However, the thing that really gets me is that rings are so boring. Professional jewelry has sharp, soulless edges that get caught on sweaters. And if you're anything like me, any ring on my fingers tends to migrate during the day to every other digit, whether it fits or not. Plus, they can fall off, or be taken off for some innocuous reason and then forgotten. And let's not forget the story that pops up every week in the news about how some poor schmuck's ring was dropped into rock/eaten by poodles/lost down the garbage disposal.
Obvious solution? Propose with something else.
1. A necklace. If you are so fixated on the idea of jewelry that you have nothing more original to do, at least consider that necklaces have more design potential, and they can have larger designs. If you really want to get the message across, get one of those personalized word necklaces with the word "ENGAGED" on it.
If you feel that that it doesn't quite convey all the meaning a traditional ring might, add a few more words so that you can capture it exactly, like "NOW ENGAGED" or "GETTING MARRIED LOOK AT MY BLING." If you find a talented wire jewelry artist, you might be able to forgo the necklace altogether and have your entire love story turned into chain mail.
2. Books. Why wait until you're married to start that family Bible? Give her a giant 20-pound leather-bound monstrosity with your genealogies already written in! If that doesn't symbolize commitment, nothing does.
If that doesn't suit your taste, find a nice edition of something that symbolizes your relationship. Pride and Prejudice to remind each other how much you totally hated each other at first! Twilight because of all the Facebook stalking you did before getting together! The Metamorphosis to prepare for the day when you wake up with a giant cockroach in bed with you! (Recommended for couples who live in Hawaii.)
3. Marbles. Perfect for artistic couples, this engagement gift will be an ongoing and live demonstration of your life together. Once you both exchange marbles, it won't matter how hard you try to keep track of them. They'll be spilled, stepped on, and ultimately lost. If this catches on, retirement homes can have competitions wherein residents can boast of how many marbles they haven't lost after X years of marriage!
4. Glitter. If you are still stuck on the idea of something shiny, choose glitter. Dump a couple gallons on both of you: it won't come off completely for a while, and you'll be shiny like a diamond without spending thousands of dollars!
Bonus: this automatically decorates your engagement spot for use in the engagement photos you'll spam Facebook with (outdoor proposals recommended).
5. Kittens. Inanimate objects are all well and good, but you're proposing that the two of you spend your life together--and people can be a lot harder to get along with than hunks of rock. Plus, what if you have kids? The best way to address this in your initial proposal is by giving him a kitten.
Similar to how you can tell a lot about a person by seeing how he treats waitstaff and retail clerks, you can tell a lot about how your beloved will be to live with by looking at this kitten. If it is starving, missing limbs, or dead, you might want to reconsider. And call the animal cops, which should also satisfy your post-breakup need for nasty things to happen.
If that doesn't happen, either you'll each have a cat to add to your family leading to hours of cuddling and entertainment, or since the cats have a good chance of outlasting your marriage, a built-in purr-machine to assuage your broken soul!
6. Teacups. This is what you're looking for in an engagement symbol. Elegant. Traditional. Comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Has a practical purpose, but is easily put on display. Perfect for use in both the wedding and anniversary celebrations!You don't have to mortgage your house to buy a nice one. And since it has a handle, if you really want to, you can wear it on your finger. If you were crazy.
Engagement teacups: best idea, or bestest idea?