Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I'm not sure when I first started wearing rings.

I wore a class ring in high school, with my name engraved on one side and a music note on the other. After that, I can remember a college neighbor teasing me about the spoon ring I wore. We had a on-going fake-antagonistic debate over who was correct. His theory was spoon rings were for children. My counter was, just because a girl in his third grade class happened to wear a spoon ring, didn't make them the exclusive realm of child-wear. Didn't children also wear shirts and belts? I don't think we ever came to a consensus, mostly because everyone we tried to have side with us simply didn't care. I don't remember when I stopped wearing the spoon ring; I probably lost it.

I may have mentioned I have a history of losing things...

Anyway. While still in college, I bought myself an opal ring (my birthstone) with money my parents gave me for my twenty-first birthday. It was a beautiful, modest ring I picked out specifically at Service Merchandise because of the two stripes of blueish purple in one of the two stones. I loved this ring. When my friend Jen told me soaking the stone in olive oil would keep the stone from drying out, it became one of our rituals when I went to visit she and her husband up in Cleveland. I'd walk in the door, she'd pour a small amount into a dish and I'd drop my ring in, retrieving it before I left on Sunday.

When I turned thirty, my Aunt Jo gave me one of my grandmother's rings. This ring and the 21st birthday ring were the only "sentimental" rings I've ever owned. When I lost both of them for several weeks, it upset me so much, that I once I found them, I placed them in my jewelry box until I could get over the stress of having lost them. This hasn't happened yet.

Which lead me to purchasing cheap, over-sized silver rings, usually from Kohl's or Target, sometimes from a street vendor at an art fair or while on vacation. It often takes several weeks for me to discover if one doesn't fit properly, or snags on things, or simply doesn't look right. Then I simply abandon the ring and eat the ten dollars.

Sometimes I worry that I wear too many rings, that I'm in danger of becoming "crazy ring lady." But I've decided if I keep it down to five, that seems reasonable. At least to me. Why does this concern me? Because I hate to admit I allowed a piece of men's jewelry to heavy influence my feelings about someone I dated. It wasn't the only factor that lead to my ending the relationship, but I would be lying if I said I could see myself easily getting past it.

One morning in church, a neighbor came with her grandson, who cuddled up next to me. I instinctively outstretched my palm toward him. He put his hand in mine and I gave it a playful little jaunty squeeze. The service had started so he leaned in and whispered, "Your rings are kinda hurting me a lot."

I went about removing them one by one and offered my hand again, which accepted. "How's that?" I asked.

"Good," he replied, and went about fishing my rings up up off the pew, one by one with a pencil and spinning them around.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, sure. Leave out the story about how you and Frodo went on an adventure and tossed one of your rings in a volcano. That story doesn't make the cut.