My father wore his high school class ring just about every day of his life. It wasn’t until he was much, much older that his ring was replaced with a ring from the Knights of Columbus, and I don’t think that happened until after he married Ann. I just always remember the Bishop Neumann class ring as a permanent fixture on my dad’s hand.
So when it was my turn to get a class ring, not only was I excited to get it – it is, after all, a right of passage in high school – but my dad was excited to purchase it for me. I think it may have been a Christmas gift for me that year, but I was so over the moon thrilled to get it. I wore that ring often, and even when I stopped wearing it, I used to pull it out once in a while and reflect fondly on the good memories I had of high school, my friends, and the day I got that ring. I would reminisce about how many times I had it turned, how many times I polished it after someone left fingerprints on the stone when they turned it, and I would think about how I felt like I was growing up to have earned that ring.
When Brighid came home yesterday with the information to order her ring, I got that same rush of excitement that my dad must have felt. My little girl really IS growing up, and she has reached the point in her life where she gets to meet the right of passage that is the class ring. In a couple of months, there will be a special Mass said and a special dance to commemorate the receipt of the class ring, and it will be one step closer for her to finishing high school and moving in to a whole other phase in her life.
And it was with that excitement that I mentioned to her father today that Brighid got her class ring order form and packet. He mustered up about as much enthusiasm as one would over opening a can of tuna fish. It seems my husband did not get a high school ring. I don’t know if that was his choice or if it was a financial decision made by his parents, and he does not remember. I know it was a HUGE purchase for my dad back in the day, at $85. It was the most expensive thing I had ever owned up until that point. Jim would have gotten his ring right around a year or so later, so I imagine the cost was around the same. Maybe it was out of the budget for his family at the time. It’s certainly reasonable to accept that.
But apparently, his lack of a high school ring has put a damper on the whole experience. He sees no reason for Brighid to get a ring, and I see it as important as paying tuition each month. And believe me, these rings aren’t cheap now, either; and I completely understand, especially after the big Sweet 16 party we just had, that it would be a stretch for us to buy one. The ones that are just metal – meaning no real gold in them at all – start at $189, and that’s before you engrave her name on it or anything! But I just feel like it’s something she HAS to HAVE!
So, I’m looking for comments, and for people to rally around me. Did you get your class ring, and how important was it to you then? How important is it to you now?
And does anyone want to buy a slightly used but in good shape kidney so I can pay for the darn thing LOL!!