Whenever I mention anything dealing with “our wedding plans,” I see people flash to my left-hand “ring finger” and say, “But you don’t have a ring.” I even had one friend ask, “Aren’t you moving a little fast?” Which just made me laugh out loud because Funk and I have a four month old and we have been together for a year and four months. Moving fast? Well…
This, of course, led me to ponder what makes a fiancée. Apparently, in our culture, an engagement ring makes a fiancée. Or maybe, a facebook ‘relationship status update’ and a ring make a fiancée. For me, I’m engaged without an engagement ring. However, when I was younger, I had envisioned the traditional scene. Girl meets boy. They fall in love. Boy gets down on one knee. Girl squeels, pops her foot, cries, says “yes.” Wedding bells ring. Make babies. As I got older, some variations got put in. Girl meets boy or girl. They fall in love. One or the other pops the question, on or not on, one knee. Both are happy, maybe cry, says “yes.” Time to party. Make a baby (through biology or IVF) or adopt. And now I find myself in a different situation.
Funk and I have decided we are getting married. We have even decided that it will be in June 2012 on the CSUCI campus in the morning. We’ve had late night, or during Droidlet feedings, discussions about how we want the décor to be both Steampunk and Dungeons and Dragons inspired. We’ve asked Funk’s brother in law to officiate and I’ve already been gathering ideas about how we want to write the ceremony with him. But I don’t have an engagement ring.
I almost wish I had some awesome philosophy behind why I don’t have an engagement ring – like, I was the one who proposed to Funk so we forewent the ring, or that I don’t follow the tradition of having a symbol of betrothement to someone else, or that I think engagement rings a lucrative waste of money – but, I don’t. I’ve joked about “officially proposing” to Funk (he loooooves the idea and wishes I would) because I do think that it’s awesome but I guess there is a little bit of old-fashioned romanticism left inside of me. What it boils down to is that we found the perfect ring/wedding band. It’s from Jewelry by Da'Oud, who we met at the Renaissance Faire last year. He uses wax mold castings, recycled metals, and second-hand diamonds from conflict-free areas. FOR THE WIN. And the ringset is amazing. And we just don’t have the funds for it right now. But when we do, we’re going to buy it, along with Funk’s matching band, and have some sort of “official” askance awesomeness.
Does this mean we’re not engaged yet? No way. I am in the beginning stages of wedding planning and child-raising and at the ending stages of my Master’s program and dating days. Just because I don’t have a ring on my left hand doesn’t make me any less entitled to planning my wedding than anyone else. So, all of you ladies, and men, out there rockin’ the no engagement ring or even no wedding band, more power to you. It’s not a ring that makes a wedding and it’s not a wedding that makes a relationship. Here’s to rising above the signifiers.