To Bling or Not to Bling and the MAN-gagement Ring

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Disclaimer: I totally understand that this is a touchy subject and I am NOT trying to diss anyone with a diamond.  I’m just trying to present my own opinion, which is no more than that–my opinion!

I’ve never been into fancy jewelry or diamonds.  If someone gave me a zillion dollars and told me I HAD to spend it on jewelry, I’d end up with 13 billion macrame bracelets and 16 million pairs of beaded earrings.  So call me a hippie, whatevs.  I also kind of HATE when people post pictures of their engagement rings on Facebook.  I know they probably don’t mean to trivialize their engagement, but to me that’s how it comes across.  Emphasizing the rock takes a momentous life event and turns it into a materialistic brag session.  Anyone else with me on this?  Okay, mini rant over.

“OMG! LOOK AT MY HUMONGOUS RING!”
Credit: http://www.ruccus.com

That being said, back in the day, as the prospect of becoming engaged drew closer, I found myself thinking about rings.  Specifically, did I even want one?  If so, what kind?  Zach also subtly dug for answers to these questions.  That’s right, we talked about rings before we were engaged.  We’re modern.  What I eventually decided was that I liked the symbolism of a wedding band but felt pretty ambivalent about an engagement ring.  In the end I basically gave Zach two little tidbits of information on the ring thing:

1. I didn’t need an engagement ring at all, BUT

2. If he wanted to get me one all I cared about was that it be ethically sourced.

Pretty easy, right?  Isn’t he a lucky guy?  Well, despite my insistence that I didn’t even need a ring, Zach wanted to propose with one.  So he found an awesome, inexpensive, handmade metal ring in a Peruvian crafts market and used it to pop the question!  Yay!

The proposal ring. I hope I don’t seem like a hypocrite by posting this but I thought some might be curious. I did not post this on facebook.

Then, because he is AWESOME, Zach decided that he wanted to wear an engagement ring too!  That’s right, without any prompting from me, he realized that if I was wearing one then he should as well.  I was all for that!  I mean, let’s face it, how unfair is it that a woman is suddenly marked as taken from the proposal onward, but the man is still ringless until the wedding?  My little feminist heart was thumping with pride!  Once we began looking for his ring, we decided we wanted our rings to match, since we might as well just keep using them as wedding bands once we get married.  After awhile, we found some handmade, matching silver bands from a silversmith in Ecuador and snatched them up.  I now wear the proposal ring on my right hand, and the silver band on my left.  We might upgrade our silver bands someday, as they’ll probably get scratched and tarnished, but because we didn’t spend a fortune we won’t feel bad if, eventually, we decide to change them up a bit.  For indecisive people like us, the simple/cheap ring route was totally the way to go!  Also, if you’re looking to save some money, buying from a local craftsman while traveling in a less expensive country is a great option!

Our engagement rings which will probably turn into wedding bands.

Zach has definitely encountered a lot of questions about his MAN-gagement ring.  I know it’s pretty rare.  The only other guy who I can remember to wear an MAN-gagement ring is Cory from Boy Meets World, the best show ever!  (Anyone else remember that episode?).  It’s just so weird to us that many people never question WHY a woman wears an engagement ring and a man doesn’t.  I’m so happy that Zach chose to wear one and that we are presenting a more egalitarian option!

Did anyone else have a two-ring engagement?  Or did you not care and go totally ringless?  What do you think of the incessant facebook ring pictures?

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7 responses »

  1. I really get the two-ring engagement. I have a beautiful diamond ring chosen by my husband, and I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything, but I did sometimes have a twinge of resentment about the impact this tiny piece of jewellery had on how people viewed me, and that he didn’t have any of this to deal with. He lost his wedding ring within months and I seriously considered removing both of mine. It feels like something you should do together or not at all. Good on Zach!

    • Yeah, I just think the whole concept is weird! You are visibly marked as “taken” but he is “free” until the wedding? Makes no sense to us! That sucks that he lost his ring! Did he get another one?

      • Hmmm, the new one is still in progress! My engagement ring is tucked away until then, but couldn’t bring myself to remove the band.

        It’s more than a ‘taken’ symbol for us too… as a nearly-30 woman it says so much more. How many women do you know who would go to a job interview wearing an engagement ring?

  2. I definitely like the idea of a two ring engagement. That’s absolutely adorable.

    Also, while I love a little bling, I like the idea you’re proposing (pun intended): you don’t have to have a giant rock for the engagement to matter. The purpose of the ring is symbolic, and it doesn’t have to be the most insanely expensive, giant piece of diamond out there. Honestly, I feel like the ring is way more meaningful if it shows that the one proposing put in a lot of thought when getting it, just like the ring you were given!

    Great post! 🙂

  3. I love the idea of matching engagement rings that represent you as a couple. Awesome! It’s your engagement/marriage. Who says you have to be conventional? I’d totally steal this idea if I weren’t already married for 12 years!

    Thanks for visiting my blog on my SITS Day last week!

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