I spent some time last week driving around town and getting my wedding ring appraised. It was time. It’s been months. I haven’t worn it since July. I’ve forgotten how it feels to wear it. And given that I’m on 40% salary, the money was far more important than anything else. I finally told myself that any thoughts that one of the kids may want it someday were foolish and that it was time for my ring and I to part ways.
Today I called the dealer I’d decided to sell to and let them know I’d be coming in. I got the paperwork for the ring and packed it up. And for the drive I put it on my finger. Just for one last time.
The funny thing is that mourning the ring was not the same as mourning the relationship. There are still things I mourn about losing my marriage, but most of them are gone and I’m happy to be moving forward. What I mourned was the actual ring.
Yes, I know there is a massive diamond marketing scheme to make us want diamond rings to show we have been claimed by a man. I know it’s silly. And yet I loved that ring dearly. I never wore any jewelry before it except for the occasional pair of earrings or necklace. I didn’t pick it out, but when we went ring shopping I figured out that I wanted something around this style and size very quickly. I just saw it and knew. 6-prong Tiffany setting round cut diamond on a slim band. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and the most expensive thing I ever owned.
I cried over it. I felt a new and unexpected loss over it. It’s such a beautiful thing. It kept me company for so long. I spent so many hours looking at it and feeling it and rolling it around with my fingers. It is like a friend and now it’s gone, traded for the ability to pay rent and bills and keep me afloat for a little while longer. It seems an unfair trade.
There are lots of things that I don’t know that I’d ever do again should I remarry. I don’t know that there will be a big wedding or even a small one. I don’t know that there will be a party or anything. I don’t know that I’d spend much time looking for a dress or finding a photographer or anything like that. Those things don’t matter to me that much anymore. But apparently a ring still does. Good to know, I guess.
It’s okay to be a little shallow sometimes. It was a beautiful ring. I got it cleaned at jewelry stores every few months and always got compliments. Even the dealers had to admire it. I loved it shamelessly. I always admired people who had simple wedding bands, who were content to let the world know they were taken without any additional adornment. And I admit to occasionally being judgmental of people whose rings are unusually large or ridiculously complex. When I see a wedding ring, it tells me something about a person. And my ring said what I wanted to say about myself. That ring meant something to me and knowing that I’ll never have it again hurts. Knowing that if I get another ring someday I’d want it to be different pains me even though I know it’s the only choice.
Goodbye, ring. I admit that knowing that the diamond and the ring are now separated and will never be whole again is oddly comforting. It will always be my ring and only mine, no matter where the diamond ends up in the future. Thank you for keeping me company for so long.