Apparently, I’m weird. Okay, not apparently. I am weird. And being in a relationship, I’m confronted with how weird I am on an almost daily basis.
My boyfriend and I get along great. We actually have a lot in common. We like to do a lot of the same things. We have similar priorities. We view things the same way. And sometimes, that weirds him out. You see, after 55 years on this earth, the boyfriend has certain expectations about how he thinks women should feel. It throws him off balance when I don’t think the way he expects me to. This became that much more clear a few nights ago when we somehow ended up in a conversation about rings.
Okay, first off, we are not getting engaged anytime soon. Due to some personal things he has going on, it will most likely be at least 6 months before getting engaged is even something we’d consider. But, we do sometimes vaguely talk about getting married some day. And lately, he seems to be noticing rings. A lot. It’s weird, as neither of us are jewelry people. It’s mainly women wearing rings on TV that catch his attention. “What’s a ring on that finger mean?” “She’s wearing a wedding band.” “That ring is really big/weird/ugly.”
My Mom has always stressed that if you don’t want to be disappointed in a relationship it’s important to make your expectations clear. Want a big to-do over your birthday or anniversary? Remind him, and make sure he knows that you expect a big deal. Me, I’m not into making a big deal. I do like to go out to dinner for my birthday, so I start reminding him a few weeks before, and as it gets closer, we start making plans. Everybody’s happy. Since we’ve discussed marriage, and he’s been noticing rings lately, I figured it would be a good time to start discussing my preferences when it comes to engagement rings. And my preference? No engagement ring.
Okay, I’m not anti-engagement ring. There are actually a lot of really pretty engagement rings out there. I love big, sparkly rings. They look so pretty! And vintage rings are just gorgeous! But can I see myself wearing a big rock on my finger every day for the rest of my life? Eh… not really.
I grew up around women who wore plain, gold bands. My Mom never had an engagement ring. Many engagement rings today have a matching wedding band, which is made to sit around the engagement ring. Which means you can’t wear the wedding ring alone. Honestly, I see myself mainly wearing a just the wedding ring.
I’m not the girl who has always dreamed of having a certain type of ring. I’m also not the girl who dreams of having a certain type of wedding. When I was younger I always thought about being married, but not so much about the wedding itself. After college, I went to work at a restaurant/venue in a historic German building in the downtown area. The building contained 2 ballrooms, a theatre, a large Biergarten, and various smaller rooms. There were 1-6 weddings every week. I worked there for 8 years total. Two of those years as an Event Coordinator. Yep, I was the wedding planner. I’ve planned countless weddings, and talked to countless other couples about their wedding plans. Indoor weddings. Outdoor weddings. Off-site weddings. Weddings with 400+ people, and weddings with 5 people. Extravagant weddings. Budget weddings. I loved planning weddings! But, after 8 years of weddings, I’m kinda wedding’d out!
I’ve planned all different types of dream weddings, and seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Oh the stories I could tell! I’ve done the dream so many times that I feel like I’ve been there, done that. I want the marriage. But the wedding? Well, I kinda figured that would depend on the groom.
The boyfriend has been married twice already; One courthouse wedding, one big wedding, both when he was much younger. My sister, who is discussing marriage with her boyfriend, once said something about what my boyfriend and I should do if we get married. I told her if we got married, I was pretty sure we’d RossN’Rachel* it. Alright, hopefully not so drunk, and obviously we’re already thinking marriage. But I see us being on vacation somewhere, feeling good, and thinking “Why not?” Possibly have a bonfire later to celebrate with family and friends (we’re both bonfire people). I’m an introvert by nature, so not having an event so focused on me would be better. My Mom still complains to this day about her mother not letting her elope**, and makes it very clear she’s not the wedding planning type, so I don’t see my parents being upset. A big wedding just doesn’t seem like us. Even if we did have a wedding, I don’t see us being engaged for very long, or having a very large event. So why spend money on a ring? I’d rather have a pretty (but delicate) wedding band.
Of course, when I told him that he looked at me like I’d lost my marbles. So I added the “But if you want to buy me a ring, you can. I’ll wear it.” Hey, it’s a long ways off, right? At least I’ve opened the door for discussion!
– Cindy W.
*Reference to the TV show, Friends. Hey, I grew up in the 90’s, okay?
**Seriously, there couldn’t have been 50 people at their wedding, but to hear my Mom talk, it might as well have been a 1,000! Church wedding, then back to my Grandparent’s house for cake. The only positive thing she can say about the wedding is that she likes having pictures (a family friend took candids). She’s happy with their marriage, of course. She just never wanted a wedding.