"But of course they recommend it," he said. "When you first acquire it, it seems entirely unfamiliar, but you'll soon find yourself learning its little oddities. It'll seem to change constantly with the season, though of course that's only you changing within it. When it seems largest you'll be annoyed at its apparent desire to slip away, and you'll need to work to keep it on -- despite its attempts at disappearing *and* your own annoyance. When it seems smallest, it'll bite into you and you'll want to be rid of it, and that's when it's hardest to remove or even shift."
"As a matter of fact," continued the elder, "I believe that everybody should have to wear an engagement band before marriage. A full year and you'll know whether the fine old institution is for you."
"Oh? I suppose that if I can make it a year with such an annoyance, I'm fit for marriage?"
"Not at all. One year later, look down at that engagement ring again. If you don't find that you're grinning like an idiot, I wouldn't bother to call a minister."