So this is the ring that I’ll be wearing for the rest of my life. It was a long road to get here, emotionally and time wise. But when I first saw a photo of the ring on Natalia Uribe Wilson’s (of Evil Eye Emporium site, I got weepy. Not sobbing, but I did cry. I’d had an idea of what I wanted, but I wasn’t exactly sure what it would look like. And when I saw it, my heart skipped a beat and I just knew that this was it. Sort of like the feeling I got when we found our home and much like the feeling I got when I realized that I’d fallen for Andrew.
I’ll first tell you what this ring is, what it means, and then I’ll tell you what it is not. It is handmade by a local artist and woman that I’d like to think I’m becoming friends with. It is made of silver, recycled silver at that. It’s the most environmentally friendly ring I thing I could get. It isn’t very wide, it is very light-weight and slim and I imagine that within a week or so I’ll get used to feeling it on my finger. See, I’ve never worn a ring before. I hate having things between my toes and never had the desire to wear something on my hands that would get snagged on things, caught on machinery (as a manager I finally no longer have to wonder if I’m going to come in and repair the copier or fix some other machine related to my job) or snag fabric.
The width of my ring matches a groove in Andrew’s ring (which is coming soon). Our rings will look as if they fit together. The idea was to have our rings look as if they were made from the same piece of metal and to have them fit together, sort of like how we fit together. I was originally just going to go with a simple square-edged band. And I was okay with it, but it just felt too typical, and I’m not always typical. Maybe you noticed? Anyway, as I was thinking about having the metal lifted for my ring, I thought about how it would have to be tied in a knot because my finger is so much thinner than Andrew’s hot dog fingers. And then it clicked. A knot!
When we got married, we didn’t have rings and I’d forgotten the ribbon I’d brought so Tony took off to find a packet of candies with two ribbons on it for us to use. And I’ll be forever grateful for his problem solving skills. The reverend laughed a bit but blessed our ribbons anyway. I’m also crazy with the crafting so a knot seemed appropriate for me, tying something of my personality into this union of metal. It was perfect so I began running through the ideas of who I knew to do it. Once it became apparent that it would have to be cast, Natalia was my first choice. I’ve seen what she’s made, I even own a pair of earrings, and I love her style. It’s so polished and funky at the same time. Thankfully she agreed. I told her what I was thinking, she understood perfectly.
Once the order was placed I had a moment of panic when I realized just how much pressure I’d put on her. I mean, I’d asked someone to make a ring that would say a lot about me, about my relationship, and and that I would wear for the rest of my life. Thankfully she was up to the challenge, even though she admitted she was also nervous for the same reasons. But it came out perfectly and is exactly what I wanted.
And here is what my ring is not. It is not gold (which I’m not terribly fond of, even though I’m a Leo). It is not platinum. It is not made by a machine. And most importantly it does not have a diamond on it, or any other gemstone. Not that I’ve got a problem with pretty and sparkle, but I don’t want to carry an overpriced piece of rock on my finger that comes to me at the expense of the health of children in South Africa. If you’ve not heard of blood diamonds you might be interested in checking out a photo essay called Trail of Diamonds to see the people who slave away (and I don’t use that term loosely) to produce those $20,000 pieces of bling that would probably end up re-selling for $2000, because diamonds are that overpriced.
I’ve tried to write a post for almost a year about blood diamonds and I’ve not been happy with anything I’ve written. And then I read a post written by Anil Dash (who just happens to have gotten married recently as well) that spelled out everything I wanted to say. So while I feel like I’m bailing by not writing my own version, I don’t think I can. Anil could have been writing from my brain, but just in a more organized and less emphatic way than I would have. So you should go read Diamonds Are For Never. From the breakdown of the DeBeers cartel, to advertising, to the sexist overtones of the entire business, Anil says it all.
So despite what some people have said to me, this ring is “real” jewelery. Andrew isn’t going to feel like he’s not providing for me properly because I’m not showing off his wealth. And I’m certainly happy to have the amount of money that we’re supposed to spend on a ring. Two to three months salary? you kidding me? You know how much fabric I can get for that? How many gourmet dinners I can make? How many geeky electronic toys I can get? How much credit card debt I could pay off?—Just so you know, DeBeers totally came up with the guidelines for how much money is supposed to be spent on an engagement ring. A ring that wasn’t a tradition until the last two generations, which makes it not much of a tradition if you ask me.
So my modest, but unique, and beautiful ring says far more about this marriage, this relationship than anything I could have bought at a mall.
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