Before Mike and I were ever a couple I knew we would be married.
We met in June. Our friendship took root immediately.
By August the flirting had started.
In the fall we went on countless non-dates.
By December we were exclusive.
Our relationship moved at warp speed those first few months. By March, less than a year after our initial introduction, we were living together.
Always independent, an odd thing happened to me when I met Mike. I suddenly had an overwhelming need for a ring. I thought about “the” ring all the time. I nagged Mike about proposing. My friend Emily regularly checked out my ring finger to see if anything had changed. I was on the hunt for a ring.
Our second Christmas together, Mike bought me a ring: it was a beautiful ring, but it wasn’t “that” ring. It wasn’t the ring that came with the life-long commitment I desired. Emily checked my fingers post-Christmas and we both expressed serious disappointment. I was sure I’d get “the” ring for Christmas.
On Valentine’s Day – 20 months after meeting – Mike popped the question and gave me a beautiful, sparkly diamond ring. We were married 24 days later at a chapel on the Las Vegas Strip. On that day, Mike added to my sparkle with a diamond encrusted wedding band. I was in heaven – pure bliss.
Not long after we were married, I stopped wearing my engagement and wedding rings. Come to find out, I don’t like wearing rings. When I wash my hands, which I do a lot, I can’t stand the slimy feeling of soap trapped between my rings and my fingers. Or when you have small kids and babies, big diamonds can get caught on tender skin. Or if you travel to places like Rio de Janiero and wearing a flashing ring can be reason enough to get you robbed. Rings, so it seemed, didn’t fit with me or my life.
For so long, I wanted nothing more than a ring from Mike. Yet now that I have one, I realize that it was never about the ring. It was about the promise. It was about commitment. It was about the life we were building together. It’s about the babies we have. It’s about tomorrow and forever.
Many years and two kids later, I seldom wear my rings. I don’t wear them when I run, as I swell too much. I don’t wear them around the house. I take them off before bed and then only put them back on sporadically. I wear them when I travel for business or I’m going out somewhere special.
With or without a ring, I’m married. It’s not the ring that counts. It’s all the other stuff that makes a marriage.
***********************************************May 18, 2012
Posted in Documenting, Memory Keeping