Friday, January 4, 2013

My Wedding Ring by Nena Ndioma

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We got a good deal on my wedding ring. It cost us $75 at Sam’s Club, and that was a lot of money to us back then. It’s a simple, gold wedding band. I forget how many karats.

I never dreamt about what my wedding ring would be like. Apart from the fact that I’m not big on jewelry (except for earrings!), the sort of ring I would wear just never seemed terribly important to me. What mattered to me was to have a solid marriage, no matter what kind of ring I wore.

When we got it, I remember thinking to myself, ‘I bet this will fade in a year or so.’ Although $75 was nothing for us to sneeze at back then, I knew that there were much more expensive, sophisticated, beautiful rings. ‘If it ever fades in the years to come, we can always buy a better one,’ I thought.


We bought matching rings at the same time, for the same price.

For twelve years, I had this habit of playing with my ring: pulling it off from its tight spot, where it had left a slight mark on my skin, and rotating it around and around on my finger. I enjoyed doing that for some reason. Once in a while, I would pull it off for a split second – just to see if it was possible – and then quickly put it back on again, petrified of the idea of losing it.

It didn’t cost a lot, but it meant a lot. It represented the hopes and dreams of two young people with their whole lives ahead of them. It was a symbol of our partnership, our covenant.

My then husband, despite his propensity for misplacing things, kept his ring firmly in place without a problem for the first three years of marriage. By the end of the third year, his business ventures began to take him to another country. When he got back from one of his trips – either late that year, or early the next – he arrived without his wedding ring. He lost it, he explained, when I pointed it out.

How do you lose your wedding ring? I wondered.

But he bought another one soon enough for me to think nothing more about it.

When he returned from his next trip, he arrived yet again without his wedding ring.

‘How do you lose your wedding ring?’ I asked (out loud, this time).

‘I miss you when I’m gone,’ he explained. ‘And so, when I go to bed, I take off my ring and put it on the pillow by my side. It makes me feel like you’re there with me.’

Weird, I thought.

But I bought it.

He purchased yet another ring. This one was bigger with a bold design. A bit too gaudy for my liking.

The next time he got back, his wedding ring finger was bare, as usual.

I never asked about his ring again.

I honestly don’t know why.

Perhaps I had just resigned myself to the fact that my spouse was careless and lost things all the time. Perhaps I was just too weary taking care of a small child to want to bother with an adult. Perhaps I just stopped caring – about the rings, about the tedious relationship – long before I even realized it myself. Who knows?

I finally took my wedding ring off in December 2010 – a little over a year before my divorce. As I considered the various events that had unfolded over time, wearing it just seemed like a farce. There was no longer a covenant to speak of, and so wearing a wedding ring no longer seemed to hold any purpose. I put it in my jewelry box, where my earrings and necklaces have kept it company ever since.

My wedding ring never faded. My seventy-five dollar wedding ring from Sam’s Club.

After 14 years, it remains intact and almost as good as new. When I open my jewelry box to look for a pair of earrings, it shines back at me, brilliantly, knowingly, mockingly, from its new home.

Despite its arrogance, I still keep it. I would say I treasure it, actually. I respect it. It has stood the test of time, and there’s something to be said for longevity, consistency, and constancy.

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Nena Ndioma is the pen name of the writer behind Remembering my Journey, a blog detailing thoughts on being African, Christian and Divorced.






21 comments:

  1. A food for thought! She trusted her husband's excuses, but it turned out it might have been for other reasons that took off his ring on each ocassion.

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    1. Yes, the ring was definitely taken off for other reasons (=

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  2. I am proud of you Ndioma. You loved, truly. And the strength in your tone tells me you are in a good place now.

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    1. Thank you, Isha. I am in a good place. You know what they say about when life throws you lemons ...

      Nena

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  3. wow!, what a story heading over to her blog now..

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    1. Just got a comment from you on the blog, Jemima. Many thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Marriage is not all the time a bed of roses, but I like how this writer is handling the breakdown of hers. Her strength of character shows and I wish her the best.

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    1. Thank you, Anonymous. I get many remarks about my 'strength' and I would always find this really surprising before, as I never regarded myself as a particularly 'strong' person. I've now come to accept that perhaps I am actually much stronger than I ever thought. These experiences have certainly been a great strength trainer.

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  5. ... the choice of your words would continue to draw readers to you like a bee drawn to her honey... I did enjoyed the ride in the write...

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  6. Educative and deep article. But why do men stray really?

    http://theglamfile.blogspot.com

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    1. Some say it is in their nature to strategy. But I strongly disagree. If ladies can be commited, why cant men be commited as well. It all boils down to the choices we make and of course self-control.

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  7. She loved truly and never for once doubted his words...sigh! Men and their actions.

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  8. Sometimes it's easier looking the other way... But not for long. *sigh*

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  9. I loooovvvveee how she says so much without really saying anything (if that makes any sense). But love has the propensity to make us all dumb (wait, I think they call it 'blind' nowadays)

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  10. Hmmm... It is well. Good read though.

    Happy new year Myne. Happy new year rmj. Happy new year everyone

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    1. Thanks, mstizzle. Happy New Year, All!

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  11. Its so touching to know that something once bonded could be broken. I love this write up, its style and everything. It makes one realize that life is not a bed of roses.

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  12. wow...why did i just discover this blog....

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  13. The first time he came home without his ring, I sorta instinctively knew and had to restrain myself from scrolling to the end of your story to make sure. I'm sorry your marriage ended but if the way you write is any indication, you are so graceful and I wish you the best. {{Hugs}}



    -Alexa.

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    1. Thank you so much, Alexa. I'm still working on being graceful, but I've had tons of help along the way.

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