And then, most of the girls asked to see the ring. When I told them I was wearing a stand-in (my deceased great-aunt's) until the jewelers resized mine, they wanted descriptions, pictures, karat size, cut--- all the little details that I actually didn't notice, or even care about, when I got it because I was just so ridiculously happy to be engaged.
And I do love my ring. It's pretty! But what it looks like should be relevant to no-one except JD and myself. And it is pretty-- I like it, and I like that he picked it out, since I enjoy wearing something that reflects him. I also love wearing the ring because I like the symbolism of it-- I love that it is something that says I'm not single anymore and no one has any reason to hit on me. It's a sign that should forever free me of unwanted male attention (though I have been told that some guys will take it as a challenge).
And yes, I've thought before about ring style-- daydreamed about what I want. But at the end of the day, what matters isn't so much the aesthetics but the commitment it symbolizes. But the aesthetics seem predominant in the minds of others. And it feels weird to know that at least some people will be judging me/him/us on the size/shape/stone of it-- even though I know every judges everyone on pretty much everything, consciously or not.
There's a part of me that wishes there was some sort of culturally significant public symbol for men to wear to declare engagement. I've seen "mangagement" rings, and they're just-- kind of ick. Or at least not in JD's aesthetic as far as I can tell. And anything that is would probably be mistaken for a wedding ring-- which is another, separate symbol. But as it is, I'm the only on of the two of us who'll be wearing a symbol until our wedding. I know some people see the ring as unequal-- a negative status symbol that declares male ownership. But I think that that interpretation says more about the individuals involved and their view of male-female equality than it does about me. I wear a ring, but JD most certainly does not own me. We're equal partners, and we acknowledge that fact. Wearing a ring doesn't change that element, and doesn't reflect that a woman belongs to a man-- instead, it simply reflects that I've chosen him, and he's chosen me, and that we have chosen to be one.
And the ring, while just an object, is a public symbol of the love he has for me, and the love he gives to me. And I think that is an absolutely lovely thing.