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The Absence of Ring Envy
By The Love Fairy
Recently an intern in the office—eager to show her knowledge of history—piped up that in the 1920s premarital sex grew more common with the rise of the engagement ring. If a woman became pregnant and her fiancé ran off, she could cash in on the ring. Less worry about spreading those legs then. Whether truth or legend, the story put my mind once again on engagement.
Though the most popular time to get engaged is around the holidays, my Facebook feed says otherwise. Now seems to be the time. Inevitably, those posts make me think of my own romantic future, which is heading in the same direction. (My boyfriend is terrible at keeping surprises.) That being said, I don't want an awe-inspiring bauble. The song “Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend” really gets on my nerves because, darn it, why can't books be my best friend? For a short while, I thought I didn't want a ring at all. Then my boyfriend and I stepped into a family-owned jewelry store that had recently opened in my neighborhood. With my busy life, I had not noticed the new store or seen the article about it in the newspaper. But while on our Saturday afternoon walk, my boyfriend and I decided to check it out.
The store was small with blue wax molds on ledges that lined the bright white walls. Original pieces, mostly rings and earrings, filled the glass cases. The gentleman behind the counter greeted us and introduced himself as the son in the store name. He explained that the store had been located in another neighborhood not too far away since the 1970s, but they had relocated it because they also lived in my neighborhood. His father was getting older and wanted to be able to walk to work. Then, of course, came the man's sales pitch, but he wasn't going for the hard sell. We talked about the neighborhood for a bit and I later admitted that I needed to get my class ring cleaned. Looking at my boyfriend, though, the man had sensed there was another reason we had come into the store. He half-smiled and said that they do custom orders. After my boyfriend asked a couple of questions, we thanked the man and left.
I once read about this man who proposed to his girlfriend in Central Park. But the tale does not end there. He actually rode up to her on a horse, dressed as a knight in shining armor. I remember laughing, putting down the magazine, and not being able to continue. This grand gesture of love just came off as comical. Compare that to my 7th grade science teacher's experience: She was sitting on the sofa eating potato chips with her boyfriend when he proposed. That seems much more my style. Though I prefer tortilla chips. Somehow, though, advertising has brainwashed many men into believing they need to give a girl something massive and sparkling and do it with flair worthy of a Broadway show. Otherwise, thumbs down, mister.
I don't ask normally ask my acquaintances how he proposed or to see the ring because I am simply happy that they found love. I also see these details as somewhat private. If a woman wishes to share, go ahead, but if she wants to keep them to herself, that's cool, too. I don't need to know that he proposed right before orgasm. I just don't. I'm also not that interested in whether the ring cost $300, $3,000, or $30,000. I do hope that there is mutual love and respect and that the couple shares a set of similar life goals. Those are the things that make for a healthy marriage. Those green with ring envy are missing the point.
#Engagement #Love #Marriage #Folklore #Myths #FactOrFiction