The Ring Cycle

There are three rings involved in the wedding rigmarole: Your wedding band (no big deal), her wedding ring (kind of a big deal), and the engagement ring (huge fucking deal). The ratio of importance between the last of these and the first is something like 50 to one.

Fittingly, then, picking up my wedding band was a pretty casual affair. My fiancée and I trotted across town to a pawn shop — my own unfussy choice — and picked out a plain platinum band that fits me as though made for my own hand. It was not expensive. There are some Chinese characters around the inside, and one of these days I’ll find out what they say (they probably profess eternal love for a man now hated by his ex).

For the last half hour, I have been wearing my wedding ring around the house. I slid it on to take the picture you see above, and then I kept it on to see what it would feel like.

And? It feels weird. First of all, I haven’t earned it yet. It feels as though I’m jumping the gun — cheating myself of the thrill of waiting till it counts. Only once you’ve stood in front of at least a legal minimum number of people and declared your undying love for a particular woman are you allowed to don a signal to all woman that you’re solid stuff. It makes sense when you think about it.

It also feels weird because I’m not accustomed to jewellery. I’ve never worn a ring in my life. This may seem like a trivial observation given the magnitude of committing to a wonderful woman for the rest of my life, but it’s starting to itch.

I’m picturing the thing becoming as much a part of my left hand as the scar I earned bartending. I look forward to having to take the ring off before swimming or going to bed at night, for decades to come; having it attached to my hand at all the big milestones — picking up my kids for the first time, showing any son I might have how to hold a baseball bat or a cocktail muddler, shaking my fist at my daughter’s no-good boyfriend. You know, husband and dad stuff.

Eventually the ring will be one of those big changes I get used to, like gaining 25 pounds in university, losing around 25 pounds since Christmas this year or getting my eyes surgically fixed. But at first wearing a ring will feel different, and that is probably as it should be.

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