When do we lay that wedding ring to rest? I’m not too sure how I feel about this one. I stopped wearing mine nine months into our separation. I contemplated chopping my whole finger off – not because I self-mutilate, but because I couldn’t think why I would ever need a wedding ring finger again. That’s a bit extreme, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures. What if someone very sneaky and manipulative entered my life and I found myself in a position where I actually agreed to get married again?The horror! So, to ensure that couldn’t happen, I thought: “Let me just dispose of this silly old finger and be done with all of this marriage/wedding ring thing for good.” Fear not, though, I didn’t actually do it. I still have ALL of my fingers intact.
Truth be known. I have a beautiful wedding ring. My ex proposed to me with a ring he bought in a random jewellery store in Ireland. It was to serve as a temporary ring until we returned to South Africa to collect the permanent engagement ring that he was having made. “Two rings! Wow, what a lucky girl I am!” I thought. (My eyebrow raised in hindsight).
To me, the original was the most amazing ring in the world, other than the fact that it was so big I could have worn it as an anklet. It made me wonder: Until that point, had my ex ever actually looked at my hands? That ring and my fingers didn’t add up. I imagined that the jeweller asked him: “What size fingers does your love have?” At that moment my ex couldn’t have said anything other than: “Well, she’s built strong like a Springbok rugby player who eats oxtail for breakfast every morning. Real sturdy, you know?” And then the jeweller must have said: “Oh, okay, wonderful sir, let me show you this tray of rings that can also be used as bangles, bicycle wheels or hula-hoops.” The ring was a bit big! You get the point.
There I go again with the jokes, but in truth I really loved that ring at the time, and the problem with its size was nothing that a big blob of sticky tape layered and layered up at the back, couldn’t fix.
A new romance, the beginning of the flame igniting, the honeymoon stage, man can’t spoil a woman enough. I find it so funny: It’s completely different by the time the divorce comes around. By then, it’s difficult to even squeeze the price of an extra bottle of milk out of him, let alone a diamond! There’s no diamonds crossing your fingers at that stage. The only part your fingers play in the divorce process is perhaps when you’re flipping your ex the bird as he leaves the driveway. Classy! No! Truth.
I wore my wedding ring, which was soldered to my engagement ring, for the first six months of my separation. That was a clear indication of my denial right there. I also figured that by wearing my wedding ring, it would warn off any man who wanted to come into my space. I really wasn’t ready. I then switched it to my right hand for another three months. I reasoned that by wearing it, I was showing guys that I was married, but now I am not. Almost like a hint. It would not be a walk in the park with me, so they should only approach me if they were mature enough to understand the complications that came with a divorced woman’s life.
Eventually, the ring came off. I was ready to leave the past behind me and walk into my future, without any negative memorabilia constantly reminding me of a me, that no longer existed. At first, when I was out and about with my children and I wasn’t wearing my wedding ring, I used to get weirded out. I thought people might be looking at me and thinking: “Two kids out of wedlock, poor woman.” Obviously those were simply my own insecurities at play. I’ve since learned that people would often, in fact, look at me and think: “Well done to that strong woman for raising those kids on her own.”
I can’t bring myself to do anything with the ring. It just sits in a box. I wouldn’t pass it on to my daughter because, well, it’s cursed, obviously, and probably needs an exorcism. No, actually it definitely needs an exorcism. I’m sure that there are sailors who have heard less swear words than that ring. I don’t want to sell it because it would never sell for what it’s worth. I’ll keep it just because it’s now a symbolic part of my history.
I think the decision to wear your ring is entirely up to you. It must have meant so much to you at one point in your life, so how can anybody tell you when you can or can’t wear it? I think when you fall in love again, (you see? I’m being optimistic) then it’s time to maybe put the ring to rest somewhere. Ultimately it’s your ring, so it’s your choice how you decide to phase it out. As Zsa Zsa Gabore once said ” I’ve never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back. ” I share the same view. Finders keepers.