It’s Not Just A Ring
Unlike most women (or any woman I know), my fiancé proposed to me with a toy ring. We were sitting in Brooklyn Bridge Park after just having hiked across the infamous Brooklyn Bridge, when he turned to me and asked me to marry him. The proposal came as a surprise for two reasons. The first to catch me off guard was the presentation of a toy ring in the shape of a Tetris block. Could proposals even happen with toy rings? At the time, I wasn’t sure. I quickly racked my movie memory files for a romantic comedy where the leading lady was given a toy for an engagement and lived happily ever after. Surprisingly, I couldn’t recall one. My man is just more creative than most, I eventually agreed upon.
The other reason the engagement ring had come as a surprise was because I knew the ring we both loved didn’t exist yet, well not technically at least. A version of the ring did exist in the glass cases of Neiman Marcus but for an unreasonable, astronomical price, a price I knew Cory couldn’t afford and also a price I wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying on me at all times. So one night over dinner we decided that we would design a similar, much cheaper version of the ring and have a family friend help in its execution. I had just assumed that day would be far away into the future considering we had just moved cross country and Cory recently has had a lapse in writing jobs. For the first time ever, I was happy to be wrong.
I adored my Love Tetris ring and proudly wore it around my neck on a necklace for months after our engagement. I enjoyed telling everyone our story and what the Love Tetris ring symbolized. Over time the Love Tetris ring became the best reminder of why I wanted to marry Cory–we compliment each other in a world where others seem so different than us. For example, unlike most women I never wanted a traditional engagement ring with a diamond setting. Besides feeling gaudy, I feared a traditional diamond setting would ultimately become a weapon used to scratch myself and those around me. Cory, upon learning this new stance, announced he didn’t care for diamonds period.
“Blood diamonds!” he dramatically called out, while standing in our living room and waving a hand up into the sky. I could sense a rant about Africa was at the tip of his lips.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa… let’s not be crazy,” I interrupted. I could see his eyes fluttering in thought and I needed to act quick. I wasn’t going to let him get out of buying me diamonds that easily. “I didn’t say I didn’t like diamonds… just not big ones in big settings.”
Upon hearing this comment, Cory froze, turned to me with eyes wide open and started cackling in only a way he does. He whipped his head back and started clapping hystercally. “What?” I replied shyly. “Hello? I’m still a woman… I like shiny things.”
By now he was crying.
“Um, excuse me. Hello? What’s so funny? I’m the only woman in the world that will tell you she doesn’t want big diamonds. That’s a promise. For all practical purposes, you should snatch me up now,” I informed him, smirking and shaking my head up and down.
Like every good man should, Cory put his hand on my shoulder and told me what I wanted to hear. “Yes. You are right. I’ll keep that in mind.” He was still chuckling and wiping the tears away from his eyes.
“You’re welcome,” I added smiling. He plopped into the couch dumbfounded and shaking his head side to side. It is these moments between us that make me excited for our life together. Knowing Cory and I will continue to laugh our way through life and its challenges is comforting. With this kind of silliness, I should have known a non-traditional proposal was waiting ahead of me. But I didn’t, which made the moment even more special.
Fast forward through the past two months and we have plowed forward with wedding plans. Both still laughing at the whole process. And I still ringless. And then on Tuesday night the UPS man pounded on our door.
“My ring!” I shouted. The ring (or rings, it’s actually three bands put together as one) had been scheduled to be delivered the Thursday before, but for unknown reasons was delayed. I had spent the day waiting by the door for the brown Santa for no reason and consequently felt dumb and devastated. I was not going to get my hopes up for the new UPS delivery date, which was Wednesday, October 10, so I intentionally tried to keep my self busy throughout the week. And it worked, kind of. I had only thought of my ring once the day it actually arrived; I was terrified it would never arrive at all. Now blessed by early postage, Cory and I ripped through the boxes and plastic until eventually we were staring at three diamond bands.
“Wait, wait, wait,” Cory said, holding the rings up high and away from me.
“What!” I shouted impatiently. I had turned into a diamond desiring monster.
“Will you marry me?” Cory asked for the second time, tempting me with the rings by dangling them in front of me.
“Yes! Yes! Of course. Of course. I love you. Now let’s put those things on!”
Now I never said this was my proudest moment. And if I told you I didn’t want or need those rings because love is what really matters–I’d be selling you a bunch of horse shit. Because when Cory slipped those three diamond bands onto my finger I felt like the pretty pretty princess Cinderella, twirling her gown while dancing at the midnight gala. Only I had no where to go at midnight, except for to bed… with the man I plan on sleeping next to for the rest of our lives. Instinctively and without hesitation, I immediately began driving my wheelchair around the couch in victory laps, holding my ring hand high into the air, ridiculously parading my diamonds around for our animals and all of downtown Los Angeles who happened to be peering into our fishbowl of an apartment. For the following 24-hours, I continued to stare at my hand. The wait, first for Cory and then the ring, has been more than worth it. Because when I look down at my finger, I don’t just see a diamond ring. I see my disabled hands as reminders of my past, I see how strong and far I’ve come to date and finally I see a promising future–I can see that I’m a lucky girl.