SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A married Georgia couple says they were shocked to find that a romantic gesture between them has since gone viral.
Christopher Smith gifted his wife Candace her with a new wedding ring a few days before Thanksgiving. The couple has been married since 2007 and have five children.
Christopher shared a video of her excitedly receiving the present on social media with a caption that read, “She deserves it all. She finally has a ring.”
A separate image shows Candace holding her previous ring, which she says she purchased for herself from Macy’s for $20.
A Jacksonville, Florida-based man named Norinzo Haynes, who the couple didn’t know, came across the post online and shared it via Facebook with his own caption, the Smiths say.
“People who know us know our story, 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,” Christopher said.
Haynes’ version of the post read, “I saw this post and it really blessed me. This lady accepted the $20 ring and the relationship lasted long enough for him to get her the ring she deserved and [he] always wanted her to have.”
Since Haynes shared the Smiths’ post on Nov. 25, it has gotten more than 14,000 reactions, 63,000 shares and 8,000 comments.
The couple says they were at a wedding on Nov. 29 when they found out about the attention their post was receiving.
“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 said.
While the Smiths received a lot of positive comments supporting the husband’s romantic act, the couple says many of the comments were downright brutal.
“I had people inboxing me calling me a bum for her wearing a $20 ring, there were a lot of nasty comments,” Christopher said.
The online backlash worsened once people discovered that Candace had purchased that particular ring herself. It led Christopher 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.”
The couple says the negative feedback comes from a simple misunderstanding. Candace did once have a proper wedding ring, but it became too small and uncomfortable to wear on her ring finger once she became pregnant.
Instead, Candace began wearing it as a necklace. “I wore this around my neck for [about three or four] years,” she said, gesturing to her first ring.
“I was tired of my finger being naked, and I tried to throw hints at him,” she said, with her husband adding, “but Savannah iDoctor was a priority.”
The business owners chose to focus on expanding their phone repair service into a household name and placed the new ring purchase on the back burner for the time being.
In the meantime, Candace says she treated herself to the $20 ring on sale at Macy’s.
“I wore it for a while, then he got me a new one, and I love it to death,” she said.
She says she fully understands the sacrifice her husband made before getting her the ring she’s waited years for.
“We were both young; he was 21, I was 24 and we did what we could, he was a great husband,” Candace shared.
“It’s not easy, but I’m willing to make a sacrifice to build generational wealth for our children, so I understood everything behind every step that he made,” she said, adding, “I just had to be patient, and it paid off.”