Saturday, December 09, 2006

Who is the Lord of the Ring(s)?

I'm not surprised the marriage between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline ended. I mean, ignoring all the obvious reasons, I always thought it was bad karma or something that it was Britney who first proposed to Kevin.

The story goes they were on an airplane. Britney asked him to marry her. He said no ("I thought the guy was supposed to ask") and then later asked her.

Call me old-fashioned but I just don't get this whole "women proposing" thing. I guess I'm not much of a feminist (I'm not burning my pretty bras) cuz I do believe that it is the man's job to propose. Plain and simple.

Of course I am sure there are happily-ever after stories about women proposing to men and so on. But I don't know. Why can't there still be somethings that a man has to do? I would personally be worried that by a woman proposing, the man may just say yes cuz he doesn't want to humiliate or upset her. Of course, this is probably what every proposing guy fears as well.

Anyway, the point of all this is: If the woman proposes to the man, does she have to give him a ring?

I would say yes. I mean, the guy isn't going to give one to her. He didn't ask! She can't get down on one knee with nothing to show for it and say "Will you marry me? "Sure" "Great! Now go buy me a ring!"

And if the girl doesn't get a ring, then surely the man must. You can't have an engagement without someone getting an engagement ring (and on top of that, why don't men get to wear engagement rings? You have all these fiancees out there running around with big rocks on their fingers while the men have to wait until their wedding day to get any kind of cool jewlery. Is it because they want to "maximize" their last months as a bachelor?).

So yeah. If anyone has any insights into whether the girl has to give the guy a ring, I would like to know about it.

My boyfriend and I have a bet going.

****Afterthought**** I have done a bit of research myself and so far found this (according to USA Today):

So, is there a protocol for women bent on getting down on bended knee? The good news: No diamond (or, as I call it, the engage-man ring) is required. The bad news: No diamond for you, either.

So I guess that answers the whole "Does the man have to buy a ring if the woman proposes" question as well as the "Does the woman have to buy the guy a ring" question. As Aspen noted in the comments already, a special token, such as a watch, bracelet, cufflinks etc, may be used in place of a ring.

But the article also brought up another interesting question from one woman:

""I asked my fiancé to marry me several months ago, and he said yes. Since then, several people have hinted that 'a woman proposing is a woman desperate.' Are they right?""

Hmmmm. What do you think?


CarrieBradshaw said...

Well, I'm not sure why men don't two rings, maybe just because it means for a girl. But you know why the guy should propose, because men have more trouble with commitment then women. Really, it would probably make more snese for a woman to do it because they are usuallu smarter about those kinds of things. But I will never propose to a man because I want him to tell me, I wnat to marry you, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, you make me happy not "Okay, gettting married sounds ok, now that you suggested it."

manders said...

i wouldn't feel comfortable proposing to a man either. in theory, though, it shouldn't matter.
what is the history with the man not getting an engagement ring as well? perhaps b/c the man has typically had the finances in the family in the past??

anyway... a topic more pressing on my mind: what are you doing for you b-day?!

Vegas Princess said...

"Engagement rings as we know them today became popular in around the fourteenth or fifteenth century, when the affluent and the royals began to exchange and wear these jewels. However, these items were so expensive that nobody other than the royals and the rich could afford to exchange them. It was to be many centuries before these engagement rings would become more popular or traditional.

The purpose of engagement rings and wedding bands is to convey deep emotions of eternal love, eternal happiness, eternal commitment, and eternal togetherness. In fact, these rings signify eternity - between the giver and the recipient. A ring, of course, is a complete circle with no break and no end or beginning, which means that it just goes on and on - it is eternal.

And, since folklore has it that the fourth finger of the left hand has a vein leading directly to the heart, it is only natural that both engagement and wedding rings would be worn on this particular finger, which was once reputed to be a direct route to the heart."


Thrhoughout history an engagement ring was often seen as part of the marital offerings to the bride's family. Men would show their wealth and bestow many gifts upon her and her family and in return he would receive the bride's dowry.

I believe the man should ask the woman for her hand. It is tradtion to get permission from the parents first and then ask the woman. And in other countries the men get a promise ring with the women that they later use as their wedding band. I know some jewelry makes started to market engagement rings for men some time back but I don't think they made it here in the states.

M said...

I think that maybe traditionally the ring signified some sort of ownership by the man over the women - it sent a signal - "she's taken, don't ever go there". Or maybe it had something to do with signifying how wealthy the groom was 'oh look, I can afford this big diamond, I'll be sure to look after your daughter'. But who knows? Interesting question though.

I am with you totally on the guy proposing - and I'm a femmo, so there ya go! Why can't there still be somethings that a man has to do? ABSOLUTELY!

If the girl proposes she probably SHOULD give some kind of gift - it doesn't have to be a ring.

My friend, got engaged and got the ring of her dreams (he proposed) - they were living together at the time and both saved for the ring. Anyway, he got all bend out of shape because 'what do I get?' so he got a new set of mag wheels. lol.

My cousin was proposed to and got a ring but she bought her fiance an antique gold pocket watch as an engagement gift. It was lovely.

Wombat & Aspen said...

I had actually looked into the whole ring thing when I was (foolishly) planning to propose to my then bf. The answers were mixed, but I'd decided to go with a watch with an inscription on it for the proposal. Never got that far, various reasons, but I still figure it's a good an idea, and symbol, as any.


Anonymous said...

I personally find the whole idea of proposals and weddings to be absurd. This could be because I'm a bitter singleton, or because I've been proposed to by 3 different men and am still unwed. The scary thing about rings is that sometimes I feel people get married to a certain person just because the ring is so tempting.

Around here, everyone is engaged or married or divorced. Most people aren't exactly having great relationships, but there is lots of money floating around, and so the rings are usually quite expensive. I personally would rather marry an awesome guy who bought me a nice but simple ring than a rich asshole who could afford that giant pink princess cut diamond that I REALLY want.

amanda jane said...

I agree with bradshaw!! I think that men have the harder time committing; so for them to ask for your hand is a BIGGER deal!!

Karinaxoxo said...

I would never propose to a guy...I just dont think that is right!!
If my man wanted to wear an engagement ring...say maybe a band that matched the wedding band but with a stone set in it...or maybe a different kind of gold I would've have a prob with it. But the type of guys I'm attracted to would probably hate wearing even a wedding I dont know that I would have to worry about that

simon said...

um.. up to the individuals I think. Relationships are so varied. Most of what we do is a cultural thing, and as women have become more and more independant etc, the role of proposing too has shifted.

I think its what ever "pushes your buttons". If you like tradition great , If not just live together....

for me? tradition.. Man proposes.

Vegas.. your information is veery interesting! I like those "pagan links"

Indiana said...

Isn't the idea of a ring as a mark of both wealth and ownership a little outdated...

The fact that there is an expectation of monetary value (two months salary) only seems to lower the value of such a trinket and reduce it to something less than it should be.

I find it quite interesting in these more enlightened times the things we hold onto from the past, even as other things are foresaken.

And if you ask, you don't get a ring...but then how many couples still ask and rather just come to a consensus...meaning that they have already thought about it, talked about it, and the guy pretty much knows what the woman will say before he asks?