Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Remembering the rules of engagement...

Until recently I was a cupid hater dreading the greeting card bonanza and mandatory chocolate eating. This holiday put my tolerance for all things heart shaped at a minimum, once even considering that tossing a brick through the window of Victoria’s Secret was a viable option. Never the romantic type to fantasize about a dream wedding day, prince charming on a white steed or a two carat tiffany set diamond ring, this fanciful time of year was wasted on a realist like me.
And while I do believe in love, I am reluctant to fall victim to the hype that this holiday brings. Not wanting to end up with a collection of stuffed toys that have personalized messages when squeezed or a pile of super sized heart shaped boxes, my world is kept minimal. In fact, I do not collect things at all, no dolls, beanie babies, spoons of the world or snow globes. Although, some might argue that compulsive shopping has led to a designer shoe collection worthy of a retrospective. In truth, the real collection is at my own fingertips. Having a ring on every finger is a direct result of obsessive shopping combined with extensive vacationing. Typical souvenir shopping is not for me, as the mementos I select do much more than simply commemorate each trip.
One needs only look at my hands to see the fruits of my travels: A blue topaz ring recognizes Spring Break in Mexico, a cuff bracelet marked a spirituality retreat to the red rocks of Sedona, in the Bahamas, a prominent ring for my forefinger was declared at customs. The artisan/sales person of that ring told me that wearing it on that particular finger would bring prosperity. Who was I to argue? I was on vacation, after all.
An excursion to St. John was highlighted by the discovery of ancient drawings called Petroglyphs while hiking. In explaining this natural wonder to a friend, the ring engraved with the ancient symbol was proudly displayed. My incredulous friend answered, so you went to see an ancient tomb and they had a gift shop? She was half right.
Each and every travel I took as a singleton resulted in a gift shop visit which always included jewelry. My hands were an atlas for my travels marking each exotic trip taken. With my passport photo in need of more pages and every finger bejeweled, it seemed that there was no un-chartered territory. Until recently when I received the ring that would change everything. Unaware of all the ring rules, my well studied boyfriend surprised me with a ring of a different kind that has left me speechless. Shopping around the world did little to prepare me for this romantic encounter. I am not sure how he knew what to buy or even where to buy it, but it seems that men know these ring things.
When receiving this ring with a one kneed proposal, I slowly took each and every other ring off leaving my once overly adorned hands forever changed showcasing just one ring. The others rings and bracelets were tucked away like the countless photographs of those bygone trips. But the change was more than just accessory based. This perfectly round, perfectly shiny ring has changed the way I think about everything. The wanderlust desire to trot the globe has been replaced with an overwhelming need to stay put. The jet setter is finally ready to head home.
This change is true of how I view Valentine’s Day as well. This former cupid hater is beginning to see the merits of celebrating the holiday. A recent card store visit required an agonizing hour over the plethora of love greetings in an effort to find the perfect message. I have even planned a special dinner complete with traditional romance; red roses, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. And while my idea was to spend Valentine’s evening at home with my fiancé, he has other plans. This romantic give and take marks another change to adjust to as we stand on the threshold of coupledom. His choice is a surprise Valentine’s Day getaway weekend in Paris. And so I dust off my passport and instead of packing for one, we now pack for two. It remains to be seen what souvenirs will accompany us home from this vacation, but one thing is for sure, I am growing rather fond of that little cupid fellow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an older married woman (married almost 23 years) I must say that living (at least in your heart & actions)as if it is Valentine's day everyday is much better than celebrating it once a year. Try to show your love for your honey everyday. Congratulations!

4:11 PM  

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