There aren’t many items I lug around on this early retirement budget travel adventure that are worth a lot of money or that mean that much to me. I detached from nearly all material possessions long ago. But there are a few small, sentimental items I can’t seem to let go of – like my wedding band.
I’m gonna start this personal short story back in March. A close friend and I went into the water at a calm beach in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. I forgot to take off my wedding band before we went into the sea. I almost always take the ring off before I go in the water because when my hand gets cold, it easily spins around my finger and I’m paranoid about losing it. My hand was in a fist the entire time to prevent that from happening. I could not relax and enjoy myself. I could think of nearly nothing else except: don’t lose that band on your hand.
Some irony here: that same small beach is exactly where Tedly lost his wedding band as he took surf lessons a few weeks later.
He was upset at the loss, and lamented it for weeks. He’s not in the water as much as I am, and I’m more of a swimmer than he is. So Tedly never even thought to remove his ring – he’s never felt it in danger of slipping off.
We agreed on our wedding bands just before we were married. I wanted something strong, and I wanted a brushed, gray color – I didn’t want bright and shiny gold or silver. I found tungsten was virtually scratch-proof, bang-resistant, and can have a darker matte color, so that’s the metal I wanted.
Tedly picked out the design: three thin circles around the ring, a diamond chip, names engraved inside. Each circle represents a stage of our relationship. Ring/round one: when I moved into and then out of his house. Ring/round two: when I moved out of Ohio and to California. Ring/round three: our marriage – vows for a life together.
Tedly insisted on the diamond chip since I declined his offer for a separate diamond ring. I wanted that money to go into our travel fund. Plus, why would I want to travel with a large rock on my hand when we often go to places where people don’t have a lot of money?
My ring has his name inside, his had mine.
The ring is surprisingly heavy. Here’s a picture of mine:
It’s ironic. Tedly is the “romantic” one in this pair. I love that about him. He can be soft and sweet and highly sensitive. I’m more “practical” in that I can be somewhat hard and aloof and logical. Yet, he opted for a much more practical solution to the lost ring dilemma.
His solution was to have a new wedding band made by locals. He believes we’re bound to lose another ring somewhere at some point because we have active lifestyles, and accidents do happen. Then, whenever one of us lost a ring again, we could simply have it locally made wherever in the world we happened to be at that moment. In that way, any new ring we had to get would have its own special story – that it was made somewhere in the world on our travels together. So yes, in a sense, that’s quite romantic, too.
The alternative – and more expensive – route would be to order the ring from the company that made the original and have it FedExed to us wherever in the world we happen to be.
Tedly’s replacement ring was made in Oaxaca City, several months after he lost the original. It’s a simple a silver band sized for him. It’s bright and shiny – no circles, no diamond chip, my name is not engraved on the inside. Just plain. It cost about $47. He’s ok with this new ring, so I’m ok with it – for him. I’m not sure I would have gone the same route for my own replacement ring.
I don’t know why I’m so oddly attached to my original band, especially since I’m really not a sentimental kinda gal. Of course, I logically know it’s “just a ring.” Maybe it’s that there are so few “items” I carry on our adventures that really mean anything to me. Or maybe the ring simply reminds me: without human connections and partnerships with people, what else is there — really? That’s a hard-learned lesson in my life, and I don’t want to ever forget it.
I won’t know how I’ll feel about a replacement for myself until (or if) I lose my own wedding band. I wonder if I’ll have a ring made by locals wherever in the world we happen to be, or, if I’ll order a replica have it sent to wherever in the world I am. Or, maybe, I’ll just let it go and not even replace it at all. I mean, it is just a ring, right?