“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery
We’re still not pregnant but throughout our baby-making attempts Jeanine has sat in numerous waiting rooms surrounded by mommies-to-be. She has already told me that when she is pregnant and showing that she wants to start wearing a wedding ring. Her reasoning surprised me a bit. She said that it’s because she doesn’t want to walk around looking like an unwed mother.
We’ve been together over four years and have discussed exchanging rings and shopped for them on more than one occasion. But for me personally, the thing holding me back from the purchase is one of finances. We both have in mind what we want and the one that I want is in the range of $12,000. In my opinion this is an obscene amount of money so I’m willing to wait until we are in place where we could comfortably afford it.
With all the money we are investing in trying to make a baby, I expressed to Jeanine that rings just weren’t a priority purchase right now. Since we never thought rings were needed to prove our love, I’ve always been comfortable and willing to wait until we could afford what we wanted.
Now I’ve come to understand that there might need to be an interim solution. So once Jeanine is pregnant, she wants a simple wedding band. The “ring” topic for queers is often charged with the politics surrounding gay marriage but let’s first talk about the history of rings.
PlanetOut.com has an informative article called Ring Me Up that was excerpted from “The Essential Guide to Gay & Lesbian Weddings” by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown.
“The ring is one of humankind’s oldest forms of jewelry. In the last decade of this millennium you’re likely to find a ring encircling or piercing almost every conceivable part of some person’s body, the third finger of the left hand remains the primo location for a wedding ring today. Why? Well, sometime after the Middle Ages, folks began to believe that a vein ran from that finger directly to the heart. That’s the romantic interpretation, anyway; the more pragmatic one goes like this: the third finger is the least active finger of the hand (no snickering please; we mean that it’s hard to lift independently) and is therefore the best place for a ring to be displayed and not get worn out.”
“Rings are one part of the straight relationship world that many gays adopted for the get-go. It isn’t uncommon for lesbian and gay couples who live together in monogamous relationships to wear wedding rings, even if they’ve never had any kind of formal ceremony. This shouldn’t come as any surprise, because for a long time wearing a wedding ring was seen as one of the few ways for gays to ‘get married.’ Many chose to exchange rings to symbolize their commitment to each other – just the same as any married heterosexual couple would.”
The article continues on about rings and politics. Go check it out for further reading. Instead here, I’ll turn the conversation to finances because it takes money to buy a ring. What about cost and budget?
Kathy Belge, the Lesbian Life writer at About.com gives purchasing tips for women. She writes, “When it comes time to buy your lesbian wedding rings or commitment ceremony bands, sure you can go to the jeweler at the mall and face possible homophobic sales staff. Or you can spend your money at a lesbian owned or lesbian friendly business. Here are some top places to find lesbian wedding rings and commitment bands.”
At the top of her list is Love and Pride, one of our sponsors at Queercents. They have a lovely line of commitment and wedding rings designed by the Israeli jewelry designer, Udi Behr. His inspiration came when he saw the Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsome on television supporting gay marriage and he soon created an extensive line of wedding and commitment bands tailored for the gay and lesbian community.
They also have a handy drop down search feature that’s let you select and view by price. I will make use of this when we start to shop for our wedding bands. In the meantime, we continue to focus on getting Jeanine pregnant!