Thursday, September 24, 2015

First world problems... a woman who doesn't want to wear her engagement ring anymore.

Yesterday, as I wallowed in the rainy weather and the newly vacant spot in my mouth, I read an article on Huffington Post written by a woman who no longer wears her engagement ring.  I spent several minutes reading that article and came away from it thinking that it didn't really seem like it should be getting the Internet airtime it did.  Nevertheless, I chose to share it with a few friends, probably because I sometimes feel like I need to share things that make me feel like I've lost IQ points.

Amber Trimble writes that she's been married for two years and quit wearing her engagement ring two months ago.  In her article, she explains her reasons for not wearing the ring.  One of the reasons she lists is that she thinks the ring is "gaudy", which tells me that she didn't shop for it with her husband.  Later, she explains that she thinks shopping for engagement rings is unromantic.  She also writes that she thinks not wearing her engagement ring makes her more "approachable" and "mature".

I'm thinking that most people don't notice whether or not she's wearing a diamond ring.  They are probably more focused on themselves than what's on someone's finger, unless they are actively looking for signs that Trimble is married.  I doubt anyone truly concerned about her maturity and approachability will give a shit if she's wearing an engagement ring.

Aside from that, if your mate is going to spend a couple of grand on a ring for you, it's probably more mature to go shopping with him (or her) or at least give them some guidelines so you'll get something you'll actually want to wear.  If that means your engagement ring has a different stone or no stone or it's made of tin instead of gold or platinum, great.  It's not about the diamond or showing off your wealth.  It's about commitment.  Hell, if you don't want to buy an engagement ring at all, that's okay, too.  However, I would hope that if that's how you feel, you'd tell your intended before he or she spends the money.

Trimble goes on to explain that she thinks we're too attached to material things.  We don't need all the stuff we have.  On that point, I agree with her.  However, I wonder if she took that engagement ring that she didn't choose and doesn't wear and sold it for money to donate to the orphans and widows about whom she waxes poetic.  Somehow, I kind of doubt it.

Whether or not Trimble wants to wear her ring is not my business.  If she wants to quit wearing her engagement ring, that's between her and her husband.  I don't see why it needs to be turned into an article for the Huffington Post... except that it inspired me to write today's blog post!

I love my engagement ring.  It is exactly what I wanted.  I didn't pick it out, either.  I wear it proudly every day because it came from the heart and it suits me.

Back in January 2002, Bill and I separately yet simultaneously determined that we were in love and wanted to get married.  Since I lived in South Carolina and he lived in Virginia, we spent many evenings chatting on Yahoo! Messenger when we were dating.  We were chatting online one night and I told him I was going to get one of those candy ring pops and wear it on my left hand before I asked Bill to marry me.

Bill LOL'd and wrote that he hoped I wouldn't do that, since he wanted to put a ring on my finger.  He added that he wanted to ask me to marry him.

I swallowed hard, paused for a moment, and typed, "So you mean you want to get married?"

He typed back "Yes."

So, I typed, "Does this mean we are engaged?"

He answered affirmatively.

The next day, I started making plans for our wedding.  Bill asked me what kind of engagement ring I thought I'd like.  We visited a store in the mall, just so he'd get an idea.  Then, on advice from my aunt's brother, Bill visited Mervis Diamond Importers.   There, he picked out the stone and the setting and used his tax refund to pay for the ring.  At the time, he was pretty broke because he was recovering from his first marriage and paying a lot of child support.

Bill managed to buy me a beautiful ring and didn't go into further debt to do it.  He didn't have to do that and, in fact, maybe the money would have been better spent on something more practical.  But I still wear that ring thirteen years later and I still love it.  I have a pretty deep indention on my finger now because I only take off the ring for swimming and bathing.


The dent.


In March 2002, Bill presented the ring to me over a beautiful dinner at 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown.  The actual proposal was kind of funny.  I don't remember him actually popping the question explicitly and he certainly didn't get down on one knee.  He just kind of said, "Well, how about it?  Will you...?" as he handed me the black box.

I laughed and said yes.  The waiter took our picture.


The night we got engaged.

The next day, he put me on a plane to Jamaica.  My sister was getting married there and I was due to sing during the ceremony.  I wanted Bill to come with me, but he was too poor to make the trip.  A lot of guys would have put the cost of the trip on a credit card, but Bill had better sense than that.  Besides, owing to the financial disasters he weathered during his first marriage, he may not have had enough credit available on the crappy cards he had to use back then.  I now really appreciate that he was responsible and stayed home.

When I got back from Jamaica, Bill was waiting at the airport for me.  It was cold in Washington, DC.  He'd brought a jacket because he knew I would likely be dressed for Jamaican weather.  Thirteen years later, Bill still shows me that kind of love, respect, and consideration.  That's why I'm still so proud to wear his ring every day.  

My wedding ring and engagement ring symbolize the love and commitment Bill and I share.  I don't see wearing it as "materialistic" or not caring about people who are less fortunate than I am.  I see it as something my sweet husband chose to give me from his heart when he asked me to be his wife.


It's a little dirty, but it still sparkles.  And no, I don't have a fancy manicure.  I save that money for orphans and widows.

So, while I respect Amber Trimble's decision not to wear her engagement ring, I will keep wearing mine.  After thirteen years, I still love it as much as I did the day Bill put it on my finger.  And I love Bill even more now than I did on that day.    


Taken on my 43rd birthday near Amsterdam...  before I tasted my first space cake.

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