Speaking of weddings, one thing that has been a subject of much debate between myself, Jaime, my friends, and family has been the matter of the engagement ring. I want an engagement ring for both myself and Jaime, because I like jewellery, and there’s a lovely jeweller in Victoria who makes custom rings which are beautiful and relatively inexpensive, and I like supporting local artists. Jaime is scowling over the price of them, since we agreed to pay for each other’s. She suggested that we just use a prize ring from a 25 cent machine, although she lost interest in this idea when she found out that that’s a plot point in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; she dislikes Audrey Hepburn greatly. Then she thought that she could go grave robbing, since she claims the De Beers company started a tradition of burying yourself with your jewellery to artificially drive up the value of diamonds. Silly girl.
When I talk to other people about this, the reactions vary greatly. My good friend told me that she hoped her boyfriend would get her a new rifle for an engagement, since it would cost about the same and be a lot more useful. But the more common reaction is the admonition that, no matter what the cost, Jaime and I had to get each other very beautiful engagement rings, with a diamond or a sapphire. The reason for this, according to my friends and my mother, is because people will judge you and your partner for the rest of your life based on the quality of your engagement ring. If you have a nice beautiful rock, then it’s clear your partner loves you, that you have a good relationship, and that you are someone that deserves to get promoted/treated well. Joyful. I’m such a big fan of judging people based on having enough excess wealth to buy their way into acceptance and promotions.
I have to admit, I’m torn between saying “Screw it, I’m not going to buy into a system which judges people based on how shiny their stupid hunk of rock is!” and wanting very badly to show that queer couples can also have pretty engagement rings. I didn’t know this, but apparently there is a stereotype about queer women in regards to engagement rings, that they have no taste, and will often pick gaudy rings “more appropriate for a witch than a wedding.” I suppose this is a double stereotype, due to queer women being associated with Neopaganism, and a way of asserting that they have no taste. I think it probably has more to do with us being less likely to cave into pressure to fit wedding and marriage norms, and also, many of us do not have the love and support of our parents to back us up when buying an expensive bauble, so we’re more likely to go for a cheaper piece of jewellery. In my case, I feel the strong urge to buck those stereotypes, but is it truly worth thousands of dollars? Nonsense. Nor is it worth that much money to get my mother to stop teasing me about how allegedly cheap and stingy Canadians are.
I’m ultimately leaning towards nixing wedding rings, so we would just wear our engagement rings (which are prettier anyways) and then buying Jaime’s from that Victoria artist I mentioned above. I am thinking of getting her one that has “infinity” swirls in the band design, because of her deep passion for math and science, and a stone in either green ammolite or a green sapphire, since that’s her favourite colour. If I get a ring from a cracker jack box, then I can tease her for being Holly Golightly for the rest of her life.