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The ring's the thing


I’ve struggled with a bad habit for years now.

No, not hookers and blow. That was so last week.

My bad habit is, I play with my wedding ring, almost compulsively.

See, years ago, some wise old (married) gent advised me to buy my band big. The reasoning was that I wasn’t going to keep my svelte, boyish figure forever, and I didn’t want to have to get my ring sized up to match my waistline.

So I bought up.

Trouble is, I didn’t grow. I shrank. I was … how do you say it … fat when I tied the knot nearly 17 years ago. Now I’m … less fat. Not braggin’. Just sayin’.

So my ring, which was big to start, is huge now.

Years ago, my wife and I were at a friend’s backyard BBQ. After tossing a football around, I glanced down and saw my ring, the symbol of my undying love for my beautiful bride, was gone. Casually, I strolled around the yard trying to find it.

Before long, my wife saddled up and asked what I was doing. I guess I wasn’t as casual as I had thought and was instead walking a grid, as I’m sure I had read the CSI crew does to process a crime scene.

Pressed, I confessed, and, after a brief search, she found my ring. I haven’t heard the end of it since.

A couple of years ago, I came inside after hanging Christmas lights and, again, my ring was gone. I eventually tracked it down; it had slid off as I put lights on the kids’ playset and was trapped between the wooden frame and the tarp roof. I’m still not sure how I found it.

There have been many, many other near losses before and since.

Anyone with half a mind would get the ring sized down, but not me, which should tell you exactly how big my brain isn’t. Maybe I’m afraid middle-age spread will accelerate as soon as the ring fits, or maybe I was so impressed by my dad’s gazillion tellings of how he lost his wedding ring early in his marriage — trust me, there aren’t enough electrons in the World Wide Web to do his version of the story justice — that I, too, want to lose mine so I’ll have a way to bore my kids to tears in the years to come.

Which brings me to that bad habit I was telling you about.

I like to slide my ring off and play with it whenever I get the chance: at work (once, I distinctly recall it rolling down my leg at our old office, rolling down the hall, then bouncing — ping, Ping, PING — down the stone staircase before twirling to a stop beneath a potted plant, just outside The Boss’ office), at church, waiting in line, at the grocery story, stuck in traffic. Especially stuck in traffic.

In my wife’s car, I like to flip it through the hole in the bottom of the steering wheel and try to catch it just in front of the horn. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed and had to dig it out from the (Camry-recall defective) floor mats after I’ve parked in the garage.

Worst of all, I like to play with it as I wait at stoplights on my bike.

I’ll slip it off, flip it around, put it on my thumb, twirl it, put it back on. OCD (or ADHD or AD&D or SOB or BYOB) as I am, the pattern has to be symmetrical, or it bugs me until the next stop light, so I find myself frantically trying to get the pattern just right before the light turns green.

And every time, I envision the darned thing — “I give you this ring, as a sign of my love, and with all that I have, and all that I am, I will honor you,” I believe were the words (they’d better be, or I’m in capital-t trouble) we exchanged before I put the ring on for the first, but oh-so-not-the-last, time — rolling off, ping-pinging down the road, rolling intro traffic and, depending on the intersection, either under the wheels of a speeding 18-wheeler or straight down a storm drain.

And the thing is, I can’t stop myself.

So, if ever you drive up to an intersection, see a bike haphazardly tossed to the side and a man frantically dodging traffic, sticking his head under stopped cars and peering into storm drains, give a little honk and wave, would ya?

Better yet, put ’er in park and give me a hand looking for my ring.

I’ve got a marriage to save.


RoeDapple 7 years, 7 months ago

Mrs Roe used to have a habit of tap, tap, tapping her rings on table tops. On our way to an event about 30 years ago we ate at a local restaurant then went on our way. about two hours later she screamed,"The diamond is gone!!". Sure enough, the stone had skipped out, gone, vanished.- - M.I.A. The only thing we could think of was to try finding it back where we were seated when we ate, otherwise it seemed pretty hopeless we would ever see it again. The restaurant staff were kind enough to loan me a flashlight but stated they had probably served 3 or 4 groups at that table since we had left so didn't think I would be lucky enough to find anything. After only a few seconds I spotted a flicker of light, picked up the runaway rock and handed it to her. Her first reaction? "That's not it! It's too small !!"

My reply,"Just how many diamonds do you think I'm gonna find under this table?"

Since then she takes it annually to be checked.

independant1 7 years, 7 months ago

Lost mine whilst (whilst?) swimming out at Clinton Lake. It was a skosh (skosh?) too big too, the wedding band belonged to wifey's grandfather (we're a cheap clan.) The grid search works underwater too. I also know the sound of gold ringing/bouncing down granite stairs. Snag the danged thing on all sorts of things, gets out of round so have to reround it every once in awhile.

And Roe so sorry she thnks it's too small.

RoeDapple 7 years, 7 months ago

Story of my life . . . oh, well . . .

LadyJ 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm sorry, I can't resist, it's just too tempting. Put it through your nose, makes it easier for her to.... :) Apologies to all married men.

formerksteacher 7 years, 7 months ago

Go see Ernie at Kizer-Cummings. He's a very honest guy - they size rings all the time. Find yourself a new habit!

overthemoon 7 years, 7 months ago

Tape it down with a big band-aid. But I rather like LadyJ's nose ring solution.

John Spencer 7 years, 7 months ago

My wife and I have moved our wedding rings to the middle finger as we have both lost weight and don't want to change the rings themselves(or spend the money)!

seriouscat 7 years, 7 months ago

Lots of good visuals in this one. Thanks for the laugh : )

mom_of_three 7 years, 7 months ago

My husband's ring used to fall off, too. He flung his hand out once and it fell off in the snow. He has found it every time, but is much more careful. Not sure if we had it resized or what, but it hasn't happened for a while. But whenever I see men playing with their wedding ring, I get nervous for their wives!

Kontum1972 7 years, 7 months ago

get a lawyer....then u dont have to worry about it..the only ring u will have to worry about is the one u leave in the tub.....OBTW mom of 3....i know what u mean....

Chris Bohling 7 years, 7 months ago

I've managed to lose about 10 pounds since getting married a year ago and my ring does feel a little loose. I nearly lost it when I took a wild detour through the poison ivy up at mud creek last week; that's when I realized I should take it off while cycling!

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