With this ring

I’m a simple broad with classical tastes, so when it comes to engagement rings – not that I’ve ever had the chance to try any on – I like a single diamond in a simple six-pronged setting.

The Oh Baby Ring

Sure, The Beard knows my preference, but the rest is up to him and I’ll cherish whatever ring he may choose. Such an archaic willingness to be surprised is not for everyone, however.

A future bride and groom I can easily conceive of, whom I will call the RibbonFingers, were engaged for months before said future groom ever put a ring on said future bride’s finger. The progression of their engagement went something like this:

1. The proposal

2. The announcement and the tying of a symbolic red ribbon around the future bride’s ring finger

3. The 30 days of shopping required in order for the future bride to pick out an engagement ring she really, really liked

4. The returning of the first ring so the future bride could choose a ring she really, really, really liked

This is not as uncommon as you might think. Color me old fashioned, but the idea of a nervous young man studying up on jewelry before timidly purchasing a bauble just appeals to me. The engagement ring is a gift and I’ve always believed that the nature of gifts should be left up to the giver.

I do understand that in these modern times perhaps every woman has the right to choose her engagement ring but according to Everything to Do About Weddings, the RibbonFingers still made one mistake.

Today’s brides and grooms often choose rings together; after the proposal (from either party) has been accepted privately. When the engagement ring is on the finger, then the announcement is made public.

Now if only The Beard would hurry up a little.

11 Responses to “With this ring”

  1. Annalucia October 21, 2005 at 2:08 pm #

    “Color me old fashioned, but the idea of a nervous young man studying up on jewelry before timidly purchasing a bauble just appeals to me.”

    Does Never teh Bride assume that the nervous young man actually knows the ring size of his beloved? The Annalucia would consider that to be a dangerous assumption. Perhaps her experience is unusual but she has been married to the Tedesco for twenty-seven years and he does not know her ring size, shoe size, brassiere size or anything-else size that she may require. (She, on the other hand, knows all of his sizes, perhaps because she is the one who does all the shopping.)
    At any rate she imagines the hypothetical nervous young man buying a ring two sizes too small for the lady, and having to return or exchange it anyway.

    The Ribbon Fingers have the right idea, up to a point. The ribbon as the promise – very pretty. ONE trip to the jeweler’s in order to pick out the ring – also pretty. Repeated trips, they are not so pretty; this is to give the symbol (the ring) more importance that the event of which it is symbolic (the upcoming wedding), and this is not a good beginning for the building of a life in tandem.

  2. Never teh Bride October 21, 2005 at 2:32 pm #

    Annalucia, this is a superb point. The ring size is always a factor. But providing one is not buying platinum, wouldn’t a jeweler simply advise the young man to buy up so the ring can be fitted down?

    It is so true that the ladies always know their men’s sizes! I am quite familiar with most of The Beard’s measurements but I would be quite wary of any attempts on his part to buy me clothing or shoes without asking first.

  3. La BellaDonna October 21, 2005 at 3:27 pm #

    To be fair to the gentlemen, one can generally expect that men’s shoe and clothing sizes will be approximately the same across the board, no matter what the store; a 40 is a 40 is a 40 (thank you, Gertrude Stein).

    However, most unfortunately, women’s sizes most often seem to be, at best, a suggestion on the part of the manufacturer. I am sure I am not the only lady reading this blog who has hanging in her closet jackets in sizes 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 – and they all fit. And I favour very, very fitted jackets.

    That aside, I cannot help wondering why it is that a man who perhaps can run a corporation, or build a cabinet, or install a sink, or program a computer, is unable to master the concept of looking inside his ladylove’s garments for the size on the little tag. At the very least, it would be a beginning. He could look at a number of garments, and perhaps get an approximate idea of her size. This approach holds good for all different sorts of garments: dresses, shoes, sweaters, coats. I also wonder why it is that a gentleman who can use a tape measure to build a house cannot use one to measure garments that the lady already owns, to gather some idea of her size.

    That said, the love of my life has asked what I would like when the time comes to pick a ring, since I have very definite tastes and he wants me to be happy. I told him that while I was willing to give suggestions, when requested, for ordinary gifts of jewelry, I wanted him to pick the ring that he wanted me to wear; I made it clear that I did not care whether it was gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum; whether it had one stone or several; whether the stone(s) was a diamond, a gemstone other than a diamond, or a stone in conjunction with diamonds. I want the ring to be from him alone; one that made him happy to think of it on my hand, and I do not care about the size or shape or colour of the stone involved. To me, honestly, the engagement ring is important because of what it foretells: the marriage to follow. Whatever he gets will make me happy, because I will look at it on my hand and know he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.

  4. Never teh Bride October 21, 2005 at 3:42 pm #

    Oh, La BellaDonna, you put a tear in my eye! What a lovely sentiment!

  5. Lori October 21, 2005 at 7:47 pm #

    This reminds me of something that was in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago. The article said that people who were prone to trading up (especially regarding engagement rings) were likely to end up divorced. I guess some people’s desire to trade up applies to their spouses as well.

  6. JayKay October 24, 2005 at 6:05 pm #

    I second LaBellaDonna’s sentiment about the ring having to come from one’s fiance…
    My finace decided to go the opposite route for the engagement ring… I received a LOVELY titanium and platinum band when he asked me to spend my life with him. I was so touched. The ring, its beautiful. The inside is even engraved with a phrase that we used to say to each other when we first met. Many people have asked me why I am not wearing a “rock” or a stone of some kind, but my fiance has explained that the ring with the stone in it (incidentally, a garnet…his birthstone) will come at our wedding.
    And honestly, I couldn’t be happier with his decision. I find that I cannot stop looking at my engagement band because of what it means to me…the promise that he will cherish me always. Plus, its just so darn pretty!
    If one is purely concerned with the size, color and shape of the “rock” that she feels she needs, then maybe she has lost sight of what that ring really means…

  7. jj October 24, 2005 at 6:21 pm #

    Color me old fashioned, but the idea of a nervous young man studying up on jewelry before timidly purchasing a bauble just appeals to me.

    Heartilly agreed. Though I will admit that I got lucky and my husband was able to surreptitiously research my tastes and present me with the perfect engagment ring (now my wedding band). He even engaged in a complex subterfuge involving costume jewelry on the Venice Beach boardwalk in order to get my ring size… a full year before popping the question!

    Still… he was hardly a timid purchaser… and if he had been, he would have easilly been pushed around by the agressive salespeople. Buying rings is an arduous business.

  8. Mary October 24, 2005 at 6:35 pm #

    Oy. You ladies all have the most thoughtful of men. I think my husband hadn’t even known he would ask when he did (which was spontanious and fun) so no ring at the proposal. And then we were busy with all of the other wedding stuff, and then we were house hunting, so the poor ring– it was delayed. Although sincee we ended up choosing a colored stone (purple saphire) and my fingers are like thin knobby sticks, it was important to see what it looked like before any purchase was made.

  9. Never teh Bride October 24, 2005 at 8:32 pm #

    There’s nothing wrong with doing a little something differently, Mary. Your beau sounds like a treat!

  10. Sarah Brabazon-Biggar October 25, 2005 at 1:40 am #

    My mom doesn’t have an engagement ring, only a very simple gold wedding band. She loves it, and after over 25 years of marriage, wouldn’t dream of “trading up.” I admire my mom.

    This is my favorite little story about engagement rings, from Dorothy L. Sayer’s “Busman’s Honeymoon,” when Harriet finally accepted Lord Peter and he gave her the ring: “Poor H. laughed at herself, because when Peter gave it to her yesterday, she was looking at _him_ and ten minutes afterwards, when challenged, couldn’t even tell him the color of the stone. Said she was afraid she never would learn how to behave like other people, but Peter had only said it was the first time his features had ever been prized above rubies.”

  11. CBOT October 26, 2005 at 12:33 pm #

    My fiance and I picked our ring out together, and I cannot imagine doing it any other way. So many suposedly romantic ideas about getting married — the man should choose when and how to propse, the man should pick out the ring in secret, the man should ask the bride’s father’s permission — are all about putting the man (or men) in charge. It’s ridiculous.

    I suppose some people don’t think it’s romantic that there was no big proposal in our case, but we’re PARTNERS. We mutually decided after many discussions when we both wanted to get married. He didn’t pick the time to propose and I wasn’t left with a “yes” or “no” decision.

    My finace is the most romantic man I know. So romantic, in fact, that the little moments of our daily lives overshadow any contrived grand pronouncements that he could make.