Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Rules of Engagement (Rings)

Dear Readers,

I’ve noticed the last several posts have been on the serious side, so I decided to shake things up a bit by talking about something fun:  like bling.  Glittery bling that goes on your left hand (or right hand, depending on what part of the world you’re in), to be more specific.  Or no bling, if you so choose.  A little confused?  Okay, let me back it up.

As I was listening to the radio a couple of weeks ago (I think it was April 8th), I heard about Jake Owen, a country singer, who proposed to his girlfriend (now fiancee) spontaneously onstage, with no engagement ring.  He ended up getting some flack for it.

Apparently he tried to be all suave and work it into his act, with some lyrics in a song saying he couldn’t afford to buy a big ring or something like that (if you’re super-curious, just Google “Jake Owen proposal” for all the details).  I should also add that he did actually end up getting her a gorgeous custom ring after the proposal.

So what do you all think about engagement rings?  Would you be disappointed if your proposal came with no ring?  Honestly now.  Also, how important is it to you that your engagement ring is the kind you want?  As in, what if you were fully expecting a 1-carat flawless princess cut (excuse me for not knowing more jewelry lingo…that’s the best I can come up with) and ended up getting a quarter-carat emerald cut with obvious imperfections?

I really feel for the person proposing in this situation (hereafter called “proposer”).  If he/she didn’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend who obsessively (or even as a hobby) ring-shopped, the proposer would be flying blind.  And if they did end up flying blind, the ring would have to be something the proposee would be proud to show off.

Do you think that kind of thinking is selfish?  Are you the type of person who would love any ring they got from their proposer, simply because it’s from someone you love?  Or would you secretly, deep down want the ring you really craved?

It seems that so much importance is put on that ring.  It’s become the equivalent of a picture of a sonogram or positive pregnancy test to announce a pregnancy:  proposees post pictures of their besparkled (Beblinged?  Is that a word yet?  If bedazzled is a word, beblinged should be.  Hm, where was I?!?) finger, with a caption along the lines of, “Guess what?” or “I said yes!”.  How’s the world supposed to know of your betrothal without a symbol to show to the world?  On a related topic, I have had a few girlfriends (me included, when I was single) wear fake engagement rings to ward off icky suitors.  So really, if there were no ring, how would one know they are off the market?

Personal story time, and I guess also where I reveal my own opinion.  My husband, the day before he proposed to me, asked me what my dream engagement ring would look like.  I recalled the beautiful star sapphire ring he’d given me when we were dating–the one I took off at a bus station sink to wash my hands, realized I’d forgotten about two seconds after I left the bathroom, then frantically ran back for, only to discover it wasn’t there anymore.  I checked back dutifully at the lost and found every week for a month before I finally gave up on it.  I cried–a little bit because I loved that ring so much (I love stars and thought it was so cool to wear a star on my finger, and also, sapphire just happens to be my husband’s birthstone), but mostly because I had come to see that ring as a symbol of our relationship, and now it had been lost.  So I told my husband (then boyfriend), without hesitation, that if I were to choose what kind of engagement ring I wanted, it would be another star sapphire ring.  Unbeknownst to me, he already had an engagement ring in his pocket, but he just wanted to double-check his choice.  As I mentioned earlier, he proposed to me the very next day, with a beautiful star sapphire ring like I always wanted:

Yes, this is a picture of my actual engagement ring, from the day he proposed to me.  I edited my hand out, though.  Mostly because it was super dry and chapped that day.  And also because the ring should have center stage, since, after all, this is a blog post about rings, not hands.

I was ecstatic and so touched that he remembered the star sapphire.  I love that ring so much and get so many compliments on the uniqueness of it.

Later–I admit I don’t know how much later, it could’ve been the very next day or years afterwards–I asked him what he would’ve done had I described a completely different ring as my dream engagement ring.  He told me that there was no way in hell he would’ve taken it back to get a different ring, that I just would’ve had to deal with the star sapphire.

Herein comes my humble opinion:  I was a little disappointed by his statement.  On the other hand, I was pleased that we didn’t have to go through that scenario because he knew me so well.  But really, if it’s something I’m going to wear for the rest of my life, I want it to be something I love, something that’s a true reflection of me.  Granted, I’m not one of those girls who insist on the best engagement ring my boyfriend can afford, but I’m sorry…there sure better be a ring with that proposal, buddy!  And I think it shows how much the proposer knows the proposee.  My caveat:  if the proposer can talk a good talk.  For example, if my husband ended up getting me a classic diamond engagement ring (which is the furthest thing from my style), I would forgive him if he said something like, “This ring reminded me of you because you’re classy yet simple, and I love that about you.”  *sigh*  Okay, fine, maybe I lied.  I’m not sure I would be able to genuinely enjoy it.  Does that make me shallow?  I really think ring choice reflects how well the proposer knows the proposee, and if the proposer really didn’t know me that well, perhaps it’s not the type of person I should be marrying.

I do also think a proposal should come with a ring (as I mentioned above).  It would take the wind out of my sails to tell my friends I’m engaged and then have nothing to show for it.  I would like to think that very little of me is vain, so where there is vanity involved, it’s where it counts.  And I’m fair:  it doesn’t have to be an expensive ring, and I even remember saying once that it could be a Ring Pop for all I care, as long as there’s something to show off (And if it was purple, my favorite color.  Again, some thought to the proposee had to be put into the choice.  Clear Ring Pop gets a no-go from the Violet).

What do you all think?  Do you think I’m being too selfish?  Are there any of you out there who would say yes (or who would’ve said yes) without a ring?  Does the ring have to be one you love for you to say yes or to wear it?  Am I just too demanding?  Sound off, dear readers!  This girl wants to collect your thoughts.  🙂

Wishing you a great…ooh, what’s that shiny thing?!?


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on…Thursday: Rules of Engagement (Rings)

  1. So Monsieur and I have talked a bit about engagement rings. We know we don’t ever really want to get married, or have a wedding, but that a ring would be a symbol of our (non-traditional) commitment to each other. I went a little overboard at first with finding the perfect ring, becuase it was the only “wedding” thing I would get to do–it took a bit, but at the end of the day, I’m not worried. He knows my taste, and he’s seen pictures of what I like.

    My sister and her fiance had an interesting ring experience–they started looking at rings together, and on the first day found one they both were fond of. He bought it the very next day, and after months of sitting on it and thinking, she realized she wasn’t a fan of the ring color (green sapphire). She loved the band, but felt like he rushed the process (which he admits to–they’ve discussed this). She felt bad for wanting a different ring stone, becuase the whole point was that it represents the proposal, but he changed it for a blue one and she’s been so happy. For Christmas, he had the original green stone set in a necklace, and it was the best for everyone.

    My step sister and her fiance have an even different story–she proposed to him. She had a beautiful, custom made pin made for him and asked. I was at their (co-ed) wedding shower and noticed she doesn’t have a ring. So clearly much less of an issue.

  2. Oooh, so does that mean that you’re going to eventually get a ring? Not gonna lie, I really want to see what kind of rings you picked out. 🙂 Also, it’s good to know he knows your taste. It’s interesting that you still want something so traditional to symbolize a non-traditional commitment (though, I don’t think it’s so non-traditional in today’s world anymore…there are many couples who choose to stay committed to each other without getting married now). I remember when we got married, S (hereafter called Gruffy, which is his favorite handle. LoL.) didn’t want to have that traditional speech about the rings where it “symbolized” a relationship that didn’t have a beginning or end. He didn’t want so much meaning to be put in a physical object that you could possess; he thought the relationship should speak for itself. So the person that ended up marrying us tweaked the words a bit so the whole “symbolism” part would be left out.

    I love the way the ring situation worked with your sister. That way she still has the original proposal close to her heart (literally) when she wears the necklace, but she has something she really loves on her hand. And how lucky is she that she gets two pieces of pretty jewelry from her guy? 🙂

    I actually like the way your stepsister’s proposal worked, too. For some reason, I always thought I’d be the one doing the proposing, but Gruffy beat me to the punch. I toyed with the idea of giving him an engagement ring, which also made me wonder: why don’t guys have engagement rings? Girls use it as somewhat as a sheld against suitors, so what do guys use during their betrothal period (other than telling people, that is). They wear wedding rings, so why not have an engagement ring? Oh, well. A question for another time.

    The important thing is that with all three stories you shared (thanks for sharing, by the way, I loved hearing about it!), all parties are happy with the relationship situation. That should be what matters in the end.


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