Dan Brooks is 41 years old, he is getting married for the first time and therefore needs a wedding man. How to choose ? Here are his tips, but especially his hilarious journey through the world of jewelry for men in order to find the ideal ring that he will wear for the rest of his life (which he hopes, anyway)!
Looking for a men's wedding band
"I recently purchased my wedding ring myself. It was a good opportunity to go to the mall, enjoy a smoothie, and remember how happy my dad seemed in the months following his divorce. I've always known him with a big gold wedding ring on his finger. I remember after he moved from the house I grew up in to a neighbor's basement room, how his hands looked bare as he gestured to tell me something. funny what his roommate said while they were eating soup and watching TV.
Another wedding ring that stood out to me was that of one of my bosses. It was black, made of anodized metal. He could use it to open beer bottles, which I thought was extremely cool. I remember making a resolution to learn how to do this. But as the decades pass, many things that impressed me when I was young now leave me indifferent.
Going to a jewelry store at 41 was kind of like visiting a club. I felt compelled to justify myself to people who weren't interested. In particular, I told the saleswoman that I was getting married for the first time. I absolutely wanted her to know that I was one of the good guys. And even though the number of aging single people who marry and adopt children after many years of living responsibly despite using banned substances here and there is statistically low, that didn't stop me from regularly visiting student meetings with an 11-year-old boy who sometimes calls me Dad instead of Dan. That's why I found myself in this jewelry store alone and so old.
You can't bother people with a biography like that. That's why I preferred to escape from the jewelry store to go to the Greek and eat feta fries. I then looked at the rings on my phone. I mention all this because I would like to clarify 2 things. First of all, I am not the victim of an identity crisis. Second, right in the middle of this supposed identity opportunity, the internet was there to gift me this gunmetal plated titanium wedding band with a raw look. Hence the question: Am I the type of guy for raw looking gunmetal plated titanium wedding bands?
Jonathan Ruggerio is the boss of ManlyBands.com, a company that sells jewelry online and specializes in men's wedding bands. His company is based in Utah, where Ruggerio lives with his wife and a marigold he calls "sausage fingers". As he explained to me, his experience of buying a wedding band was humbling.
"I've never worn jewelry in my life,"" he told me. " The jeweler passed me the instrument to take my size, but mine was not available. I really felt bad.» Eventually he found an online jewelry store that could provide him with a wedding ring in his size. But when he received the product at home, it was half a size too big. Moreover, he had received it in a vulgar envelope. It wasn't quite the experience he had imagined.
"Guys should be able to buy that men's ring that they really want, that they're excited to get," he said. “My wedding ring was like getting the junk you can only buy on the internet.»
Ruggiero bought his wedding ring junk on the Internet in 2016, the year he married his wife Michelle. He then launched his brand, which now sells 3000 men's rings per month. The 2 had no previous experience in the men's jewelry sector. He worked for Getty Images in Los Angeles, she was an actress. But disappointed for her husband by the episode of the alliance, she agreed to embark on this field with him. John didn't like his ring, because it was so plain. Anyone with "sausage fingers" could have worn it. This feeling, that a purchase makes you look more like other people than you stand out, was unfortunately the norm in the men wedding ring market.
The gold men's ring, completely out
If there's one obvious trend in the men's wedding band market, it's that gold is no longer fashionable. Of course, it is still possible to find gold rings. But lots of other materials are available. Carbon fiber, stainless steel, wood, animal antlers, even from meteorites. With these rings can even open bottles of beer, in order to be as ingenious as my old boss. Manly Band even offers a men's ring set with fragments of dinosaur bones.
This product is living proof of the power of the Internet when it comes to satisfying unsuspected needs. In any city, the demand for dinosaur bone wedding bands is too low for a jewelry store to display. But in the digital market, the planet becomes a village. There are enough men looking for rings made of antler, barrel antler that was used to make whiskey or titanium to market them. The internet is a haven for niche products that cater to specific tastes or interests of buyers.
Thanks to this, the 21st century allows us to express our identity through our purchases. In a world in which everyone drives the same car or almost, where we wear the same clothes, a real market for personalization is opening up. And with that, purchases become existential rather than functional. Buying such a wedding ring today not only symbolizes your union, but also your identity.
Let's say you like hunting. Where I live in Montana, the camouflage outfit is socio-economically the equivalent of the Burberry plaid in the early 2000s. So Manly Band has teamed up with hunting brands to create the manliest camouflage rings you can imagine. I don't like hunting, but I briefly considered buying a camouflage ring. Partly to reflect my boundless love of irony, but also to be better served at auto parts stores.
Similar reasoning deterred me from buying the Peacekeeper, a tungsten wedding band with a thin blue line that runs around its entire circumference. Consider a ring that invites the guest wearer to his identity as a policeman in his wedding. I am not a policeman, but I thought that if I wore such a ring I was likely to get away with it in the event of a check. I finally gave up on this idea, because in return this ring could make me beat up a good half-dozen times.
Men and marriage: cool or not?
But there remains a difficult and important question that demands an answer: is marriage compatible with the life of a tough guy?
Previously, when the identity of the middle-class man meant that his one and only role was to provide for the family, getting married was perfectly compatible with the vision of the manly man, since it made him imposed typically masculine responsibilities. But in recent decades, parity in the world of work and other advances towards gender equality have reduced the number of activities that are the preserve of men.
At my son's school, I saw another dad wearing a sweatshirt that said "I'm a veteran and an asshole, if you don't want to be hurt, pass your path". This garment expressed 2 decidedly male things: violence, and disdain for others. 2 things the antithesis of marriage.
For weeks, I thought about choosing my ring, hiding in indecision. After my fiancée subtly suggested that the most important factor in my choice should be its timelessness, I returned to the mall. I then bought a simple gold wedding band, the same one that could be included in the perfect groom's disguise.
I'm not the kind of guy who needs to wear a tungsten and caribou antler men's ring to feel manly. In the midst of all these masculine options, my simple wedding ring becomes something of a symbol. It challenges recent developments in the capitalist economy while expressing my contempt for the path that my fellow human beings are taking. A generation ago, this wedding ring would simply have indicated that someone had agreed to take me as their husband. In 2019, as we stand on the threshold of the perfect economy in which everything we buy defines us exactly, my ring says you can always define the beast, but never be able to tame it.