I am not a big jewelry girl. I tend to like chunky silver stuff, some cool wrist cuffs (never worn together), and my necklace with thin tags stamped with my sons' names. Long before I ever watched Blood Diamond and was horrified by the diamond trade depicted in that film, I just never really 'got' diamonds. I don't go around sneering at other people's jewelry choices like I may about their parenting choices (hee-hee). OK, I only may sneer on occasion if the piece is so ostentatious it's meant to be noticed by others, even while sitting on the other side of say, a baseball stadium from said finger wearing said ring. And truthfully, I'm just not around folks with that kind of taste... or money.
I've heard these stories about women who just wouldn't even consider marrying a guy if he didn't get her the 'right kind' of rock or even these so-called "push presents," some strange custom of giving a new mom expensive baubles for, uh, how to explain. OK, here's a quote from the New York Times: “'It’s more and more an expectation of moms these days that they deserve something for bearing the burden for nine months, getting sick, ruining their body,' said Linda Murray, executive editor of BabyCenter.com. “The guilt really gets piled on.'" I just don't relate. I wear a plain white gold wedding band that first belonged to my husband's grandma, and I certainly didn't expect anything material-wise for having carried our children. What I did expect was a full partner in the parenting department: someone willing to take on as much of the care of the babies that I did, not championing the 'aren't I such a great dad for changing one diaper.' And this partner I got fully in P. Here's a guy who gave up a great career in NYC, running an amazing organization with numbers of staff people working for him, to take on a job in rural Maine with no prestige and no retirement account, where he answered fully to two cranky and demanding bosses, a.k.a. one-year-old twins.
So I don't want nor do I get jewelry from my husband. But let me illustrate what I do get. Tonight at 10:45PM, P announced he was exhausted and going to bed. I just got home at 9:45PM from a meeting and was still looking for some down time before sleep. He went into our room, slipped into bed on my side, and will sleep there until I'm ready to climb into bed. I'll nudge him a bit and he'll roll to the right, his designated territory. He does this, starting out on my side, totally unprompted, because he knows how much I hate climbing into a cold bed. And that act, my friends, is so much more precious to me than any gem-studded piece of metal.