The Invisible Wedding Ring

Another day, another splashy page alerting us all to the fact that ‘the ring is off the finger,’ intimating that the death of the relationship is on the horizon, using as evidence the fact that “the couple hasn’t been seen together since August 13.”

I rarely even wear my “wedding” or “anniversary” or
“engagement” rings, preferring the rings that Rog gets
for other occasions. This happened to be for my 
and our 15th yr anniversary.

Two things then flash through my mind. The first is that I don’t know a single married couple (or non-married but co-parenting) who make it to every event together. Can you imagine if the biggest rise in the local paper was “Roger and Sarah not seen together for
3 months?” What news. Truth be told, we follow the motto of ‘divide and conquer,’ for most occasions (you go to one school event and I’ll go to other so we have it covered). The only time we absolutely aren’t apart is for charity events, and even that doesn’t account for health issues or family emergencies (or a delayed flight).

Together- ness aside, don’t you think this whole obsession with wearing a ring is a little nutty? Marriage and togetherness is a state of mind, not a piece of metal. In high school (remember those days) and college for that matter, I didn’t need a ring to tell the world I was in love with some guy. I simply didn’t notice anyone else. The vibes I gave out were the ‘not interested’ type instead of the ‘come hither,’ sort.

Perhaps it’s because I was married before, it was short-lived and symbolized by a beautiful ring turned out to be worthless (I kid you not. side story; our deal was I’d buy the setting, he’d buy the ring. I thought I got a good deal, until I lost it at the beach, went to put in a claim and discovered that the only “real” part of the ring was the platinum setting that I had paid for. The stones were CZ. Nice).

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good piece of jewelry. 15 years of together-ness with Rog means that he bought me a ‘friendship ring’ that I ended up using as the ring for the marriage, and for two years later, until one December day, long after we’d purchased a home together, he decided I needed “a real ring.” That one is an indestructible round stone in a tension set platinum. 12 years later, he shot for the moon, purchasing me a radiant cut stone in an ornate fancy setting. It’s beautiful. It’s elegant. The problem is that it wears me. You know a ring outshines you when the first thing the waiter says after handing you the menu is ‘nice ring.’

Three years hence, I find myself wearing my original friendship ring most of the time, and sometimes, like right now, I’m wearing nothing. To my chagrin, I’ve realized the worse I’m feeling about my relationship (or self) the nicer the ring I wear. When I’m happy and in love, I don’t need anything. I don’t need the iron around my finger, but my feeling about the man I’m with is just as evident as if one existed. And that’s the way it should be.