Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Faux Purity Ring

While in a discussion with other female grad students, the topic of purity rings came up -- with hilarity and skepticism.  In fact, two other girls did have one, but mine was exceptional; it came from the French Quarter in New Orleans!


Teens are often subjected to social pressures; and they sometimes don't handle them very well.  Case in point came when I was sixteen.  Some friends who attended a Baptist church and their fathers were induced (read arm-twisted) into undergoing a Purity Pledge ceremony, during which the girls pledged to abstain from doing it before marriage.  As a token of their pledge, their fathers gave them silver purity rings inscribed with "True love waits."

Apparently, they were very pleased to announce their virgin status, and carried it a step further:  they raised questions where other peoples' rings were. 

When will they have their Purity Ring ceremony?  Or, were they . . . . sluts!!?  Thus is teen logic; or what passes for it at times.

You can imagine the effect this had on sixteen year old me, since I was a Catholic and our church didn't go in for that sort of public ritual.  (May crownings and flying novenas are okay, though.)    The fact that one implied that "all Catholic girls are sluts" didn't help.

So I went for the easy solution.  I lied.

It so happened that I was in the French Quarter the previous weekend, and I bought a cheapo ring from a touristy store, the kind so loved by mid-adolescents.  It had a pink glass (?) stone and was of a shiny silver metal.  Yes, dear readers, I told them it was a Catholic Purity Ring.  I was a good enough liar that I seemed convincing.

But God gets at you for lying.  She doesn't buy the mental reservation defense.

Specifically, since I lose things, soon I lost my "purity" ring.  (Oh.  My. God.  They'll think I lost my virginity.)  My brother commented once about my tendency to lose things by saying that I would probably misplace my virginity someday.  I threw something hard at him.

Panic City.  I needed it, like the next day.  Really, really, the next day!

Fortunately, my parents came through.  I explained the situation to them, initially circumspectly, and Daddy drove me down to the souvenir shop to buy another one at 10 P.M.  Actually, I bought a spare at the same time.  I was taking no chances.

Furthermore, at no time did either parent ask whether I merited a purity ring!  My Dad, however, did express privately his relief at not having to participate in such an ishy ceremony.


Banana Oil said...

Oh my gosh! This is so real! You should be excused for your bending of the facts.

Anonymous said...

Great story. In what sense should we interpret "faux purity ring.?

bakku-shan said...

Totally incredible! That people still get uptight over virginity.

Bilbo said...

I was always looking out for a girl with an impurity ring, myself. Sadly, those who wore them in high school never seemed to be interested in me. Now that I'm teetering on the brink of the big six-oh, they're finally interested. Life's weird that way.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Banana Oil and Anonymous: Only in the sense that it was not officially sanctioned and blessed over in a ceremony.

Bakku-shan: They do.

Bilbo: I'm intrigued with the idea of an impurity ring. The concept definitely has its uses. Was that something that signalled that status to guys without tipping off parents, kind of like tramp stamps do today? Or whatever cougars seem to use nowadays? Life is weird in lots of ways.

Atomic Dog said...

I think that it's rough to bully young girls just because they engaged in sex. The Fundies are out of hand!

Anonymous said...

Bilbo's concept of the impurity ring should be widely adopted!