Monday, June 11, 2007

On Engagement Rings

I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of engagement rings. I'd like to put a cap on the spending of my significant other, of $600 or so. I don't need an expensive piece of jewelry to worry about losing/being mugged for.

Now that I've read Meaghan O'Rourke's article in Slate on diamond engagement rings, I REALLY don't want one. Apparently part of their popularity is due to the end of "breach of promise suits." They were to provide insurance against grooms who deflowered their fiancee's and then left. Some states still have laws to this effect, that if the groom leaves pre-wedding, the bride gets to keep the ring. Ick. I can understand the utility in an earlier time, but are we really still putting a price on virginity? Really?

In Jewcy (hooray rekindled love!) Izzy Grinspan talks both about the history of diamond engagement rings in America (slightly less comprehensively than Slate) and contrasts it to her personal experience. She also addresses a lot of the awkwardness involved in being a modern woman in a heterosexual relationship heading towards marriage.

Speaking of marriage, Harley made the best suggestion that I've heard yet for a wedding reception: a BBQ. Combine that with the open bar (thanks Michael) and I think that everyone will have a great time. Except for the vegetarians, and really, their lives suck anyway.

8 comments:

Sarah said...

Since when is $600 not expensive? That's my rent, yo. I know that "expensive" is a relative term, but still. Eep.

Smeliana said...

I would like to say that whomever I marry, whenever it happens, will have to consent to a dairy reception in order to be with me. So bring your Lactaid!

Annie said...

Sarah- while $600 is your rent, by the current metric of two months salary, it isn't much at all. Also, that is my cap, not my minimum. $600 is the most a reasonable person should spend.

Smel- Fortunately I am not lactose intolerant. But CJ is. So when I tried to run the "dairy reception" idea by him, he said "do you want me to be all farty?" And I relented.

Sarah said...

Right, I know about two month's salary. What I intended to say was more like, while two months salary is no big deal for some, for other's (ie people who don't make that much and/or have astronomical expenses in other areas) it's a ton. I just think it's ridiculous. Anyhow, point taken about it being a cap.

Zie said...

i'm totally with you. seriously. the problem as my girlfriend and i have recently found is that $600 or less doesnt buy much these days. its totally ridic. boo. and even if i dont care, other people seem to and that bothers said girlfriend (not so much me.. i like pretty things.. i mean who doesnt.. but i lose, break or tarnish everything.) man.. so complicated. i just want the marriage but its seriously such a production!

Anonymous said...

How about no rings? -TR

Annie said...

Zie- $600 can buy you a nice semi-precious ring. Especially if you shop around, bargain, and/or go wholesale.

TR- I understand the point you're trying to make, but I'm not quite liberated enough to not want a ring. To be fair, I will give my fiancee a watch of equal or greater value at the time of engagement.

sarah said...

Incidentally, I, like smeliana, want a dairy reception (down with parve cake!!). Justin's family doesn't think it's a real meal without meat. The compromise? We could have a dairy reception and a meat bbq the next day for lunch as a farewell to our out-of-town guests (as our in-towners will likely all be veggies, and my family doesn't care).

Also, since no one in my family is strictly kosher, dairy is much easier and cheaper--just use a veggie caterer any only hechshered cheese.