Do you need an engagement ring? Well, do you? Must you have a ring to call yourself committed? Is there a right way to get engaged? I've been an expert for a decade, but when I went through it myself, man oh man, did I learn a lot about love, commitment and the meaning of rituals. So after years of hearing your stories, on my one year wedding anniversary (today is my anniversary) I'm sharing my engagement story! Spoiler alert: commitment is what you make of it. OK, I'll just get right down to it then...
Here is what I did to find the love of my life:
1. many many dates in San Francisco using online sites (ehm ehm OkCupid)
2. An evening in with a bottle of red wine and my good friends ADVANCED FILTERS. People, this is the only way. You have to manifest your fate. I even paid the extra $10 to unlock the "A-List" search filters (some of which were ridiculous):
this is what happened when we tried to get engaged:
It really was love at first site. The rest was history...
UNTIL it felt like it was time to get engaged. If you've been through it, you know. It's kind of *a thing*. Are we ready? Am I ready?? Are YOU ready??? You take many many long hard looks at your partner and yourself as you imagine making this kind of commitment. For us. Well. It took us some time...
AND THEN: one crisp and cold winter night at a cabin we rented off of HWY 1 on the Sonoma Coast of California, we were making dinner in our pajamas listening to makin_science's (aka Jordan's) Spotify Discover Weekly (his is oddly far better than mine which feels unfair because he doesn't even have it connected to a Facebook account as he refuses to have one). So, we are slow-dance/hug-swaying in the kitchen to something along the lines of Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt and he takes the rubber band off the little bunch of rosemary and he loops it around my left ring finger. And that was it. The best ever. Ever. And, I mean, how can you pick out a ring for an Engagement Ring Consultant that's more perfect than a rubber band? Yes, the title is official and therefore capitalized. In any case, makin_science an I were gonna make_it_official.
IMMEDIATELY we (me) started making plans for how to use a three stone heirloom diamond ring from his mother and father so we could create two rings out of the stones - one for each of us. I was going to make a David Bowie space-inspired ring and he was going to make a Conan the Barbarian-inspired ring with a flush set a diamond in a big yellow gold band. My heart swelled. He even wanted a diamond in his ring. We was into this. You guys, we’re engaged!
WAIT. We are "engaged" though, right? Like, plans were in the works on our rings and I had a rubber band on my left ring finger. So it's official, right? Well, later makin_science informed me that we "still had things to do" before we were officially engaged. Dun dun dun. And here I thought I was the engagement ring expert...
TURNS OUT, he just wanted to have the rings on our hands. It mattered to him. This guy who mocked tradition. This guy who valued science and reason. Listen people the guy wanted rings on fingers dammit. Rings on fingers and then, and only then, is it official. So we had the David Bowie/Conan the Barbarian mash-up rings made by the best jeweler ever, Nick Engel. And when they were done, I couldn't wait to put my engagement ring on and then finally be "engaged" to makin_science aka Jordan. I never knew I actually cared this much. When we got the rings we both put them on immediately and never took them off. Jordan's "wedding band" was actually his "mangagement ring" till we got married and it was the sweetest thing ever. It felt like solidarity. It felt real.
what I learned about getting engaged:
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: We make it up as we go. For Jordan, rings meant something. For me, THE resident engagement ring lady, it actually didn't matter at all. I'd take the rubber band. There's no right way to do this life. No correct way to love. No proper way to show love. Us humans made this whole crazy courtship->ring->engaged->married thing up from the start. We did it for many different reasons, but that's Esther Perel's territory, not mine. It's up to us to decide what it all means for ourselves. Oh, and one more conclusion: if you need help with this whole crazy engagement ring stuff, I'm here to help you figure out what it means to you ;) ;)