In this refresh from the archives, I’m thinking symbolically.
JUNE 19, 2005: Two rings
I haven’t worn a wedding ring in several years, on account that I’ve lost not just one, but two — both in the yard here at the house. The first one I lost the second year we were here, while I was out playing with Athena; it just slipped off my finger. This led to both Krissy and me searching the yard in vain, Krissy with a metal detector. This is the problem when you have five acres of lawn; that’s a lot of ground to cover.
Krissy gave the second ring to me on Christmas Eve three years ago; that ring lasted a little over 12 hours before I lost it, playing with Athena in the snow. Krissy, who had every right to be righteously angry with me about losing a second ring so soon after she had gotten it, just laughed instead; that probably had something to do with the fact that I was so hangdog depressed at the fact that I’d lost the ring that there was very little she could have done to make me feel any worse than I already did.
That’s where the ring situation stood for the last three years. I went ringless because, among other things, I was mildly terrified of losing a third ring; it seemed like one of those “three strikes and you’re out” sort of things. On a day-to-day basis this wasn’t a problem, but it did have the interesting side effect of making women I had just met while I was away from my wife suspicious of me. I would talk about my wife and they would reflexively check my hand and notice that the ring was not there. This implied either I was one of those men who refused to wear a ring, which has misogynist undertones (not good), or that I had taken the ring off while I was away from my wife (really not any better). Then I would have to break out the “I lost two rings playing in the yard with my child” story, which, while effective in making me the object of feminine pity, is one I’d rather not have to break out every time I meet someone of the XX-chromosome persuasion.
Forward to last Friday, our tenth anniversary, and I’ve decided that I’ve been foolish about this ring thing long enough. Fact is, I want to wear a ring — I want to have a clear and obvious symbol of my marriage, and the tenth anniversary of our marriage seems like a fine time to symbolically recommit. So I went and I got another ring. Nothing expensive, mind you (the paranoia about losing a third ring was still there). Just a simple gold band, like the other two rings I had. I slipped it on my finger in the store and wore it home.
I didn’t show it to Krissy in any obvious way; I didn’t get it for that reason. I should have been wearing a ring all this time, so I didn’t want it to seem like a big deal that I was wearing one now. Of course she noticed anyway, and after a moment of surprise at seeing something she wasn’t expecting on my ring finger, she seemed pleased.
Off we went to dinner, and during dinner we talked about the last ten years and the things that have gone into making the marriage work: Love, honesty, devotion and so on, but then Krissy added that the ability to surprise each other also helped. This seemed fairly cryptic until Krissy came around the table and presented with a second ring. Krissy got me the ring because she knew I wanted another, and she decided that I had been silly long enough about it.
The irony here was that as I was going to get my ring, I considered the idea that Krissy might have gotten me a ring, and that maybe I should wait. But the fact is, I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to wear a ring on my anniversary. The sudden appearance of a second ring didn’t make my decision any less correct; it merely confirmed it was the right thing to do.
I love that Krissy and I both had the same idea at the same time, and for the same reasons. This is the one of the true blessings and strengths of our marriage — we get each other and understand how the other works, and we sense what the other needs and wants and we go out of our way to make it happen. I love that I had two wedding rings on my anniversary. It says good things about me. It says good things about my wife. It says good things about us. It says good things about our marriage.
Of course, on a day to day basis, two rings is one ring too many. The ring I bought is going back to the store, since the ring Krissy got me is nicer, and also only an idiot would not wear the ring given to him by his wife.
You ask: and just what happens if I lose this ring? Well, the answer lies in the inscription Krissy had etched in the inside of the ring, which in itself serves as incentive to keep track of this one:
THE NEXT ONE IS A TATTOO.