The Dinner Ring

33. Jewelry: Write about a piece of jewelry. Who does it belong to?

https://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/

Oh, the indignity!

That I, a fabulous dinner ring, should be trapped here on your left hand! Mashed up against your wedding band!

This is NOT where I belong!

Time was when I was a show-stopper, only worn for the most special occasions. I was a dinner ring (not to be confused with my rather gaudy and tacky cousin the cocktail ring).

While a cocktail ring was worn in the speakeasys of the 1920s and designed to be so blindingly bright that you wouldn’t notice how terrible the moonshine was, I was born of a much classier generation.

The Origins of Dinner Rings

My kind came about in the 1930s and 1940s when the dinner party came into vogue. Back then, you know, people actually dressed for a dinner party.

I was given as a gift to Frances Reid (nee Cardo) by her husband, then Col. Samuel L. Reid, in 1943 or 44. I can’t remember. It was before the end of the war, I know that.

I was worn on the right hand. My job was to catch the eye and communicate class. I was not designed to stupefy with my brilliance, but rather to say, “Here you see wealth and taste flawlessly combined.” Unlike other dinner rings, I am a diamond surrounded by smaller emeralds. Normally, it would have been the other way around. But the fact that my diamond is my largest stone shows my value!

And now… Now!

The glory days of the 1940s, 50s and 60s faded. Fashions became more casual. As Frances became ill in the 1970s, I spent most of my time in my box, nestled in her vanity table. I longed for the clink of crystal classes, and the ringing of true silver on fine china.

When Frances died, I feared I would be forgotten and passed along most indignantly. I was relieved to find myself given to her daughter. Resized to fit a rather larger hand (she had been a basketball player, after all), I once again saw the light of day.

But this time, I found myself in the strangest situations. At the theater! Playing bridge! What?? These are not the scenarios I was designed for! I am a DINNER RING! I was meant to catch the light reflected from a chandelier!

It Got Worse

I should have counted my blessings then, though. At least with the daughter I was worn at rather more formal occasions.

Now, I’m with the granddaughter. With her, there’s not even bridge! Has this woman EVER been to a dinner party? Judging from the way she holds her fork, I should say not.

These days I’m lucky if I don’t get smeared with hand cream or worse, butter. I’m worn daily, but on the left hand! I’m supposed to stand out on my own on the right! Instead, I’m shoved up next to a plain little wedding band (who has more cheek than such a simple ring ought to have).

Frequently I am removed and placed in a tray high up on the raised kitchen counter. At least from here I can watch and don’t have to feel the flour, dish soap and other kitchen elements rubbing into my old joints.

I’m exhausted. I don’t belong here.

But when I cast my memory back to those long years, closed in the box in the vanity table, sometimes I tell myself this isn’t so bad.

So I’m not being treated with the dignity and reverence I deserve. I seem to have been mistaken for an engagement ring. All the same, I must tell myself that at least I am being worn.

And what is a ring, if not to be worn? And to bear witness to the lives of those who have worn me?

(If only she’d clean me once in a while!)

Jane

The Brain In Jane works mainly in the rain. It's always raining somewhere. Find me on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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