There are roughly 55 million single women in the US, many of them with-it, smokin' and smart, with their finger on the pulse of life.
have/get one's finger on the pulse: 知道、了解正在发生的一切；消息灵通；掌握脉搏
Third Degree: 严刑逼供；拷问
Now some women have admitted to buying fake, cheap 'engagement rings' just to prevent parents - and other overly-critical family members - from delivering ridicule and judgement over their single status.
It may sound like a slippery slope towards avoidance issues and other psychological problems – but if it muzzles them long enough without you getting grilled about why your boyfriend of three years hasn't proposed yet, it could be well worth the $30 investment.
slippery slope: 灾难性的急剧下滑；滑坡效应
Sometimes it's downright soul-crushing when you come home for the holidays empty-handed-literally-watching your family members' faces crumble in disappointment that you're back another year without any engagement bling.
Heather, a 31-year old lawyer from New York, was well on her way to being both unhitched and unhinged, thanks to her mother's persistent pestering about marriage.
She feared that the constant nagging could destroy not just her own sanity, but threaten her long-time relationship with her boyfriend, Tony, who was regularly interrogated about his intentions from his would-be mother-in-law.
Well aware that showing up without a ring for the holidays would taint the mood of the entire weekend, she became very resourceful.
'I got a fake ring for 30 bucks just to shut her up,' she said. 'It actually worked and it turned into a really great visit!'
Just three months later, Heather had a real ring to show off. Tony proposed on their own timetable - on Valentine's Day - and her mother was never the wiser.
never the wiser: 依旧不懂；仍然一无所知