Thursday, October 28, 2010

Something that Sparkles (for him).

I thought we'd continue the "Sparkle" theme from my last blog and discuss mangagement rings. 

Not "management" but "man-gagement".

(And no, I'm not writing or reading or discussing this because I'm in the market. I stumbled across an article about this a few weeks back and just found it intriguing).

So now, with that out of the way, I think the name is corny as all get out! 

The term "engagement" is not gender specific so why the marketers of this movement felt it necessary to gender-ize it I won't ever know. 

I must be honest though. I am torn in my thoughts of this concept. The anti-consumerist in me believes it's just another marketing ploy by the jewelry companies trying to entice us into putting  more money into the economy by giving "mangagement" rings. 

Then there is the hopeless romantic in me that believes everyone should have the right to wear a visual (and sparkly) symbol of their love...and the hopeless romantic is arm-in-arm with my feminist side that believes it's equal for both partners to wear a ring (even if the tradition is a tad archaic in its origins). And I don't care if the couple is girl-boy, girl-girl, boy-boy...the proposer and the proposed should both get the chance to wear something shiny.

Being torn between the idea (despite the name) being a marketing gimmick and a romantic idea I thought I'd ask my (married/partnered) friends what they thought. I posted a note on FB called "To Bling or Not to Bling?" 

I wanted to know if they had heard of "mangagement" rings? 

After the proposal did one or both of them wear an engagement ring? 

Was the engagement ring it a simple band or did it have bling? 

Did either of their wedding bands have diamonds (or other stones) in it
or were they just simple bands? 

I wanted to know what they thought of the idea of a "mangagement" ring and if it was a symbol of equality between a couple or simply a money making promotion?

I was overwhelmed by the responses (not only from people I had tagged in the note but also from others who were curious and decided to read). 

A large number of them had not heard of this (supposed) new phenomenon (Google "mangagement" and you'll be given over 300,000 websites...there's even a blog here on blogspot that is strictly about the "mangagement" ring) but some had. 

One friend used the same ring she was given as an engagement ring as her wedding ring. Another female friend proposed to her husband, complete with ring. There were some who thought it was a wonderful idea, or that it only made sense because after all both people are engaged and after all both people wear a wedding ring. Then there were some who said that of course it was a marketing ploy, that they (or one of them) doesn't have a wedding band even, and then some who feel the blurring of gender lines is being taken too far.

In the end though most people can agree that it's up to the couple to decide; much like what the wedding bands will look like or to have a promise ring first. I don't think I'll be visiting my local Tiffany & Co anytime soon but if my sweetie wants one I'll be more than happy to bring home a little blue box. As one friend said "Vive la honesty and self-expression!" 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finding that Sparkle!

Aristophanes tells us that "...[Man] could walk upright as men now do, backwards or forwards as he pleased, and he could also roll over and over at a great pace, turning on his four hands and four feet, eight in all, like tumblers going over and over with their legs in the air; this was when he wanted to run fast …Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they made an attack upon the gods ... Doubt reigned in the celestial councils...At last, after a good deal of reflection, Zeus discovered a way. He said: 'I have a plan which will humble their pride and improve their manners; men shall continue to exist, but I will cut them in two and then they will be diminished in strength and increased in numbers; this will have the advantage of making them more profitable to us. They shall walk upright on two legs, and if they continue insolent and will not be quiet, I will split them again and they shall hop about on a single leg." (Aristophanes, Plato’s Symposium) So now we're destined to find our other halves, our soul mates, to reunite and rejoin. 

Then there are those who believe soul mates are never on the same astroplane at the same time.  that we are each half of a whole - opposites - and will not be reunited until after many reincarnations and our karmic debts are paid. Then fusing us back together as one.

Other's don't believe there are such things as "soul mates" but rather that we all have multiple "kindred spirits" that come and go out of our lives time and time again. This could be your best friend, your first grade school crush or even your Crazy Aunt Louise.  They serve a purpose and will always be connected to you and there isn't just one. 

LOL. I have to admit this makes me think of the Friends pilot episode when Joey tells Ross there is no such thing as "One Woman"...and that's like saying there is only "one kind of icecream" for every person. 

"Ross: You know what the scariest part is? What if there's only one woman for everybody, you know? I mean, what if you get one woman, and that's it? Unfortunately, in my case, it was only one woman for her. 
Joey: What are you talking about? One woman? That's like saying there's only one flavor of ice cream for you. Let me tell you something, Ross. There's lots of flavors out there. There's Rocky Road, and Cookie Dough and Bing. Cherry Vanilla."

*     *     *

Yesterday, at lunch with co-workers, we were discussing relationships and one co-worker mentioned how she was disappointed her bff didn't marry a man that "made her Sparkle"....he was a nice man who treated her friend well but he "just wasn't the one". The other co-worker said how some times people get tired of looking for that Sparkle and settle on a few little sparks. 

I didn't mention it at the time but that conversation did "spark" something inside of me. 

Have I ever Sparkled? I feel like I've it something only other people can see? Something only those close to you can tell? Would you know if someone made you Sparkle or could you just be disillusioned by lust to think they made you Sparkle?

How can you tell if someone Sparkles? Is it when they are physically near their significant other? Can they be mearly talking about...or even just thinking about their partner? 

Who is anyone to tell me (or anyone else for that matter) if their partner does or doesn't make them Sparkle? Can't a relationship grow and develop into a Sparkle just like a Sparkle can go out? 

*     *     *

I think a text early in the morning saying "thinking of you" is more romantic than a hundred Hallmark cards poetically expressing love.  A single handpicked daisy, just because it's a Tuesday, means more than two dozen roses on Valentine's Day. I'm a hopeless romantic what can I say?

I've long believed in soul mates...well maybe something more like a combination of soul mates and kindred spirits. I think that a soul mate does complete you (do I dare quote Jerry McGuire?), that they challenge you in areas that you need challenging, they are opposite and complimentary at the same time. 

They push - you pull. 

But kindred spirits (can) do the same. There are people in my life who have strengths where I have weaknesses and vice verse. I think a soul mate has a little extra touch of something special though. 

...Call it a Sparkle...
...Call it a warm fuzzy feeling...

Either way you just know there is something extra special about this person. Something unlike anyone else and I don't think anyone can know except you and that soul mate.