams, which stole the hearts of thousands across the internet.
Christopher Smith, a local mobile phone repairman and owner of Savannah iDoctor, gave his wife a new wedding ring the week of Thanksgiving.
Previously, his wife, Candace, accepted his proposal when he could only afford a $20 ring from Macy’s. Now, 13 years and five children later, she finally has the wedding ring of her dreams.
Christopher posted pictures of his wife with her new ring next to a picture of the Macy’s ring. He captioned the images with the lines: “She been thuggin it with the Macy’s ring for $20. She deserve it all. She finally has a ring.”
When Norinzo Haynes, a stranger from Jacksonville, Florida, saw the post, he shared it on Facebook, where it quickly went viral. On Nov. 25, Norinzo shared:
“This is the difference between proof love and true love. True love will ALWAYS outlast proof love! Proof love needs a big ring, a big wedding, an exotic honeymoon… all true love needs is the person they are committing to.”
He said the couple’s story struck close to home and made him feel blessed.
“I praise God for a woman that didn’t need a big ring or an extravagant wedding,” Norinzo said of his own life. “But 14 years in I was able to buy her the ring she deserved.”
Many commenters agreed with Norinzo’s sentiment.
“Because at the end of the day she loves you more than the ring,” wrote one user.
“True love is more valuable than gold,” agreed another.
Sixty-four thousand shares later, the couple was shocked to learn that their story had taken the internet by storm.
“I got a direct message on Facebook and they were saying, ‘oh, hey, you know, you and your wife are viral,’ and I was like, ‘yeah, right,’” Christopher told NBC.
However, he soon saw it for himself and was floored by the response.
“People who know us know our story,” Christopher added. “So when I posted that, I wasn’t expecting anybody outside of who knew us to share it, and it just kind of got shared.”
Unfortunately, not long afterward, Christopher started receiving hateful reprimands through Facebook Messenger, too.
“I had people inboxing me calling me a bum for her wearing a $20 ring, there were a lot of nasty comments,” Christopher said.
Worse, some people discovered that Candace had purchased the Macy’s ring herself, and the hate mail escalated. Christopher was forced to make his Facebook account private.
“It kind of puts you in a defense mode,” Candace said. “There’s so many people to go back and forth with that at some point, you’ve got to just let them believe whatever they’re going to believe.”
She added that the unfortunate backlash was unwarranted because there’s more to the story than what was shared in a single social media post.
Candace actually did have a proper wedding ring at first, but after her pregnancy, the ring became too small and uncomfortable to wear. So instead, she wore it as a necklace for a while. At the time, they were unable to afford a new ring.
“We were both young,” she explained. “He was 21, I was 24 and we did what we could, he was a great husband.”
Eventually, Candace started hinting that she wanted a ring she could wear on her finger.
“I was tired of my finger being naked, and I tried to throw hints at him,” she said.
However, the business owners knew they needed to focus on expanding Savannah iDoctor if they wanted to be able to afford a new ring. So, they focused on their business first, while Candace purchased a temporary ring at Macy’s for $20.
“I wore it for a while,” she said. “Then he got me a new one, and I love it to death.”
She says it was worth the wait to make their business stable and be able to purchase the ring she’d been dreaming of.
“It’s not easy, but I’m willing to make a sacrifice to build generational wealth for our children,” she said. “I understood everything behind every step that he made. I just had to be patient, and it paid off.”
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