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 this......box.
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. But...it 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.
Anyway....in 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?