"Oh, this makes me the happiest girl in the world!" cheers Chanté Hall, 23, of Washington, DC. "For the first time in five years, I really and truly know I am his."
The young office assistant is not alone in her euphoria. Young women all across America are dancing for joy, flashing their "commitment rings" to all who are willing to look, and they and their men are crediting Beyoncé Knowles' song, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," for their newfound happiness. The smash hit single has been listed for a combined 103 weeks on 13 different global music charts including Billboard Hot 100, Canadian Hot 100, Australia Singles Top 50, Bulgaria Singles Top 40, UK Singles Top 75, and Portugal Singles Top 50 since its release in November 2008. However, this "commitment ring" trend has only appeared in American cities, and everyone is more than happy to credit the newlywed Knowles for their newfound relationship status.
"Well, the song got me to thinking," Danté Mickens, who recently gave Ms. Hall her commitment ring, admits, "and she was right. I do like it. I should put a ring on it."
"It makes the girls so happy," Donna Mills, a local tattoo artist and piercing technician. "I love doing it. To believe such a simple procedure can give a girl such pleasure. I'm just glad to be a part of it."
Mills explains that she simply numbs the area for roughly five minutes and then pierces the outer labium with said commitment ring.
"There's only a quick second of pain and, as long as you keep the area clean, very little risk of infection. Any discomfort the girl may feel is most definitely clouded over by the ecstasy she feels with now being committed to her man. The couple then comes back a few days later for follow-up counseling and to pick out their 'leash.'"
This "leash," which is attached to the commitment ring, comes in several fashionable alternatives ranging from cloth, nylon, leather, or light- and heavy- silver- or gold-plated chain. It runs exactly 24 inches with a hoop on the other end, which the man can either hold or attach to his wrist. Hull informs Tome that most men opt for the heavy chain.
"When I showed it to my folks, they were so happy for me," beams Ms. Hall. "Well, my Dad was a little disgusted, but my Mama and aunts were absolutely beside themselves. We were going to go out to a bar to celebrate, but Danté said, 'No.' He had to be somewhere else. So, we just got tore up at home."
"It was the least I could do for my girl, you know. See how happy she is," smiles Mr. Mickens. "It's like the song says, I'm the man. I'm supposed to make Chanté and take her and deliver her. With the ring and leash I can deliver the girl anywhere she needs to be.
"Sure," he continues, "she doesn't like having to wear a mini-skirt and no panties all the time. Especially last month was the coldest January in DC history. And those poor girls freezing to death up in Minneapolis. But that's the only way this whole thing can work. And it's like they say, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. And so does his girl. We're committed, after all."
Tome's repeated attempts to have Ms. Knowles comment on this new trend have been thwarted by Jay Z's camp, who informs us that Beyoncé's camp is not available for comment. However, the rapper has been quoted as saying that "'Put a Ring on It' has done more for black family unit than even the Obamas' moving into the White House."