I wore my husband’s wedding ring yesterday. It’s a simple gold band. Nothing to differentiate it from any other plain gold band.
He has a hard time hanging on to this ring so he asked me to keep it someplace safe. When I feel the need to have him close emotionally, as in when I’m facing something that makes me nervous, or stressed, or just wanting to be home with him, I wear his ring.
He used to lose the ring.
One day he came home devastated because he’d been on a swift water rescue training and the ring was gone. He knew it was gone forever, gold returned to earth, somewhere out there in whitewater. But instead, a lovely little toddler named Malia (now a lovely young woman) was crawling around on the floor in the fire department a couple weeks later. She found the ring under the couch.
During one time when the ring was missing again (this time resurrected from his tool box) I told him we’d just buy another one. After all, it’s just a plain gold band. He got a bit upset with me. His exact words were: ‘But it won’t be the ring you put on my finger!’.
My thought, which I was smart enough not to say out loud, was ‘So it will be a new ring I put on your finger; what’s the big deal?’
The wedding ring he put on my finger originally was my grandmother’s. But one day a fold-down staircase in the ceiling of the cabin came loose from its bolts and landed on me. The ring had to be cut off. It now sits in an envelope waiting for me to do something with it.
That following Christmas, he bought me a new wedding ring. A garnet, which is my favorite stone, in a Celtic-style setting. He confessed that while he hadn’t minded my grandmother’s ring, he’d always wanted to give me one that was from him. It took me a while to get used to the ring because it’s fancy. But now it’s another reason my grandmother’s ring is still in its envelope.
So what’s in a wedding ring anyway? They’re symbolic, of course, but of what? Ownership? Commitment? Fidelity? Love? Taking one off is symbolic, too (unless of course you just keep losing it). Then it’s symbolic of the end of a relationship, by choice or by loss.
Or maybe symbolic of what will happen if you’re the waitress in the local diner who kept leaning too low to show him cleavage, while I sat right there. That ring on his finger is there for a reason, and sharing isn’t it. Which, I suppose, is that symbol of ownership rearing its ugly head.
I like the idea that I can be out in public, with that garnet ring on that specific finger, and know that anyone seeing it will get the message that someone wanted me enough to put the ring there. Which sounds kind of pathetic, I know. But it’s then symbolic of whom I’ve become. It’s almost, honestly, a symbol of pride. Which works both ways when he wears his ring. Kind of a ‘look who I’ve got!’
But for today, his ring is on my finger. Both of his rings.