I love the comic strip For Better or For Worse. I love the storytelling aspect of it. (Unfortunately, the story part of it will end soon, but that's another topic.)
She has been criticized for too predictably choosing to pair her young protagonists with childhood sweethearts. Today's strip reminded me of my own pet peeve about the predominant cultural pressures about marriage. (Why in the heck is she "frustrated" about the lack of a firm date? Because life doesn't start until you get married. That's the way it was in "their day" and why she's reacting to an unfixed date negatively.) I'm not saying Lynn Johnston is wrong for portraying it, I'm more reacting to the sentiment. But that's another topic as well.
Some of you may recall a post where I linked to an article about engagement rings and what they mean. Here is a summary of those sentiments in a previous FBoFW strip. It perfectly summarizes the predominant impression of engagement rings. The following is from a Carolyn Hax column and shows better than I can, the impressions from "the other side."
Dear Carolyn: I just got engaged, and I have no interest in a diamond ring. (I'd rather my fiance pay off some bills so we can save for a house.) But whenever I mention having a fiance, all eyes immediately go to my hand ... which is fine, I realize it is a reflex. But people always ask me "Where's the ring?" as if that is the only thing that makes it a valid engagement. What gives?
Dear Anonymous: Scream, drop to your hands and knees, and start "looking" frantically for your "ring." When the doink who asked about it is distracted by helping you search, get up and walk away.
Compare and contrast in 500 words or more, double spaced, with your name and the period in the top right hand corner. Due on Friday.