She Posted A Ring On It

il_570xN.65694159Facebook is annoying. Even if you’re the most social of butterflies, an ex’s status update or an embarrassing high school cheerleading photo can tempt you to deactivate. When you factor in enraging political memes, it’s amazing Mark Zuckerberg isn’t pelted with rotten eggs every time he leaves the house.

There is a certain age, however, when Facebook irritation peaks. Between graduating college and turning 30, social media becomes a harrowing landscape of couple vacations and wedding cake toppers. With all the posed babies and whitened smiles populating my Facebook feed, logging in feels like I’ve stepped inside Barbie’s Dystopian Dream House. Every other day, someone pops out a kid or says “I Do.” Emotional voyeurism isn’t so fun, when it makes your weekend of bowling and drunken dancing look lame.

So, it comes as no surprise that a backlash has started. Circulating in the feminist blog-o-sphere recently was a piece from The Cut, lamenting the trend of posting engagement ring photos as status updates. It even hit Jezebel, the feminist blogging mothership, with a rousing endorsement. The argument is that there is no modern status update so irritating as the “context-free diamond,” just a picture of a newly adorned hand with a smugly joyful caption.

Now, I don’t want to be a bad feminist/blogger, but…I couldn’t care less. No, that’s a lie. It’s not even indifference I feel towards ring pictures, but adoration. Despite my well-documented side-eye toward engagement rings, I love looking at other people’s jewelry. Though the whole ring thing is a bit of archaic patriarchy, it’s still a tradition we honor as a society, and one of the few wedding symbols that is both enduring and truly personal. The wedding flags you loved on Pinterest will be used by a hundred other couples this year and the cake will grow stale and molder, no matter how many buttercreams are tasted ahead of time. The dress can be stored away and preserved, of course, but what’s the chance that your daughter will really want a mermaid-style gown with “bling” on the sash?

The ring, however, will stay on your hand forever. It’s also one of the only wedding traditions that involves the tastes of both the bride and the groom. A ring can tell someone so much about a couple, right down to their opinions on traditions and simplicity, just by what he chose with her in mind. So, yeah, I love looking at them. I love being told of a friend’s engagement, through a picture of her great-grandmother’s own wedding ring that fits perfectly on her hand. I love knowing how much a groom adores his bride, thanks to a sentimental little inscription inside. It’s still a tradition which has connotations I’m uneasy with, but…is there really nothing more annoying than a picture of sparkle and a note of joy? I can think of a dozen things posted on Facebook today that make me legitimately enraged and none of them involve something so inoffensive as a ring.

But, then again, perhaps I’m particularly biased today. Because, even after reading those articles and realizing that other women loathe the whole practice, I took a picture of a ring and put it on Facebook. On Saturday, Professor McGregor proposed and I said yes! Afterwards, during an impromptu celebration with our nearest and dearest at a neighborhood pub, I happily posted a ring on it.

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- Grace

PS: In all the joyful hubbub of this weekend, I forgot to make another exciting announcement! Remember that post on marathons that I wrote last year, which had runners across the world sending me death threats? It’s being performed in the 11th production of Bloglogues, a live comedy show in New York City, which features some of the funniest writing on the internet! Crazy, right? If you’re interested in going, this run’s  theme is health & fitness and will be showing through next weekend! They’ve done a few posts from my dear friend Girl on the Contrary, one of which they turned into a musical number. Also, you get a free beer with your ticket. Totally awesome.

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30 thoughts on “She Posted A Ring On It

  1. What an awesome post! AND CONGRATULATIONS! I am excited to read on about wedding related business in the months to come.

    On a related note…I am so fed up with the opulent number of postings related to engagements and perfect men and rings (although all three of mine were great I kept them lower profile by choice). It is enough to make me consider getting off of FB for good.

    Congrats again!

    • Thank you so much for the congratulations, Lauren!! There are already lots of wedding posts in the works. Four days into an engagement and I’m already feeling irrationally ranty about so many things! And, seriously, Facebook is a bit horrible. I have unfollowed a number of people’s posts, just from the sheer number of smug posts. It can all be a bit…much.

  2. Congratulations! I love reading your blog, so it feels like happiness for a distant friend. I’m sure you’ll have amusing things to say about weddings in the near future. :)

    • Susan, thank you so, so much!Also, I’m a bit thrilled, honestly, that you feel that way. I love how the internet can spark emotional connections, even from hundreds of miles away. It’s a pretty amazing thing, getting to share all of these adventures and ridiculous musings with like-minded people.

    • Thank you so much, Melanie! And I’m so very glad to know that I’m not the only one who loves the engagement ring pictures. It’s just so fun to see people’s baubles!

  3. GRACE GRACE GRACE GRACE GRACE!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I take it you accepted Professor McGregor’s proposal since your blog is adorned with a photo of your newly adorned hand? :D

    • Thank you so, so, so much, Yvette! I definitely accepted! :D And, not going to lie, I haven’t been able to stop looking at my newly adorned hand. This is all so wonderful and surreal!

      • You wait till you get to the married bit! It’s STILL (after THREE YEARS) a bit odd saying “my husband”.. lol. (and loving every minute of it….)

  4. Congratulations and best wishes to you! And what a beautiful ring. :) I’m OK with the engagement ring Facebook posts, myself. They’re not anywhere near as annoying as pets and babies!

    • Thank you so much, Christina! And, dear heavens, the baby pictures. Maybe it’s just because I’m not at that stage in my life, but the daily pictures of wee Madison or Aiden make me irrationally irritated. Once in a blue moon is fine, but most people post constantly. There should be an “Unfollow all babies!” option.

  5. Congratulations Grace! What an awesome way to announce the news of your engagement on the blog here :) Amazing news.

    I’m okay with the ring posts on Facebook. Getting more and more bored of “my kid did…” posts and various babies doing weird things. Even though I don’t hate kids or babies. Just get out of my feed!

    Again, congrats! It’s a beautiful ring.

    • Thank you so, so much, Jaina! Also, can we discuss how awesome it would be if Facebook would just filter out the children posts? I want to stay caught up with my friends, but I really don’t need to see Timmy’s every move documented.

    • So true! I actually made a post about the should I post that? Facebook test. It fits so perfectly with your post! Check it out if you get a chance, and congrats! Love your work!

    • Thank you so much, Jessica!! And I may have to institute that policy. I hid a lot of people during the election cycle, but my feed is still cluttered with stories I don’t need.

  6. Congrats Grace!! I hope you have a lot of fun while you plan the wedding.
    I don’t mind the engagement announcement and pictures unless the couple has only known each other for less than a year. What really gets me is pictures of food with the caption “nachos/wings/whatever I made for my man”. It takes a lot of self control to not comment with something snarky.

    • Thank you so much! And – oh,heavens! – if I ever start posting things I made for my “man” (or, worse, “hubby”), then Mae and Kate have my permission to shoot me, because I’m obviously a pod person. That is the most irritating thing! Hiding those people’s posts is just all too tempting…

  7. How exciting, congratulations! And your ring is gorgeous :-)
    I must also admit that I love seeing other girls’s engagement rings and hearing the little story behind it. I’m not overly traditional or whatever but i can’t bring myself to be annoyed at someone sharing a happy and deeply personal moment with me on Facebook. I never posted a photo of my own ring, however tempting it was, but I made sure to send a photo to all my friends. Great post!

    • Thank you so much! Also, I’m so glad not to be the only one who loves these posts. Of all the posts on Facebook, they just feel like some of the most joyful, so why not enjoy them? True happiness is so hard to be annoyed by.

  8. Oh thank god. I posted my ring last year and had many a mixed emotions about doing so. But got over it. It’s the political posts I just couldn’t take. I have a lot less “friends” than I did before last Nov. Congrats to you both and enjoy the crap out of the months to come!

    • Thank you for the the congratulations!! And – oh, lord – you and me both. My newsfeed is quite a bit sparser than it was, thanks to this last election cycle. There was just so much nonsense and vitriol from certain people that I had to hide them, just to protect my sanity. By 2016, I’m really hoping that Facebook figures out a way for us to filter this out.

  9. I highly recommend the “hide” feature. It’s saved my sanity. Felicidades on your engagement! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together!

  10. Hurrah for you, Grace! And a beautiful ring, to boot! (Well done, Professor!)

    I don’t mind the posting of rings on Facebook (I’m far less thrilled about all the new parents posting about their adventures in potty training and what not, that’s not really how I want to start the day). What I don’t like is the family members who see my having commented on something or are friends with friends of mine and say, “Oh, Christiana, did you see who is engaged now?” and then give me the laser stare of why there are no such photos on my Facebook profile.

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