A Wedding Ring
I was making my daily run to the post office to ship off the orders that had come in the night before. This was a chore that Pete relished. Even though it meant that he’d have to put down his guitar and stop recording or practicing, it also meant that business was good that day, people were buying, and bills were getting paid. He would put his guitar down for that, and one other reason only, but that’s a blog that I won’t be writing.
As I stood in the long, slow line that tries every strand of patience I’ve ever had, I realized that an acquaintance of mine was standing in the line behind me. We were pleased to see each other, asked about our respective kids and caught up on gossip from the coffee shop where we both hang out. Eventually he glanced down at the ten or so packages I was squeezing tightly. He commented with a puzzled look on his face, “Oh, you’re wearing a wedding ring.”
I quickly (maybe even defensively) shot back, “Yeah, I’m married.” His look of puzzlement morphed into a look of shock. “You’re married?” came hiccuping out of his mouth. “Yes, I’m married to Pete.” Relief and confusion are two emotions that don’t combine well on a person’s face IF they are trying to appear composed. “Okay. Wow. I thought you’d gotten re-married already, and I was really surprised.”
Relief. That exchange was over. 15 seconds of aggravation, confusion, defensiveness, and awkwardness. All because of a wedding ring on my hand. 15 seconds that left me a bit shaken for hours and pondering it for weeks. Am I weird? Did I become not married as of Jan 15, 2016? Is there a rule book that he had that I didn’t? I have never considered taking this ring off. I certainly understand why some people do. There are many reasons why.
In fact, the topic had already been brought to my attention when a good friend sent me this perspective from The Moth Radio Hour.
Wow, what a heavy story. Different perspective, different thought process, different needs…same grief. If you didn’t watch it, here it’s the story of a woman whose husband dies under different circumstances and the ring is so symbolic that it puts her through a range of emotions. No less love, but a completely different perspective. There are so many variables—age is a factor, and children. Are there young children that need a father or mother? Is the person young, with so much love still in their future? Maybe the spouses hadn’t been in love for years.
When it comes to symbols—especially wedding rings—the variables are endless.
But, for me, the ring stays. I’m married. Not only do I wear my ring, but I wear his ring too—around my neck on a chain. I remain married for both of us.
Do you, or someone you know, still wear a wedding ring?