Where's my Ring?

Okay, so, I do not have an engagement ring. Well, that's not entirely true. Groom proposed with a ring I already had (not a diamond) then upgraded the next day for the biggest faux diamond ring he could find. It's a 32 carat plastic stunner. A guy in the dive bar that my grad school girlfriends and I frequent asked if I was marrying a sheik. A gentleman of limited means (he lives on my corner - literally) asked if it was real. It does in no way look real, but it's really fun. The first thing everyone does when you tell them you are engaged - and this happened to me yesterday when I was purchasing more educational materials (okay, fine, bridal mags) - is look at your left hand. Why is this, exactly. Since I'm not wearing a ring, do I look a little, uh, sad since I'm buying bulk quantities of wedding porn? Are people trying to see how much dough Groom shelled out? Or are you just not "real-engaged" until you have a ring?

This bothers me for a number of reasons.

1. Yes, Groom did propose. I swear it. I was there. I called every single family member. It was awesome. But at that moment, it wasn't about a ring. It was about Groom and I planning to spend our lives together. It was about the long haul. It was about our future. It was about making out, drinking champagne (this is why one should ALWAYS have a bottle in the house!), and calling our family and friends. It was about us.

I once read ( and I wish I could remember where, so I could properly quote) that asking a girl if she'd like a fancy piece of jewelery and to throw a party is not going to result in a no. Groom asked me to marry him, and that's different.

2. Many people are anti-diamond for a number of political reasons. I wish I could say that that is why I don't have a ring, but my birth stone is a diamond, and I only really like diamonds. So perhaps I could find a different type of ring, but its not about that either.

3. It turns out engagement rings are really really expensive. I honestly had no idea how expensive, until Groom and I went to Tiffany's to check out the ring I have been drooling over for ages. Now, my Tiffany fanaticism has more to do with my Truman Capote affection, and the fact that the sales people are really really nice to you even if you don't look like you can afford a thing in the store. So we went in. This was about 8 months before Groom proposed. Prior to this time, I would hyperventilate when we were within 150 feet of a jeweler. Anyway, I tried on the ring I liked - but I was unable to wear it on my ring finger. I digress. So back to Tiffany's. We've all seen the ads in mags, and it is obvious that you will have a miserable sham of a marriage if you do not drop $40k on a ring that comes in a little blue box. I will just have to spend the rest of my life dealing with the consequences of this action (that's sarcasm).

4. Groom doesn't have a ring either. As much as I want a ring - and I really truly despite all of my feminist inclinations do want a ring - doesn't it seem silly to anyone else that Groom has no visible marker on him that demonstrates his off-the-marketness? Once we are married he will get a groom-sweater. I'm a knitter, and as every knitter knows, it is bad luck to make your sweetie a sweater until you are married. But I'm even waiting until after "I Do" for that.

5. And finally, rings are expensive. Groom currently has his dream job. This has cost us both a lot in terms of double rents in major cities (Chicago and DC), savings accounts, and travel expenses. But for us, this sacrifice, no matter how much I complain about it, is worth it for his future and for his current happiness. So he can't afford a ring yet. He just wanted to marry me, so he asked me.

So that's why I don't have a ring. I'm not going to lie, it hurts my feelings when people seem focused on the ring. I know why I don't have one. So don't ask me. I'll get one eventually. But I'm not focused on it, so it would be really nice if you wouldn't either.