You can learn a lot from fiction, even a comic book.
The panels below are from Y: The Last Man. This brief conversation made me pause and consider something that I’d never thought about before. Good fiction can always do that.
Here’s a bit of a set-up for you. Yorick wants to buy a ring for his girlfriend. The salesman starts to spin a story about a ring that makes it sound mystical. He then illustrates something about the whole act of proposing marriage that simply blew my mind.
Mr. T: “Do you see how this ring glistens like gold in one light and silver in the next. This represents the male and female sides which all of us possess.
Many cultures believe that men and women are reversed at the moment of proposal. The young lady’s finger is transformed into a symbolic phallus, while the gentleman presenting the ring-“
At this point Yorick cuts him off. The exchange is hilarious but it really made me stop and consider the act of proposal and what it really means.
I find this reversal to be absolutely poetic and beautiful. I can’t believe I’d never heard of this before. I even asked a few friends and they hadn’t heard of it either.
You see, comics can teach you something. I never would have researched proposals on my own. This really blew my mind. It’s so simple a symbol that this should have been obvious to all of us. It makes me wonder how many other things we do without ever really knowing the deeper meaning behind our actions.