When I was 18, I had my first serious (at least I thought it was serious) Boyfriend. He presented me with a very small gift box one day (the kind jewellery comes in). I was giddy with excitement... Sirens were going off in my head thinking "OMG! It's a ring!!!" But when I opened it, I was extremely disappointed to find a necklace! (With ugly locket).
When I look back now, I laugh at how naive and innocent I was to the ways of the world. A few Boyfriends later, I finally received my very first ring.
It was a 0.25C Solitaire diamond on a very slim white gold band, from GoldHeart. Seeing that it was a Valentine's Day present less than a month into our new relationship... I was extremely impressed. And yes, when I received it, I had the same giddy feeling I had when opening what I thought was a ring box at 18.
Granted, size wise, it was not comparable to most people's solitaire engagement rings... but boy did it sparkle... and boy did it make me happy. I wore the ring throughout the entire relationship and even when he was in Australia training for a year and Texas for some months. I wasn't interested in meeting other men, I was much in love.
This relationship lasted 2 years, and towards the end of it (while my BF was training in Texas), I met an attractive young successful man (under platonic circumstances! He's a friend of my cousin who was down in Singapore for business, so I agreed to show her friend around). One of the very first things he pointed out was the fact that I had a ring on, and I cheekily answered that I wore it to keep the boys away.
I didn't want to say that the ring was given to me by my boyfriend and that it was intended to mean something. It was also one of the points when I realised my boyfriend was not the ONE. (Mr Constantinedes if you're reading this... yes that attractive young successful man was you... no need to feel bad about it though)
That incident made me come to the realisation that such rings mean more that just a gift or a bit of bling for the fingers. They are charged with meaning, symbolism and responsibilities. Even when we were physically apart, he had control over me... he had the power to make me undesirable to other men... simply through that ring. Why did my status have to be projected to the world and not his?
Giving a ring, whether a promise ring or an engagement ring, isn't completely selfless. It serves the purpose of telling others she's off the market.
It's true isn't it?
When you see someone attractive, you steal a glance at her ring finger.
No wonder men put pretty sparkly diamonds on these rings... to dupe women the world over into believing the ring is desirable. But look at the inequity of it all... your status is announced to the world but his isn't. I say to you- promise rings and engagement rings should go both ways.
Men have always been complaining about the expense of such rings ( and the fact that some women demand such expensive ones).. so maybe it's time for women to let go of the engagement ring.. it is a symbol of inequity, oppression and just archaic chauvinism...
But...Look at the state of this ring!!!!
P/S- I am in a dilemma, I'm a girly girl at heart and hopeless romantic and yet the other critical part of me just sees such apparent flaws in the purpose of such material items.
Maybe when the right ring from the right person comes... I'll come to my senses. One thing's for sure... if I wear another diamond ring on my fingers again... it'll be for the right purpose- symbolizing love and eternity.
Not a status symbol to show off to others, not a ball and chain, not conformity.