It was not a big, romantic gesture. Neither of us got down on one knee, hold a flash mob, or write it across the sky. We talked about it one day, nodded, smiled, and said, “Let’s do it.”
Theo and I decided to to get engaged in mid-August. I wanted to tell everyone I knew and some people that I didn’t know – the pizza guys around the corner, the cops at the train station, whoever would listen, or not listen. I didn’t really care whether they listened, I just wanted to tell them. But we decided not to tell anyone until we had my engagement ring.
“Who’s buying the ring?” Theo asked.
“You are,” I said.
I explained that women, popularly, wear two rings. An engagement ring is presented first and then a wedding ring at the marriage ceremony.
“What do men wear when they’re engaged?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I said.
“Well, that’s bullshit.”
While it took me a couple of weeks to find a ring I love, I think it took Theo about ten minutes on Google. He selected a black tungsten carbide ring. Tungsten carbide is extremely hard, resistant to scratching, and used in industrial machinery, cutting tools, abrasives, armour-piercing rounds, other tools and instruments, and jewellery. And it’s black because he wears black everyday. It’s perfect for him.
Theo doesn’t wear any jewellery and he was apprehensive about wearing a ring. He said he’d probably just wear it during special occasions, but he hasn’t taken it off.
As for me, a couple of weeks and a dozen jewellery stores later, I fell in love with this rose gold ring (and the accompanying band not shown). Theo (reluctantly) forked out the big bucks, but I still had to wait. The bridal set had to be made and it was going to take eight weeks (it took 10).
When we both finally had our rings, the US election happened. I was very upset and so were most of my friends. I didn’t feel like telling anyone and I was worried that the mood wasn’t going to improve. Theo encouraged me to call my family and tell them. I did and they were happy and then I was happy. And I was reminded that we have to make our own happiness sometimes.
We told his family next. Then we announced it on Facebook. And there was an outpouring of love.
Everyone has questions. When? Where? What are you going to wear? We don’t have any answers. My family and most of my friends are in America. Theo’s family and most of his friends live here in Australia. We understand that people can’t or won’t fly. So, we’re going to have conversations, explore options, and get creative. But later. Right now, we’re just going to enjoy being engaged, enjoy Christmas, and ring in the New Year.