Getting engaged has been one of THE most exciting moments of my life (duh, right?). We received many congratulations the night of, and many more came in as our friends and family heard the news.
When Wendell proposed he mentioned that we have always been an unconventional couple. Firstly, we met online. That was something even I use to tease people about, until it happened to me. I was the one who flew out to meet him. We bought a house together before we were even engaged. And most recently we got engaged sans the "traditional" diamond engagement ring (insert gasps, wide eyed looks and sympathy head tilts here, pffffffft!).
We had been talking about marriage for some time before our actual engagement. There is no doubt in either one of our hearts or minds that we are meant to be together. There aren't sufficient words to explain what this love has done for me, for us and our lives in general. When we realized that money was the ONLY thing keeping us from getting married we decided we were not going to let THAT keep us from tying the knot.
Since our engagement I have taken advantage of sharing the news with just about anyone who cares to hear it (and sometimes those who don't). Co-workers, the bank tellers, the mail lady, neighbors, the cashier at the Mexican restaurant I frequent, you get the idea. There is one thing that bothers me when I do share this news with others and it's not the automatic glance towards my ring finger. I understand how accustomed our society is to the idea of a diamond engagement ring. That doesn't get to me, I even expected the glances and questions in regards to my naked ring finger. What really gets to me are certain reactions I get when I say "there is no engagement ring". I get everything from "awww" accompanied by a head tilt, surprised oh's, to raised eyebrows that come with a matter-of-fact "huh" (insert eye roll here).
The diamond engagement ring isn't even a tradition rooted in romance, it stems from a clever marketing ploy by De Beers that began in the 1930's after the Great Depression. The history and traditions of engagement vary by location, culture, religion, etc. Some are as simple as a man giving a woman a pair of gloves or even a twig! There are many beautiful, rarely practiced traditions (in the true sense of the word) when it comes to engagement that I can't help but wonder how so many were conned into believing that nothing short of a diamond ring would do.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not anti lavish gifts and diamond rings are lovely items, I just disagree with the concept that they are a necessity. Wendell has demonstrated his love for me in countless ways on a daily basis. I don't need him to dish out two months salary just to reiterate what he's already more than proven to me. Hell, Paris Hilton recieved a 24 carat diamond engagement ring and we (sadly) all know that relationship lasted about as long as a tic tac.
Despite telling him that "the ring" doesn't matter to me he insists on getting me one as soon as possible. I won't deny him that privilege. I'm not one to turn down a gift. I like telling people that he has given me more than I had ever hoped for and has made me insanely happy. There isn't a single gem of any size in the entire world that could hold the value of what that means to me. So, materialistic women can scoff all they want, they'll probably never know a love like ours.