One of the downsides about being engaged to a man who sells jewellery is that sometimes he forgets how much I’m not interested in it. This is not to say that I don’t like colourful or twinkly things – that would be silly! – just that I don’t really care what it’s made from, as long as it doesn’t irritate my skin. Bear in mind, my skin can be irritated by aqueous cream and E45, two products specifically designed for sensitive skin. So the irritation thing is a reasonable concern. The relative shininess of platinum as compared to silver really isn’t.
Now, J and I both wear engagement rings. Which is to say, anybody who sees his left hand assumes that he’s already married, because in the eyes of the patriarchy, it is always and only the woman who should carry the symbol of ownership – formerly wedding rings, and now, since mens’ wedding rings have become common, engagement rings.
The other day, wedding rings came up in conversation. Since one of the things that irritates J is me quoting his own arguments at him verbatim, I try to make a point of doing so every so often, and this provided me with the perfect opportunity:
J: Lots of the men I speak to at work get that look. The one that says, “I’m paying silly money for my girlfriend’s ring, and she’s not paying for anything for me”. And then I speak to them about watches. And their faces light up.
Me: The joys of equality – now everybody has to give you their money!
J: Well… I was thinking… Everybody thinks that this [points at his ring] is a wedding band, and I’d only have to move it to my right hand. So maybe you just shouldn’t buy me a wedding band.
Me: Hmm. Well, I was thinking, everybody thinks that this [points at my ring] is a wedding ring, and I’d only have to move it to my right hand. So maybe you just shouldn’t buy me a wedding ring either.
J: *looks disappointed*
Me: *light dawns* Oh! You wanted a new watch, didn’t you?! You thought that you could buy me another ring I don’t need and I could buy you another watch that you don’t need!
J: *looks shifty*
Me: How much?
J:…. £1,000… ish…
Me: *laughs hysterically*
J: No wedding rings, then?
I would like to point out here that my life is made considerably more entertaining by J’s presence. In a good way. And I’m very relieved, to be honest, that we won’t be thinking about any more pointless jewellery. Being many things, but mainly an impoverished maths student, I can’t help but note that the money that would have bought the watch J wanted would have paid for 40 week’s worth of food for me – an academic year’s worth, in other words. That kind of thing makes me want to gibber in a corner.
(J now has his own blog, which he has promised will not make him sound like a whinging emo git. I checked this. He told me it was “delicately put”.)