Did I want an engagement ring? No, I absolutely did not. Waste of money. Outward visible sign of impending servitude. Am I referring to this engagement for this marriage? No, I am not.
That scenario, hauled out of the memory banks, is from my first marriage. That would be the marriage I had while also teaching Sociology of the Family, Women and Men in Society, Sexuality and Society, and Social Theory in a Sociology department, as well as a fine course on Rabble Rousing 101 over at Women's Studies. Ah, fond memories of stomping up 6th Avenue (NYC), fist-in-air, chanting, "Two, four, six, eight...smash the family, church and state."
If God could throw a holy lung laughing, God is throwing a holy lung laughing as I now prepare to marry an Episcopal priest. And wear an engagement ring that was once his mother's.
Oh wait...it gets even more preciously ironic. I was moved to tears when Dan asked if I would "be okay with" wearing his mother's engagement ring.
Now, lest you think I've gone completely off the rails, I will mention that I did take the engagement ring to my jeweler to have the stone lowered ("it's too prongy") and sized. By the 21st century, I realized that I could retain several cherished political views and have a diamond ring. Another revelation: I could buy my own diamond ring, which is exactly what I did to celebrate my 50th birthday and at five year intervals thereafter.
Sometimes I stack my engagement ring on top of the other bling, but often I do not. I like looking at it solo on my left ring finger and not because it's so pretty -- which it certainly is -- but because of what it symbolizes.
It's 2011 and at this point in my life, this engagement ring serves as an outward visible sign of our commitment to enter into the sacrament of holy matrimony. No shortage of mystery and miracle in my life, that's for sure.