I’d never worn a ring before I got married, so when I started wearing my wedding ring, I wasn’t used to it. It didn’t feel right. I constantly spun it on my finger, pulled it over my knuckle, and occasionally took it off altogether. Not a good idea.
You can see where this is going. Less than half a year after I bought it, I lost it. We know it’s somewhere in the house, but we turned the place upside down, combed through the trash and floorboards and vacuum bag, and still didn’t find it. Sad.
We planned to get a new one, but we weren’t in a hurry. Neither of us worried too much about the symbolism, and I’d proven I couldn’t really be trusted with one anyway, so we put it off.
A couple months down the road, we visited Gina’s aunt Carole down in Southern California, who’s as close to her as her own mother. Carole laughed along with us as we told the story, then immediately said hey, what about her late husband Charlie’s ring? We protested vigorously, but to no avail. She headed straight to her bedroom, brought it back, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. We looked at each other, uncertain, but I liked it and it fit me, so we thanked her profusely and I put it on.
It’s amazing. Not just that it’s my style, or that it fits, but the visible wear and tear is astounding. It’s traditional 14ct yellow gold, so Charlie’s 40 years of hard living have put dozens, maybe hundreds of scratches, dents, and holes in it. Talk about character.
If you know me, you know I’m not a hipster. I care about aesthetics, including what I wear, but I’m not exactly trendy, and I react to peer pressure by pushing hard in the opposite direction. I’ve been called stubborn, and the shoe fits. I don’t go for counterculture fashion any more than “normal” fashion, and I’m uncomfortable with blind fanaticism for artisan hand-made local organic distressed vintage everything. I do love character and a good backstory, though, and I care about treating people fairly, like Brett, so I’m disappointed that hipster culture has soured me on all that a bit.
Happily, that kind of navel-gazing and hand-wringing just makes me love this ring even more. It’s old, classic, and wears its heart on its sleeve, sure, but it’s not a bump of hipster street cred to us. We’ve found tremendous meaning in revitalizing family heirlooms before, and this feels the same way. We came by it honestly and we love it.
Thank you, Carole, for such a wonderful gift! We couldn’t be happier with it. I’ll wear it in your and Charlie’s honor, and it will keep you both in our hearts.