Etiquette & superstition: rings


I’m reading on snopes.com that the whole legend about the “ring around the rosie” rhyme being a macabre song about the Black Plague is a bunch of hogwash. This has been a mythbusting weekend, I tell you; first I learn that Billy Squier is not gay (I could have sworn he came out about ten years ago), and now this ring around the rosie business. What will I learn next?

ETIQUETTE: A divorced woman may continue to wear both her wedding and engagement rings as jewelry, provided she wears them on her right hand. The more showy engagement ring may be worn as a cocktail ring, and the wedding band can be used as a guard ring worn in front of another ring in order to keep that ring from slipping.

SUPERSTITION: Wearing a ring can ward off certain diseases. A churchgoer may get a curative ring by collecting pennies at the entrance of the church, circling around the communion table three times, and then depending upon the kindness of the clergyman, who will hopefully trade the pennies for a piece of silver taken from the offertory. This silver is then supposed to be taken to a silversmith to make a ring.

The plague, while a more serious disease than rheumatism, can be warded off by a special ring acquired more simply. Simply engrave a ring with the names of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus and you’ll be fine.

Photo by MetalRiot on flickr

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