Sunday, December 22, 2013

With this ring

I shoulda figured.

Buying my own wedding ring was not a great idea.

Because she remembered. I thought I knew her so well. She tends to be absentminded about what she sees as superfluous things. Like rings. She and I have the license to wed. We've booked the officiant.

I figured that would be all she'd do. She likes to make sure that the legalities are taken care of but when I asked her if she wanted to see the dress I picked out to wear, she shrugged.

"You look pretty in anything," she said. And she meant it. I could wear jeans and a Grateful Dead tee and she'd be fine with that. In fact, if she knew how much money I spent on my dress, she'd probably prefer that I DID wear that.

So, I bought my own ring.

And then she took me by surprise, my future wife.

Last night, we were getting ready for sleep and she suddenly switched the bedside table lamp on.

"Put your glasses on," she said, as she jumped out of bed and walked quickly to her dresser, reaching inside her sock drawer.

I did so.

I was not overly enthused. I figured it was some student's paper she wanted to show me. We had just spent the last few hours hammering out our very, very simple vows. (We timed them...they take all of 3 minutes...) I was tired. I wanted to sleep.

And then there was

In her hand.

With a jeweler's name on it. A pricey jeweler's name.

I sat up, slowly. I felt as if I should have some sort of filmy negligee on instead of my red and black  man's flannel nightshirt, messy hair and no makeup.

Fuck. Not even lip gloss.

"What do you um...have there?" I asked.

Bing took a deep breath.

"I know you think that I don't ponder these things much, but I DO, Maria," she said. "I never in a million years thought that you would agree to marry anyone, let alone me. And then you said okay. You AGREED. So...I thought about all kinds of silly things. I thought about how I want us to go to Paris this Summer for our honeymoon. Or...somewhere closer if your arthritis is too bad. How I want to go around holding your hand up with a WEDDING RING on it and showing every single person that we see to make sure that they know that you are mine and I am yours. LEGALLY. And I thought about how I wanted to get you the perfect ring. So, I thought about you, how I thought about you. And I did a lot of research. I know that you aren't crazy about diamonds because of the whole Africa context. I know that you prefer gemstones. I know that you tend towards the darker colors, the bolder ones. But, you know...when I see you, I see quicksilver. I see something mercurial, changeable. Something bluish, teal.

So, I did LOTS and LOTS of research and I really started to be drawn to aquamarines. When I see you, I see THAT color. That sort of lightning blue and white and silver and teal. I read about how sailors used to take aquamarines with them to the sea because they believed that they were from the treasure chests of mermaids and thus, would protect them. In the middle ages, it was believed that aquamarines boded well for a long marriage and I want our marriage to be long. I want to be married to you until our bones crack. I want to wake up next to you until we are 110. I don't care where we live or if I have to carry you around on my back all day, I just want to be with you. "

Yes, dudes...I was in tears and laughing by this time. Because if you knew how UN-ROMANTIC she and I are, seriously. We rarely, IF EVER, get this gooney. Our anniversary cards are always jokey. We are very, very unlikely to do any PDAs in front of anyone ever.

So, this was taking me by surprise. Well, a bit. I know her heart, she knows mine. Like e e cummings said, we carry each others hearts in our own hearts. We just don't TALK about it that much or display it much. It is just....known to us. Our love is very private. You'll never find anyone telling us to get a room.

She went on.

"I think of you as water, always moving, changing. Like your doofy friend at work, Lina, says, 'You are such a true Aquarian.' I don't believe in astrology, but you fit your sign. AND...I'm a Scorpio and aquamarine is the stone of MY sign, so..isn't THAT interesting?"

I nodded. But, I agree with her. Astrology is silly.

She kept going.

"Aquamarine is supposed to endow the wearer with courage, foresight and happiness. I know you have courage, but I think sometimes you lack foresight and happiness seems to elude you. Aquamarine also increases intelligence, supposedly. Now, I don't think you need any more intelligence. I am already terrified that you will wake up tomorrow and come to your senses that you do not want to marry someone as unworthy of you as I am. is also supposed to help retain youth and I KNOW that appeals to you because I haven't missed the fact that you are um...ok...DON'T get mad, but just a little vain about your looks. And while you will always be gorgeous to me, I see you look in the mirror and look dismayed. That hot 20 something girl is gone. I wish you could see the hot 50 something woman that has replaced her but you can't.  And I don't know why. It's like you can only see how pretty Scarlett Johansson is and not what a babe Isabella Rossellini is....

And MOST importantly, aquamarine is supposed to ward off poison and we both know how much poison you have had to ingest just to stay alive in the last few years. Aquamarine is supposed to relieve pain and I know you live in pain every day. And...I hope this will make you laugh....aquamarine is suppose to make the wearer friendlier."

She sat back on her heels and I did laugh.


1) She is right. I am hopelessly vain about my looks and have mourned the passing of my beauty in a way that embarrasses me.
2) I am WAY too aloof. I've been told it too many times to ignore it. I could be more friendly.

But, mostly...I just cried because it is such an extreme luxury to marry someone who gets you. And loves you just the same. Maybe even loves your dark just as much as your light.

So, she showed me the ring. And yes, it is so beautiful and so not what I would have picked for myself and for some reason that makes me love it twice as much. Because ......

I will see me through her eyes whenever I wear it.

And I have so much to aspire to since I am not anywhere near as good as she thinks that I am. Or as smart. Or as pretty. Or as...everything.

This is EXACTLY what my ring looks like and yes, she paid WAY too much for it. My ring is the twelfth or the next to last one shone here.

I feel badly that she won't have one but she refuses to wear rings, doesn't even want a dummy one to wear at the ceremony. She says that rings make her feel loaded down. I said, "What if I feel like holding YOUR hand up to show people that you are MINE?" and she smiled and said, "Honey, they will only have to look at my face."

I thought that was such a Bing thing to say. less than 2 weeks time, I will be an old married woman.

Tell me about your wedding ring? Or any ring that matters to you?


Jocelyn said...

I always wish for ten uninterrupted hours so that I could sift through your archives and read every damn thing you've ever written. You are good like that.

As Bing unleashed her whole rationale, I grinned at my monitor hugely. And then this line hit it all just perfectly: "I will see me through her eyes whenever I wear it."


I didn't want an engagement ring--what a silly use of money when we had so many practicalities to deal with--but Byron and I got wedding rings made by a jeweler in a little town in mid-Minnesota. Their design is based on a kimono pattern that shows rain slashing down...which means the rings themselves are covered with dots and slashes, and that makes it easier not to care if and when scuffing happens. I also like never having to worry I'll lose the expensive stone. The rings weren't terribly expensive--a few hundred each--but when I lost mine a few months ago and then, get this, found it randomly on the basement floor the night of our anniversary, I was surprised both at how much I'd missed it and how overwhelmed I was to find it.

Joanne Noragon said...

Your ring is beautiful.
My grandmother's engagement ring is a gold band with an oval bloodstone set high on six prongs. A hundred years ago it was her birthstone and mine, March. She gave it to me and I have passed it on to another granddaughter.
Your wedding will be lovely.

megan blogs said...

Lovely ring.

Himself wanted to give me a diamond engagement ring. I would have preferred sapphires, but i got a diamond engagement ring, now too small for my fat finger. Plain wedding band, which i've never taken off, and is now permanently on my finger because my finger is too fat to get the ring off. Both rings are white gold.

I used to remove the engagement ring when washing dishes or doing outside chores because it's one of those high pronged jobs, and i was afraid of losing the stone. I should probably get the ring enlarged.

Destingirls said...

Nicole and I wear matching silver rings from a popular jeweler here in Texas. We aren't legally married though...again I'll say we live in Texas. Hopefully one day, and then I will buy her a beautiful ring and put as much thought in it as Bing did.

I'm so happy for you Maria. Congratulations!

Camille said...

Love it...and love the sales pitch Bing gave you. Adorable. It's perfect and your wedding will be wonderful. Can't wait!

lily cedar said...

The is beautiful but the sentiment, the words, the feelings behind her decision are truly beautiful.

The ring that I wear is on my right hand. It is three small sapphires with a few small diamonds. I bought it for myself many years ago, before I ever married my husband. I was tired of waiting for a man to buy me a ring.

I think I'll do that again. At the rate the big guy and I are going, I doubt we'll ever marry. But I still want a pretty ring to wear. I don't wear jewelry, except my ring, so another ring would be nice.

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials and have a very Merry Christmas. Take care Maria.

Karen said...

Oh, Maria. What a lovely story. And your ring is gorgeous!.
I wear three rings. One is a plain gold band, my wedding ring. My husband wears a matching one. We make a big deal about never taking them off.
The second ring is an amethyst . I lost my original diamond.. It was purchased in a rush, at the local mall jewelry store, and had a huge piece of black carbon in it. It was ugly and I don't miss it. My daughter helped my husband pick out the amethyst and purple is her favorite color so it is a nice reminder of my loved ones.
The third is a slim silver band. I wear it on my right hand ring finger. I bought it at the Denver airport. It was the first time I flew alone, first time I was on my own for a few days. It is to remind me that even tho I am a wife and a mom I am still a self sifficient woman on her own adventure.
I know you don't share personal photos but I would love to see your wedding dress!

the only daughter said...

Beautiful. Just.

the ring I had when with the wasband was stolen many years ago by the girl who might/might not be his daughter. One of the many bones of our contentiousness. And given the givens, just as well.

Enjoy your wedding. It shall be as you like it and that shall be grand.

Sarahf said...

This is just beautiful, as is the ring, and even more so because you're not the kind of people who are openly romantic. Your wedding will be so beautiful.

t okaku said...

Beautiful! and Congratulations! I guess the engagement ring and wedding ring that I have. I don't wear them so much because of my job, but I do wear them on the occasional night out!

Marie said...

How moving, she really "gets" you and loves you for all those qualities. Makes me cry.

Teacher Cynthia said...

So lovely in so many ways!


Frontier Mom said...

Beautiful...the ring and Bing's heartfelt sentiments! Congratulations!

English Rider said...

Awesome ring and a moment that is truly precious.
No ring at my wedding. We had lived together five years. I finally went out and got one for myself. That's how my life runs, I am my own plan-B.
When my daughter married her fiance, who had joined the Marines, they were given a ring by another Marine. City Hall stayed open after hours for them to have time to get there after work.

e said...

Bing had her ducks in a row! I love the thought that she put into the ring.

I bought my gf a pair of aquamarine earrings because they were the color of blue that she loves. And wrote her a poem about it. I'm not nearly so romantic anymore though.

My favorite stone is ruby. She got me a ruby ring one year and it's very pretty but the prongs stick up so much that it's a very uncomfortable ring to wear. We have plain silver bands that we wear all the time.

I hope your wedding day is lovely and that you all have a good time.

Jacquelineand.... said...

I am so happy for you both! What a lot of thought and love Bing put into your ring; and your response must certainly have been as big a gift to her.

Rings? 3M and I wear plain silver bands but inside them is engraved a bit of poesy which is meaningful to us both. Mine seldom leaves my finger.

Eva said...

That's a lovely ring.
We wear matching white gold wedding rings, not a stone in sight. Wedding rings with stones isn't usual around here anyway.
I love wearing mine and I know she does too. It's the only ring I wear regularly.
Best wishes for you upcoming marriage.

8thday said...


My partner and I exchanged commitment rings many, many years ago. They are simple, very worn out, gold bands - only 10k gold because that was all we could afford at the time. We have often talked about replacing them (they are really beat up) but then we both kind of like that they remind us of where we started.

We have also talked about getting legally married but that "you are mine and I am yours" stuff scares the crap out of both of us. Neither of us feel particularly comfortable being "owned."

Still, I am impressed with Bing, who usually reminds me of my non-romantic partner. Good for her for digging deep and getting it right. Can't wait to hear about the actual wedding.

ChiTown Girl said...

I actually posted a little about my rings in the past...

Now that I reread that post, I see I never really gave the story of how I got the engagement ring. Maybe I'll have to post about it someday. I will say this - I was never officially "proposed" to, in any way. He picked the ring out completely on his own, and did a pretty good job, I think. =)

Your ring is gorgeous. Bing really is something, isn't she?

jeanniekay said...

My husband won't wear a wedding ring. We live in farm country and he lives in fear of catching it on a piece of machinery or something and tearing his finger off.

So-no ring for him and we'll be celebrating 30 years of marriage next March, so I'm pretty sure the ring didn't make much difference after all, just like he said.