The actual start date for the graduate's SENIOR YEAR is the last month of the junior year. That's where it all begins. Your child is close to finishing up their school year, everything is going along smoothly and then a month before the final bell rings they suddenly bring home this glossy, slick piece of paper, unofficially declaring your child is headed into their SENIOR YEAR. And what's on that piece of paper?
An order form for The Ring.
No, not that ring.
It's the class ring. That must-have piece of jewelry, destined to lie in state at the bottom of almost every jewelry box in America, never to be seen again 6 months after graduation.
I once tried to pawn mine in the late 80's.
Used to be, you didn't have any options where you could buy your class ring, but in the last decade or so, the big box stores have caught the vision of the needs of seniors everywhere and have made available class rings in their jewelry departments. Along side backpacks and notebook paper, there they are, rows of class rings to pick from. One stop shopping!
I got a hold of my future husband's class ring when we began dating in high school. Tied some yarn around the band and worn it on my ring finger for about 20 minutes. When my hand started to turn purple (due to the jumbo-size ball of yarn I used to size it), I decided the next logical choice was to put it on a chain and wear it around my neck.That solution lasted about 15 minutes. My biology teacher made me take the chain off because it kept hitting the girl next to me. Each time I turned around to talk to my best friend, who was sitting two seats behind me, the ring swung out like a wrecking ball, smacking the other girl on the head. But Mr. Franklin did save me from a lifetime of neck and shoulder pain.
That ring was ginormous.
Nowadays, class rings are more trendy, hip, stylish. Real diamonds. Real gold. Real bling. They don't look much like the traditional class rings of yore. Like way back in nineteen hundred and eighty three. In those days, the girl rings looked like copies of the boy rings that had been shrunk in the dryer.
Today's rings look more like something Lindsey Lohan might be accused of shoplifting.
So when that glossy flyer appeared on our kitchen table last May, I asked the graduate, "so what kind of ring do you want to get?" Anticipating the worse, which is never the case with this kiddo, he looked down at the order form and said, "Naw, I think I'll pass on the ring." And then he walked into the living room and turned on the computer. And that was the end of the class ring discussion.
"Man," I thought, "this senior year, we are gonna get off cheap!!! Yeessss!!"
Ha. Ha. Ha.
I still have my class ring, and my husband's, along with my mother's class ring from 1958. All sitting together for eternity, in the bottom of my jewelry box. Mother's ring is very nice, with it's petite diamond chip centered in black onyx.
Pretty. Classy. Unpawnable.