What’s that you say? Sly, wearing a…ring?

As we’ve long known, rings are culturally significant gifts. But as we’ve also known, Sly is one to play with the significance of such items. For instance, my faux-engagement for a few months last summer. Serious.

This one is a little more conventional, though the partner and I have no plans of marriage or anything. For starters, it’s illegal in this state, and the real important part is that we’ve been together much too short a time to consider it. But as i type, the claddagh flashes back at me, turned with the heart in and the crown out. I’m owned.

But is it read that way? I go shopping this morning, and I’m a single man walking around with a ring. I’m much more likely read as an owner than anything else. Out of the context of seeing the both of us, a ringed man is identified as a woman owner. And what is it that the partner and I intend? He says that he wants it to be something of his (he used to wear it) to remember him by. Is that how I read my use of this?

As I mentioned, last summer, I gave an “engagement” ring to a friend…and we played with the idea that a man and woman are automatically together if they spend enough time together. It had an odd history, marking both our agreement to perform this kind of burlesque of the normative hetero pairing…and by later absence, our eventual falling out.

Now, I look at this decidedly less ironic piece of jewelry…

What exactly are my investments in these ideas? Am I really pushing back? Or did I just sell out?