July 6, 2009

Through the Ring-er

I don't know if you've noticed, but I have not talked about my engagement ring, so here it is.

It's not that I don't like my engagement ring. I LOVE IT. Yet I often feel particularly uncomfortable about discussing it with people or for lack of a better phrase "showing it off." I guess I'll reveal to you all my insecurity about the fact that my ring is a bit bigger than I expected (Ugh! It pained me to write that!!!). While I love it as the most lovely and generous gift that Mr. Swan has ever given me, I find that often some other people view my ring (or really enagement rings in general) in a different way.

The moment I got engaged to Mr. Swan I was this big ball of emotion and tears. I looked at my ring and thought it looked great, but I think I was just so out of sorts and giddy that I didn't really think about it much. Plus it didn't even fit my ring finger. I had a pretty expensive pinky ring for about a week before I got a chance to get it resized by the jeweler.

After I started to see friends and acquaintances post-engagement, people were starting to make more of a big deal about my ring than I was.  I started to get upset. In my mind, I was just excited to even be getting married. My mother never got married and again most of my female family and friends are not. I was just happy to have found someone. Yet all many people could talk about was the ring. As an illustrative example, I will share with you a "ring run in" that occured with a relative of Mr. Swan last year during the holidays. 

Pretty much said relative walked into the room, asked me how I was doing, and then said "Let's see your ring" all within the span of two minutes! I had just started as new, challenging and interesting job the month before. She didn't ask me about that. I was spending my first major holiday away from my family. She didn't ask me how I felt about that. She didn't even asked about how I was enjoying being engaged. Um, hello, it's nice to see you too. I was a bit pissy that she barely even made an effort to even make some kind of conversation before she even looked at my ring. Dude, I'm a person that exists independent of my ring. 

It got me thinking about engagement rings and why we as a society put so much stock in them. I understand the symbolism of the ring of course. I know that it signifies an acceptance of a marriage proposal and life long committement, but I definitely feel like perhaps there is a little too much emphasis on it. I wish sometimes I would get more congratulations and questions about how I'm feeling about becoming a wife than about my ring. 

It upsets me when I read about women made to feel inferior or otherwise because they receive a diamond that's too small or too big (or did not receive a diamond at all!) by others who choose to steal their joy about the ring instead of giving words of encouragement to them regarding this amazing new life event. I don't think we should do away with engagement rings and that they are important to some degree but maybe we all need to do some soul searching about our attitudes towards them. By the way, I am not perfect. I have had my judgey moments about big rings...BUT I keep it hidden away in the back of my mind in the "Keep it to Yourself" folder!!!

Have you been in a situation where you felt uncomfortable about your engagement ring? I will get down off my soapbox now, but I'd be interested be in hearing your opinions.


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Jennifer said...

Great post and Congratulations on becoming a bride. I thought I was the only one out there that hated to show off their engagement ring. Not because I’m ashamed of it I really love mine but it bugged me that when we were dating before our engagement my sisters and family would ask so when is he going to get you a ring. I could care less if I ever got an engagement ring in the first place I just wanted to get married to the man I love so we can spend the rest of our lives together, but all the same I love my ring and would never trade it for anything else in the world.