Sisterhood Blog

Putting a Ring on It

By Simi Lampert

  • Print
  • Share Share

This post is the second in “Feminist, Orthodox and Engaged,” a series by Simi Lampert on love, sex, and betrothal in the life of a Modern Orthodox woman.

Gary Bridgman/ Wikimediacommons

I parked my car in a garage for the second day in a row, and the parking attendant recognized me. “Will you be parking here every day?” he asked. “I hope not!,” I said, thinking of the cost.

“I hope yes,” he replied, leering slightly. (Okay, the leering might just be the result of my own imagination.)

When I paid my ticket that night, I flashed my left hand, hoping the diamond on my finger would tell him what I wanted to but didn’t: back off. I’m engaged.

Growing up a Modern Orthodox woman in the US meant trying to balance the ideals of American beauty — basically, be beautiful and sexy and desirable— with the modesty Judaism preaches. I ended up inheriting a confusing mix of the two and would wear skirts and long sleeves, but wanted men to find me attractive nonetheless.

I do my makeup when I’m not too lazy, make sure my hair looks nice, and I kind of secretly like it when men whistle at me. And now that I’m engaged, this mixture of glamour and modesty has only gotten more complicated.

I love my ring for superficial reasons. It is a beautiful, sparkly piece of art. But I also love it for more meaningful ones. My fiancé gave it to me as a symbol of his affection and our plan to spend forever together, and for that reason alone it means more to me than anything else I own.

I catch myself staring at it all the time, adjusting it, playing with the light at my desk, or on the train, or anywhere else it catches a beam. Unsolicited compliments on my ring leave me smiling to myself the rest of the day. And yes, I’ve been looking at it between every other sentence while writing this.

When my fiancé proposed, ring in hand, my response, instead of “yes,” was “ooh, give it to me, I want it!” And I do want it. I love the feeling of it, the permanence of it. The weight of it is both comforting and a reminder of things to come.

And being attractive still matters: only now, it’s less important to me to appear pretty in the eyes of everyone I pass, and more important to be considered the most beautiful woman in the world to one person.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Engagement

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.