My sister bought herself a pretty ring at the weekend and I got to thinking about rings ‘n things and their meaning. In my middle-class, suburban thinking, I used to think that only my man should be the one to buy me rings, until The Maestro made it clear after we were married that he had bought me enough rings.
Then, when I saw a pretty l’il thing in Sterns one day and since it was bonus month, I thought, ‘Well, why not?!’ And I bought it. It wasn’t expensive, but it was gleefully empowering to do something like that for myself. Despite fashioning myself as a feminist, I had still been so bound by conventional thinking that a small thing like buying myself a ring became a liberation of sorts.
‘If you like it, you’d better put a ring on it’ is a concept that encourages women to believe that a man is the source of her joy and that only a man is the solution and comptroller of pleasure. In many ways that keeps us believing that other people (men) control our happiness. And so, my learning to buy my own jolly jewellery has emancipated my thinking and has had the unfortunately expensive outcome of several subsequent shopping expeditions. But I have a cool collection of bling now, some of it is even real.
But you know, the pleasure that a little bling brings and the accompanying freedom is merely a symbol of how we should take charge of our own happiness. Stop waiting for other people to make you happy. Go out and find it for yourself.
I am reminded of my mother who believed (as a young woman brought up in the fifties) that a woman could only go to the movies with her man and so when she got divorced, she stopped going to the cinema! And we could never persuade her to just go along with a couple of girlfriends. No, that was for couples in her books. I always thought that was so sad.
How we limit ourselves! And we may well end up miserable while we wait for others to make us happy. And it’s not even their job. They probably don’t realise we are waiting for them to be our white knights either.
The bling in this world is out there just waiting for you to enjoy it: in nature; in your career, in dance lessons on your own, that holiday that you want to take (after COVID maybe). So, ask him out (or not), go to the restaurant or film on your own, book the ticket to somewhere. Life really is yours for the taking.
Just buy the ring yourself. Queenspark has some rather fancy baubles and they only cost R60!