- 8 years ago
- Wedding: July 2011
KatNYC2011‘s post below about awkward ring-related reactions inspired me to ask a tangentially connected question about etiquette – I’d love to get some input on it.
My fiance and I, for many reasons I won’t get into in detail (money, politics, style, etc, etc) did not purchase a diamond engagement ring. From early on in our relationship I made it clear that diamonds and even things that look like diamonds were not my thing. (This is not judgement on those who love their diamond rings – more power to you, ladies!) So, when we decided to get married, we bought each other matching bands engraved on the outside with a phrase that’s meaningful to us. They’re white gold or silver (I forget which), simple, meaningful, and we love them and will treasure them forever. We’re going to use them as both engagement and wedding rings.
Now, this is all fine and dandy, except that a surprising number of people don’t seem to get it. And I don’t feel comfortable explaining it right now… because a certain group of women have made me feel awkward. We’re getting married next summer in our hometown (far away from where we currently live), and I was really weirded out by how ring-obsessed people are. When we went back to visit this summer, a lot of old friends and aquaintances demanded to see The Ring, grabbed my left hand without asking, and then looked very visibly concerned, puzzled, or disappointed when I’m not wearing a big diamond.
I feel like I’m obligated to say something, but honestly, why should I be? I would rather die than have to explain the nuances of my/our belief system(s) in the middle of an ostensibly breezy, fun conversation. Is it really that unheard of not to have a diamond bought for me, or not to wear an engagement ring at all? I’m actually most curious about hearing from those of you who DO find this weird, unusual, or shocking – – – If it’s shocking enough for you to register visible shock, how much of an explanation do you expect, or what kind of explanation would you appreciate? I don’t want to be rude, I don’t want a political soapbox, I just want an easy, friendly way to assure people who are (I hope) well-meaning that something isn’t terribly wrong with me or my relationship.
P.S./Clarification: It’s not the attitudes of my close friends and family I’m worried about. They’re lovely, understanding people with whom I regularly do have deep discussions about Life, The Universe, and Everything – and so they “get” me. It’s those hometown folks, high school buds, family friends, friends-of-friends, girlfriends-of-fiance’s-friends. You know. The perfectly nice people who aren’t your nearest and dearest, but pleasant additions to your social circle.
Thank you, sweet little bees!