engagement rings

MY CO-worker Y got engaged. She showed me the ring the other day, and it was a shiny gold band with an embossed detail that traces the ring’s circumference, the two ends meeting at the center to make two T-shaped accents. It was a simple and elegant ring — no flashy diamonds or glimmering stones — which was perfect for a quiet, understated woman like Y.

“Did you see the proposal coming?” I asked Y.

“Kind of,” she said. “We went ring shopping during the pandemic, and we finally went on a big trip last week. I had the feeling he was going to propose.”

My other co-worker M is also close to getting engaged. Like Y, M also went ring shopping with her boyfriend recently. She even made design changes to the ring because she’s that jewelry geek. She wears different rings on her fingers, and she knows everything about cuts and karats and all them jewelry thingz. When M saw Y’s ring, she knew right away that it was a Tiffany T. (I was like, woah.)

Excluding family members, Y and M are the only two people I personally know in this city who got, or about to get, engaged. I suppose there’s S too, but S and I aren’t close, and her partner only moved to the country after they got hitched. S did not see the proposal coming at all, but her circumstances were different.

In Y’s and M’s case, the engagement was not a complete surprise. They may not know the exact timing of the proposal, but they at least knew what their rings were going to look like. It’s perfect, isn’t it, because what if you end up not liking the ring that your partner bought? Going ring shopping together is also cool, because at least you both agree that your relationship is headed in that direction.

I never paid attention to engagements and engagement rings until Y got engaged. My mom does not have an engagement ring. All my school friends who got married were either too cool for engagement rings or too, uh, distant for me to give a shit about.

I did not even know that proposals and betrothals were a thing until my late teens when I had long left our small town. Where I grew up, people do not get engaged with a promise ring. People consider marriage as a transaction between two families, not just two individuals, so couples need to gather their families together to formalize the agreement.

I do not see myself getting engaged soon or probably ever, so that’s not an issue. I went solo shopping for engagement rings though. I didn’t buy shit; I just browsed through jewelry websites out of curiosity.

It started because I wanted to know how much a Tiffany ring costs, and boy is it expensive. Even the simplest designs at Tiffany’s cost over $1,000, and anything with stones averages at about $3,000 to $4,000. Wooh!

I also got curious about engagement rings in the Philippines, and I found this supplier zoey.ph. Their rings are a lot more affordable but probably still a little too expensive for the regular Filipino folk. P3,000 is not a small amount over on that side of the world.

I doubt I will ever ask a partner for a ring. I am not a big admirer nor wearer of jewelry. I don’t even wear my iron ring now, and I have no inclination of ever doing so. I did see some rings though that I thought were high-key cute but, ultimately, I would rather spend the money on something else. And if my partner really insisted on wearing some token of whatever, I wouldn’t mind a simple mahogany ring from Etsy. Not that it matters. Just saying.


Featured photo by Denny Müller

3 Comments

  1. Ruo Ruo

    Im a fun of rings when I was 7 or 8 years old. After namin mag move ng house di ko na maalala kung kailan ako nagsuot ulit ng singsing. I’ve become addicted collecting earrings na kasi.
    Some of my college friends got engagement rings too. A former friend got anxious when she lost her promise ring from her boyfriend. Ayon, break na sila. Lol.
    And I remember a relative who got married bragging out the expensive engagement ring na nagkukulay bronze na. 🤭

    Liked by 1 person

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