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A Wedding of Things

Diamonds aren't forever

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I lost my wedding ring. Funniest part is that I bought it with that predictable aspect of my personality in mind. You see, I'm generally a clumsy person in both physical and spiritual nature. So losing things, regardless of where on my body they are, is pretty commonplace. My husband and I don't put value in diamonds or the financial status they carry like a ball and chain. A very...expensive...ball and chain. Being a millenial, I grew up learning about blood diamonds, how common they really are, sham sham sham, etc - I never cared for the things (glittery as they may be) and definitely didn't see any sense in going into debt for one. I mean, they give LOANS for this stuff.

All of this stapled to our brains, we made the sensible decision to buy 10 dollar tungsten carbide rings from Amazon.com. Gay marriage had just been legalized in Oklahoma and we set our wedding date for that weekend - assuming ourselves grandfathered in just in case we tumbled backwards a couple decades and reversed the decision. Stranger things have happened and SCOTUS hadn't stricken down the bans nationwide so we weren't totally in the clear. Amazon also had 2 day shipping. Either way, people wanted to see us exchange rings. PDA is still weird so the kiss was gloriously awkward, but watching those rings slip loosely onto each other's fingers is the 10 million dollar picture. We had to get rings.

Rewind a few years to our first trip together to San Francisco - air balmy, farmers market smells wafting by, onion rolls (fuck yes Chinatown) in hand. We came across a small street vendor who looked like a peddler from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame sitting at a wooden cart filled with rings, coins, and a peculiar looking set of tools. The craftsman explained that he would take coins from his jars for whatever year we were born and make them into rings for 5 dollars each. DONE DEAL, DUDE. We watched as he collected the 1988 AND 1983 silver dollars from his metal menagerie, punched a hole in them, and then stretched them on an elongated iron cone until they reached our ring sizes.

A gypsy to the core, I was immediately mesmerized. The ridges remained on the underside and you could still see the years and "Liberty" stretched across the band. He wore his for a while, I planned to wear mine indefinitely.

Sorry about this, but we're going to jump around in time again - back to our wedding.

I used to wear the Liberty dollar ring on my wedding finger as my symbol of commitment since it wasn't really a legal option available to us. Unfortunately, I needed that finger for my cheapo ring so I begrudgingly took off the former for our ceremony and tucked it away in some drawer like my "clumsy spirit" does. My husband calls it forgetful. A move with our 3 beautiful children and many boxes later had my Liberty dollar ring lost to a calamity of hoarded Pinterest projects and Christmas decorations. It was gone for so long that I grew accustomed to the new ring and the ache of my missing treasure had died.

Then, I proved my nature again. Feet bare, garden hose in hand, sweat dripping, I flung my hand back as I yanked some gnarly crabgrass out of my garden and off slid my thrifty online wedding ring. I turned. I saw it fall. I SAW IT FALL. IN THE GRASS. Then it completely vanished. I looked for hours - made my kids look - went back in for a break and then stomped outside over and over making ever widening sweeps through the grass. It. Was. Gone. Of course, modern culture taught me to panic. It taught me that this was an omen that my marriage would crumble or that my husband would be convinced I was sleeping around. I was so worried that I had lost something so stupidly valuable to our relationship an--- oh wait and then I remembered that it was only 10 bucks and I bought it because I figured one day I would lose it. Hell, my husband didn't even wear his. I was freaking out because I had been brainwashed into thinking I had lost everything in that ring. I thought I had lost a diamond.

Damn. Two rings down. My relationship hadn't been compromised, my life wasn't in shambles and I still didn't have wrinkles so all was in order. Instead of buying another thing I would inevitably "misplace", I came upon a genius idea. I had a tattoo machine, a little bit of experience, and was yearning for a hand tattoo because deep down inside I know I'm too hipster not to. So I tattooed our wedding date in Roman numerals across my wedding finger. Brilliant! That'll help me remember it when I grow old, fart all the time, and start forgetting people. Wedding ring reborn in true hipster fashion. Aces.

It wasn't until last week that I realized my wedding ring tattoo wasn't my wedding ring either. That black slice of composite metal that had graced my wedding pictures and then subsequently went back to the earth wasn't. My wedding ring was what I just recently ran my clammy hands into. I found my Liberty dollar ring! Instantly, I slipped it on and regarded it like some giddy bride on a reality show. Then it came to me on a cloud of DUH. That was what it was like to look at your diamond and sigh with amor. Those rings exchanged stand for the commencement of something extraordinary - an exploration of life with a sidekick - and that rock was a crown.

Our diamond was that little man hung over his vendor cart punching coins into works of art. Our marriage was the moment we smeered our fingerprints on those imprints running around the circumference of our rings. However important that paper was to get and how imperative it was that we stood before an officiant and exchanged rings melted away. The universe brought us to a convergence with that man and spurned a joining of spirits. With these numbers inked in my skin and this small token of our trip dangling like a hula hoop on my hand, I am whole again.

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