on rings

I forgot to put on my ring today.

I only usually take it off to shower, not because I’m worried I’ll lose it down the drain but more because it gets tangled in my hair when I’m shampooing…

But it usually goes straight back on after all the suds have been washed away and so to have forgotten it today feels very strange. I wasn’t a ring-wearing girl before we got engaged but it became normal so quickly that now I feel its absense.

Funny timing too because this week – as you’ll no doubt know by now – Prince William and the lovely Kate Middleton announced their engagement to some general excitement and lots of debate around the value of the British monarchy. What was more interesting to me was that William gave Kate his mother’s engagement ring which is almost exactly like mine. Just about three times the size of course.

That’s Kate’s on the left and mine of the right in case there’s any confusion 😉

My first reaction was girly excitement that I clearly have such “royal” taste. I picked out my own ring with Rasmus one rainy Saturday in Antwerp (he picked his then too) and knew what I was looking for from the start. My mum has an engagement ring a little similar to mine but with yellow gold rather than white.

My second reaction though was something along the lines of “NOOOOOO!” when I read further down in the BBC article that “Jewellers say they have already had orders for copies of Miss Middleton’s engagement ring”.

See, I chose my engagement ring very particularly, as I’m sure all women do. I knew I did not want a diamond solitaire. I like colour in my life so the idea of a clear diamond was not very exciting. I love sapphires and I wanted something that wasn’t so contemporary that I would be wishing I’d got something different in ten years time.

My engagement ring is also my wedding ring. This confuses a lot of people when they ask to see “my wedding ring” and I show them what British/Americans assume is just an engagement ring. We did it this way partly because it is Danish tradition – you both get rings when you get engaged and have just that one ring (they both look more like British wedding bands).

But I also liked the symbolism of having just one ring to stand for the one commitment we were making to each other. The symbolism of an unbroken ring for the ongoing commitment and love in the relationship fit both our engagement and our marriage. I didn’t make a new commitment when I made my wedding vows, I only solidified and formalised the commitment I already had to our relationship. Of course it’s not a perfect symbol – symbols never are, and for the record my concept of marriage is a little more multi-faceted than what I just stated – but for me, this was a better picture of what we were doing when we got engaged and then married. We were deepening and strengthening our ongoing love and commitment to each other.

All that being said, my engagement ring is one of the most special objects I possess. I think it is beautiful but I love it more for the depth of meaning behind it and the stories attached to it, the memories of standing in the middle of the street outside my house in the light of the streetlamps and having Rasmus put it on my finger for the first time after he’d gone for a beer with my dad and got his blessing.

So the idea that suddenly there are going to be flighty princess-wannabees all over England with my same ring is jarring. But then I remember that those women don’t have my story, don’t have my memories, don’t have my husband. And then it’s not a problem, because I have this wonderful marriage to a wonderful man, and a wonderful ring to symbolise it. And that’s all that matters.

If you like talking about rings, Meg over at A Practical Wedding had a really interesting post up on the subject last week that got all the intellegent ladies over there talking… find it here and for older posts on the same subject, look here and here.