For those desiring to remember something frightening, this story is not about that wacky Japanese horror flick featuring a ghost with bad hair, but rather about a ring that goes on your finger.
Understanding that life in the desert comes with perennially dry hands, the other day while cleaning the kitchen I casually slipped off my wedding band and not-so-casually snapped on my yellow rubber gloves to avoid further chapping of my already battered fingers (ah, the arid desert). I placed the ring in one of the usual spots I’ve designated when doing kitchen stuff.
A while later, while watching the proclaimed worst film ever – “Plan Nine From Outer Space” – I subconsciously found myself rubbing my left land, fourth finger. Forgetting my earlier cleaning session, panic immediately shot through my hand and head – “Where was my wedding ring?”
To some of you, this may be familiar territory, those feelings of panic, cold sweat and dread that accompany the concept that perhaps you lost your wedding ring – forever destined to a future of blame and “How could you take IT off.”
Understand, I am 59.5 years old and up until last summer, I had never been married. I am not much into jewelry either, and as such, was not accustomed to having a noose, I mean a band, around that finger – or any other.
After two really long-term relationships that had different endings (both not-so-happy), I had resigned myself to a wed-less future. Truth be told, I really wasn’t that sad about it.
Until I met the Cuban.
After three years of dating it became clear – I wanted to be married! I didn’t need to be married, but somehow in this situation and at that time, I actually WANTED to be married. It wasn’t that I had this fantasy of walking down a rosebud-petaled path to the sounds of Vivaldi and the sight of teary-eyed loved ones, but rather simply that it felt right.
That’s right, there is no other way to explain it other than it felt right.
Three days before Valentine’s Day 2020 (I never do things when I’m supposed to), my future husband was in the kitchen preparing his lunch for work the next day (you know back when people actually drove off to work). All of a sudden, I knew it was now or never. “Can I ask you something?” I said as he cooked something over the stove.
“Yes?” he responded while stirring.
“Will you marry me?” the words shot out and I began to tear up.
“Wait, let me turn off the stove,” he said. (I know, so romantic!)
You can fill in the blanks with the kisses, hugs and “Wow, this is really happening” exclamations, but I suspected “yes” would be the answer and I knew this was the appropriate time to ask, not mushy old Valentine’s Day.
Unbeknownst to us, the months to follow would be met with the cloak of COVID, and my dreams of a large, beautiful wedding, eventually winnowed to a gathering of 15 masked family members and friends outside during one of the hottest days of July.
That didn’t matter. It was the loveliest day of my life.
So, snapping back to my dilemma, you can imagine how I felt when I could not feel that band of carbon and titanium enshrouded upon my finger.
I calmed myself and walked into the kitchen, easily finding my ring.
I had no idea that a ring could create such a presence in a person’s life, but now that I’m married, I get it. At times I absentmindedly find myself rubbing that metal band and it reminds me what has changed in my life. I treasure that thing, just as I treasure my spouse.
And now that another Valentine’s Day has passed and I realize that soon we will celebrate our first anniversary, that band holds tighter and symbolizes us together.
The ring is something that now reminds me that I am loved, and after some not-so-grand Valentine’s Days, I now understand that sometimes it can take almost a lifetime of “things” before you get to the “right thing.”
And with that, I end this as “Poolside from PS.”