The Accidental Purity Ring.

I’ve been in Austin for a little over two days now, feeling much less overwhelmed than I was during last year’s SXSW stint.

This has been the trip of early arrivals. I got to Austin 45 minutes early, but I was even early to Midway, leaving me two and half hours to wander – which for me, means a trip to the airport bookstore, McDonald’s fries and a coke (a strange, almost OCD thing that I must do when I go to Midway), and finding someone to text so that I am not sitting in a chair having a staring contest with some weird kid.

This time, though, I decided to stop at one of those jewelry booths (I know, I know). And I wasn’t intending on buying anything, except I’m a sucker for rings. (Sidenote: When I was 22, I had the equivalent of brass knuckles on my hands with just rings alone. They didn’t match and – retrospectively – it was a poor fashion choice, but as you might know by now, I unintentionally set my own trends.) I’ve since grown out of that and normally, I can resist the urge to buy; apparently, this time I couldn’t!  I found a really pretty silver, three-ring interlocking one. I chose a size 8, and the guy behind the counter was like, “You should try that on. You’re a size 7.” And I said, “I did. It’s fine.” He goes, “It’s not fine. Because you’re a size 7.” He had me try on the size 7 and that fit, too. He wasn’t smug about it; otherwise I would have jingled it fiercely like a set of keys before throwing it in his face.

It wasn’t until I had sat down with my McD’s, Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me And Other Concerns,” and my phone at the ready that I noticed it. I just so happened to be looking at my hand before I got this airport-chair-party started (and why I was looking at my hand I couldn’t tell you; perhaps because like Beyonce suggested, I put a ring on it?). And I thought, “Oh, look! There’s a word! True!” and thought it was pretty cool. Until I noticed the other two bands also had words on them. And together it said, “True Love Waits.” And I thought, “True love waits? Is this an homage to the Radiohead song by the name same? Because that song is killer.”

And then I realized what it really was. I had just bought myself a really pretty silver, three-ring interlocking, I-won’t-have-sex-until-I’m-married, fucking purity ring. The crisis of conscience I experienced was, I imagine, akin to a deeply entrenched whistleblower. To keep the ring meant that I was somehow contributing to disillusioned individuals who NEVER seem to wait but instead end up on reality shows like “Pregnant In Spite of Jesus”. To get rid of the ring meant that I was a whore.

I kept the ring, and I positioned it so that only “Love” or “True” shows in front to make it look cool (I could do the same thing with “Waits,” but no one would get it. Not even me). And I’ve already had sex before marriage, so I’m condemned. Whatever. I’ll deal with it when I get to the afterlife. I’ll be like, “Jesus, even you had sex. You know it.” And he’ll be like, “Yeah, yeah I did,” because Jesus can’t lie. And that’ll be the end of it.

Have a good day, everyone.


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