Friday, June 21, 2013

Still Old School--The Proposal and The Ring

Hello, everyone!
Just recently, I checked out the above article by Lincoln Anthony Blades. For the most part, he had some valid points. I was originally going to respond in his response box, but what I have to say on it is very lengthy, so I decided to do a blog.
Although there are parts of me that are very nontraditional, there are some parts of me many would consider old school. One of those does cover the proposal and the ring.
My ultimate response is that I wouldn’t take the proposal seriously if the guy did not have ring at the time of the proposal. The reason I have this response follows a rebuttal I have to one of Lincoln’s statements in his article.
Ladies, if you think a proposal with no ring indicates that a man wantonly proposed to his woman on a whim with no foresight or deep thought, you are an absolute IDIOT. –Lincoln Anthony Blades
This generalization is bullshit. 
I may be declared an “absolute idiot” but I am going to share my story because I have dealt with a guy who has proposed to me “with no foresight or deep thought”. 
It was my senior year of high school.  I had gotten involved with this guy (let’s deem him T). 
He and I had a good relationship in the beginning.  In hindsight, there are things I wish I never told him, but I was honest when he asked me the questions.  One of the main things I told him was that at 17, going on 18, I had never been deflowered.  He felt a sense of pride about that—he considered me even more of a trophy and seemed very proud to have a female like me. 
However, a couple of my ex’s, who weren't too fond of him nor were too fond of our union decided to tell him that I wasn't being truthful---they had pulled a Ray J. (“I Hit It First”)  Well, T, instead of asking me if my ex’s were telling the truth, decided to sit on the information—instead putting pressure on  me to take our relationship to the next level by becoming intimate with each other. 
On my 18th birthday, I made the decision to be intimate with him.  Despite my pleas with him to take his time and be gentle, he rushed in.  Pain and what he discovered to be blood soon resulted. 
I didn't hear “I love you, baby.” 
I didn't hear how happy he was that I had entrusted him with my most precious gift. 
Instead I heard, “Shit, you were telling the truth after all.” 
That’s when he came clean about the whole situation—about what he was told by them.  I asked him why he didn't just ask me again if he had doubts.  He was like, “How many seventeen year old girls haven’t had sex already?” 
In hindsight, I should have ended the relationship right then and there.  He apologized profusely and was on the track to making amends.  During that reconstruction period, he said, “Will you marry me?” 
There was no ring.  T wasn't even on bended knee.  I was looking for something—some type of emotions, level of excitement, nervousness, etc., but I didn't see it. 
“Why do you want to marry me?” I asked. 
He’s like, “What do you mean?” 
“Why do you want to marry me?  What made you just then, at this moment, decide that you want to spend the rest of your life with me?” 
There was this long pause.  This guy, who claimed he wanted to marry me, didn't give any foresight or deep thought before he even asked me this question. 
Needless to say, I didn't accept his proposal.  I have encountered not just this man but know of men who have muttered these words without any deep thought or foresight. 
I know that’s not the majority of men out there but I just don’t want there to be a misconception that the scenario cannot happen.
So T’s flippant proposal set the standard, in a sense.
The guy has to be sincere in his attempt, and he has to be willing to express how committed he is to the relationship—if he is in it for the long haul. The way to symbolize this attempt is through the presentation of the ring during the time of proposal.
No, I don’t expect a guy to spend three times his salary for an engagement ring. To me, that is a bit ridiculous, especially if the two parties are starting off their lives and are trying to build towards the future. There are too many people in debt who are caught up in looking the part instead of being fiscally responsible. I would flip if someone spent three times his salary just to get me an engagement ring.
I know some women would be flattered; however, I’m the type that would want him to put that towards the future—saving up on a house, investing in a vacation for the honeymoon, down payment on a car, paying off student debt…other scenarios than getting a flashy ring that’s more to impress onlookers than me.  
(If he wants to upgrade me in the future and he definitely has the means, feel free; otherwise, he shouldn't be a fool.)
Also, I don’t think a diamond has to be the only stone to represent an engagement ring. True, I’m a big fan of diamonds, but I love sapphires more (my birthstone). You can use any stone you want as long as the meaning behind it is “I intend to spend my life with you.”
There has to be actions to match the words.
When my now husband decided in his mind he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, he went to my grandparents (who raised me as their daughter) and asked for their blessing. I know one rarely even sees that anymore. I never brought a man I was seeing around my grandparents unless I knew his intentions with me were serious. I can count those men on one hand. It was just part of my upbringing.
He is the first and only man who has come to my grandparents like that, and they respected him for that. Once he got their blessing, he made moves to get the ring and strategized how he would do it. I could tell a lot of thought went into how he would do the proposal. It didn't have to be the fancy one karat with the highest clarity.
What mattered to me is the thought behind the proposal and he secured a ring to present to me. What mattered is that he loved me and that he was proud to announce to the world (in this case, a very crowded Cheesecake Factory) his undying love for me—intermingling my engagement ring with my one of my favorite desserts, strawberry cheesecake.
I accepted his proposal.
Did I get a few comments about the ring? Sure. I got everything from, “Hey that’s cute!” to “Why didn't he get you some bigger diamonds?”
They will probably say the same thing about my wedding band.
Well, they don’t have to wear the ring, first of all.
Second, an engagement ring isn't a stuntin’ contest—a competition to see which chic can get the biggest diamond from her man.
I feel like a woman should worry less about what outsiders think about the ring and just be thankful to have a man that loves her enough to want to invest a life with.
I'm just saying. 
Have a terrific weekend!


ABoyd378 said...

"I feel like a woman should worry less about what outsiders think about the ring and just be thankful to have a man that loves her enough to want to invest a life with."

I am VERY Proud of you for reaching this epiphany. It does my heart proud to see that there are still ladies out there who can recognize this Big Picture. Your husband thought THAT MUCH of you to do what he did, Propose to and Marry you. In that, I am very happy for you both!

At the same time, I am wholly disappointed in the women who do not have the foresight, let alone Clarity of Mind, to think THIS critically. If those women took 3 minutes to think it through and realize the importance of a man doing this act, I can say that there would be MORE happy couples walking around who'll appreciate who and what they have.

Reggie said...

I wish you the very best!!!