I lost my wedding ring. Again.
When Jonathon first asked me to marry him, we were at Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlor in San Jose. Now, this was before the era of “the proposal is everything”. He was out for a visit, and I didn’t want him to go back to Las Vegas, and was getting teary-eyed over my sundae. He asked me to marry him, slipping my green gummy ring off of my right and onto my left ring finger. And joyfully, I said yes. I wore that proudly. Over time, he gave me a paper ring shaped like an airplane, then a yellow metal Denny’s ring with big “D” on the top. See? Making progress. We were poor college students, just glad to be together and thankful for God’s grace in finding each other.
I am not an absent-minded person. I should mention that I am not aiming to “lose” my husband. My first wedding ring – true confession time – was a 7.5 mm pearl set in a 1950s-style ring my paternal grandmother designed. She knew Mikimoto of the pearl empire, and had the ring designed and mounted, originally, with a 9mm pearl. The ring passed on, sans pearl, to my stepmother. When she heard of our engagement, she gave us the ring and a gift certificate to get a new pearl, smaller because of my hobbit hands, set and mounted. And that was the engagement ring. The wedding ring had a small matching diamond to go along with the diamond chips on the sides of the engagement ring. I loved that ring. Nobody had anything like it. I had something unique and something old, a piece of my family history, on my hand.
Truth be told, I lost it other times as well. Once, on a trip to Hawaii with the Creswell high school choir and band, I lost it on the beach. I’d placed it in the pocket of my shorts so I could swim. Somehow it dropped out. Thank God for all those geeky metal detector guys cluttering up every Hawaiian coastline.
Somehow, I lost that original ring. I’d had it for 14 years. The day we signed the papers to close on our house in Portland, I took it off and set it on my dresser. For those of you who don’t know, pearls are very delicate and should be protected against water, lotions and perfumes. The nacre, that shiny coating that makes a pearl a pearl, is delicate. I’d gotten in the habit of slipping it off when I did dishes or bathed children. I searched high and low in our little red house and never found it. It seemed symbolic, somehow. Moving to a new state and a new life in Shelton with a new focus seemed to require a new start of sorts. I somehow felt naked, bereft, without that constant reminder on my ring finger.
Jonathon surprised me with a new wedding ring that Christmas in 2006, our first in Shelton. It is (holding out hope) white gold with three rubies surrounded by diamond chips. It dazzled me, all sparkly and brand new. It seemed to represent the new life we wanted to have here in Shelton, finding more beauty in everyday life. It inspired me, for a time, to keep my fingernails polished. Rubies are my birthstone and, of course, my daughter’s name. I got in the habit of taking it off as well. I usually shove it in my pocket.
I don’t wear it all time, like when I work out. The little prongs on the ring cut my hand and I’d hate to damage it with a kettlebell. I don’t like wearing jewelry, except maybe a watch, when I’m getting sweaty. Too confining. Must be a holdover from all those years of volleyball where we couldn’t wear anything metal, I guess.
Last night, I used a CSI tactic and shone a flashlight in my sock drawer, underneath the dresser, under the bed (yuck!) and around my shoes. No luck. I emptied out all my earrings. Getting a little panicky, I felt along the base of the washing machine agitator and around inside the dryer drum. Nada. Sometimes, unfortunately, it goes through the wash. I thought that had happened this time, but it hasn’t turned up yet.
Jonathon assures me that he still loves me and that we’re still married even though I don’t currently have a ring. He’s offered to have a tattoo artist friend of ours ink a ring on my finger for me, so I won’t lose it, ever. I really want to find it, though. I feel like the ring and its iterations have come to symbolize where we are in our marriage. This is our 19th year. Let’s make it a ruby and diamond year. If you find it, let me know.
Unless…he wants to spring for 2-carat blingfest. I’m okay with that, too.