Tonight my wife and daughter will be heading to the local high school so my daughter can be sized up for her class ring.
For $200 or so we will pick out a ring made of geniune fakeonium and the precious stone, glassisious. No doubt mined in South Africa by DeBeers.
Even though it will be made of 100% manufactured material, the day the ring arrives will be a special day for my sophomore daughter - the youngest of our three kids.
She'll have 100 people twist the ring once around her finger. The 100th person - carefully chosen so as not to be Dad - will have to give her a kiss. Or so the tradition goes. I have pretty good idea who the 100th will be, and even though the boy doesn't go to the same school anymore I'm sure my daughter will find a way to make sure he's the one to apply that final ring turn. Just a hunch.
We bought our sons their high school rings, six and three years ago respectively. I doubt either boy knows where their ring is now.
The last time I can recall seeing mine, it was on some girl's finger, wrapped in yarn that was the same dark blue as our school colors so that it would fit snugly on her much-smaller finger. It was a relationship symbol. "Going steady" it was called back in those days. I'm pretty certain the girl had the decency to give the ring back to me after the big break-up. Perhaps it was even a high-velocity delivery from just a couple of feet away. That was too long ago to recall.
While the class ring tradition endures - thanks to the marketing efforts of Josten's - the "going steady" concept vanished long ago. These days "hooking up" - a much more physically intimate experience - is something one does with hardly a thought and maybe after a few beers.
Although it took a lot of hand-wringing and even some cold-sweating to seal the deal, I think I still prefer the "going-steady" concept.