Monday, February 13, 2012

I have three wedding rings.

I have three wedding rings.
The one on the left is my first original wedding ring. The others are surrogates.

Same marriage. Three bands.

The first one doubles as a wedding ring and an engagement ring. It's a white gold band with three sparkly, hopeful diamonds. Even though it is often admired for it's uniqueness, there's tradition in the center diamond, as it belonged to my mother and came from her engagement ring. When the jeweler removed the stone from the prongs on her gold thin band, somehow the diamond chipped. I had them set it anyway, and on May 10, 2002, Cole and I wed, exchanging bands, mine with an aesthtic flaw, yet nonetheless sturdy. The inside reads, "With all my love."

Somewhere around year 7, my wedding ring didn't fit. I lost so much weight, my body and mind underwent so much change that with even the subtlest movements, my ring would slide off and ping ping ping to the floor. And during violent gestures, it would launch across the room, a thud and a dent in the drywall.

Afraid to lose the ring, I boxed it safely in a velvet lined jewelry box between a wooden bracelet that my sister brought back from Korea--with some symbol on it that meant "friendship" or "love" or "dignity" and a red slap watch. I swapped it out with a ring I purchased years ago in high school. A band made up of 4 thin bands, which at first glance appear solid, but when removed the puzzle ring crumbles into the pieces; 4 weak rings that bend under pressure.

The middle ring is a puzzle ring, which is made up of four smaller rings. You can see from this shot that the middle one doesn't always have it together.
I kept the pieces together and kept the illusion on my finger, though on more than one occasion, the ring was mistaken for costume jewelry, not a sign of my marital status. There were a few awkward exchanges and explanations. Apologetic smiles and flattered glances.

I wore the puzzle ring for almost three years, watching it wear and flatten in places that should be round. Since the ring has so many crevasses, I spent a good deal of the time scraping the edges clean with my fingernails, but it was never fully untarnished.

At first I resisted replacing it, because I was waiting to see if I would lose more weight, to see if I was destined to shrink anymore. I had asked my husband to make the adjustments to my first ring, but when he procrastinated month after month and year after year, I grew used to twisted ring.

It wasn't until after I took a trip down memory lane that I decided it was time for a new ring. I was flying back to my family when I had a layover in Denver, CO. In a Native American boutique, on a rack between beaded arm bands and a rack of tourquoise dangly earrings, I saw my third ring. It is a wide band made of a darker metal with a matte finish, and it has an etching of two flowers that seem to be reaching for each other, tails vining out behind them, but never quite touching. To me it seemed a symbol of power and fortitude, something my high school ring didn't provide. However, when lifted, the heft I thought it had disappeared like a mirage.

Ultimately the longing flower ring cost me $12. Less than both of the other rings, but I felt it was a purchase of far greater value. It would endure the pressures of life without bending. It will never replace my first ring, but it also won't be mistaken for costume jewelry.

I doubt it will be my last ring. I doubt my body will stop enduring change in the years to come. My hands will no doubt be required to carry weights I cannot imagine. My tinted industrial, yet feminine band fits me, resting in the indented cavity on my left ring finger, filling the emptiness.

For now.



2 comments:

  1. I have 3 wedding rings too! One of them was my Grandma's first wedding band that my Grandpa gave to her when they were first married. She gave it to me the day I turned 18. My 2nd one, is the first one my husband bought me. Not realizing I'm a super freak, he got me a [gold] plated ring instead of a solid one. Honestly I don't think he even knew the difference really. My fingers ate through the plating. My fingers turned green, blue, black, itchy. My husband felt terrible. So I'm onto ring #3. He got it on our 5th anniversary.

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  2. I have had 3 pairs of glasses. The first pair was on my mission. They were free, given to me by a member who was an eye doctor. I saw many events through those lenses, converts baptized, the end of my service, the beginning of a new life. The second pair I got just after I came home. They were not as good as the first pair. There was no scratch proof coating, but through them I saw marriage, children.....darkness, depression, confusion,......death?? My third and current pair were free also. Though they have no scratch proof lenses as well, I see more clearly than I have ever before. I have seen what my second pair prevented my from seeing; pain, patience, long-suffering. Rather than focusing on the many scratches, I now have the ability to see past them with a determination and ambition not had before. What do I hope to see with my next pair? Love, Opportunities to remove "weights", Published Author Dreams Fulfilled, Shades of Blues and Pinks.

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