Monday, July 13, 2009

The Ring

The ring of engagement

So, this is my engagement ring. My "official" engagement ring. As you can see, this one fits on the appointed finger.

It is not a diamond because I don't really care for them. For me, the diamond is less a traditional symbol of lasting love, and more an artificially overpriced and socially irresponsible, tradition created by DeBeers in the late 1940's. I know that this is not the symbolism most women who wear diamonds associate with their rings, and I respect that.

I, however, didn't feel comfortable wearing a diamond, or even a really expensive ring. I just wanted something special that both T and I liked, and that we would love, but wouldn't get in the way too much. I didn't want something too expensive either because I'd much rather have money with which to go on trips and buy healthy food and other whutnot as opposed to T spending his money on relatively losable piece of decoration for me.

So, this is what I chose. It was made by this artist who lives in New York. The band is recycled 14k white gold. The gem an aquamarine-- my birth stone, and incidentally the state gem of Colorado. It also ethically sourced.

This is the kind of symbolism I can get behind. When I look at it, I see our relationship-- simple and beautiful. Thoughtful. Intentional. Real. Creative. Ethical. Different.

That, however, didn't keep me from getting annoyed yesterday at a party for T's sister. She is quite excited that we're getting married and thus told all her friends, who, seeing us at the party all kindly congratulated us. Some of the girls asked to see the ring, and some commented on how much they liked it, and listened respectfully as I told them about it and why I enjoy it so much. But, one person in particular looked at it, and must have been expecting a crazy diamond because her comment was, "Oh! It's so... different." And the tone that she said this in was sort of like the tone she might have used if she, said "Oh! you've got a terrible boil on your hand!"

Now, being that I'm a relatively level headed and peace-loving person, and I understand that I am not following the "traditional" path for engagement rings, I shouldn't be surprised, hurt or annoyed at all by this. I should be able to just let that kind of comment wash off me like nothing, because obviously I'm the better person.

Except that when she said that, I wanted to tell her to have some respect and stop being so close minded and ass-hole-y. I wanted to educate her about the irresponsibility of much of the diamond industry and that I didn't want blood figuratively dripping down my hands as a sign of love. I wanted to tell her that she's a peon for thinking that my ring is ugly when she expects beauty to be shaped by mindless consumerism and advertising executives. I wanted to tell her that the reason diamonds are even considered valuable is because DeBeers keeps diamonds locked up in Belgium to keep the supply low and demand up. I wanted to tell her that diamonds are a symbol of white colonialism and have caused many deaths. That's what I wanted to say. But that doesn't make for friendly brunch conversation so I didn't.

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