I went to a raw-stock house the other day to grab an armful of HD tapes.
Behind the front counter were four women - all between 26ish to 33ish, I'd say. None of these women were particularly jaw-dropping. None would have drawn notice in a crowd.
The thing that caught my eye (and, as it turned out, my musings) is that as all four were on the phone, their receiver-clasping hands were all pointed directly at me. I couldn't help but notice the ginormous rocks they were all sporting.
I got to thinking about the practice of engagement rings. Where do they come from? As far as I can tell, it's a quaint tradition that stems from the same women-as-chattel practices that have been followed since time immemorial. It's a mark of ownership. It's purpose-driven to make the following statement: "This woman is owned by someone with the financial means to keep her in luxurious worldly goods." It's designed to be ostentatious, obvious - and removable. Ain't that sweet.
I got to thinking about how far from love that symbol is.
Cut to a moment later that week, when I met a girl who had taken the gesture and made it express what I believe the symbol should be about.
She had a simple tattoo of a ring around her finger, with her love's name forming the band on the inside. She was no pierced-up suicide girl, either - it seemed to be her only tat, from what I could tell. The "ring" was simple, elegant, and permanent - a mark of her own intent, not of anyone's worthiness to possess her. I was struck by the elegant simplicity of it, and of the glimmery, ruddy-cheeked glow that she got when I asked her about it only underlined the fact that she was doin' it just right.
I'm having a lot of moments like that lately - the millions of revelations of a life re-examined with a perspective so fresh it's completely unrecognizable from What Was.