My dad has never taken off his wedding ring. Yard work? Harsh solvents? Vietnam? Nope. He’s had that gold band on for 50 years.
I’m more of an on-again, off-again kind of ring bearer. I take mine off to sleep, or to put on lotion, or bathe gross dogs, or whatever.
But I have learned my lesson.
A few weeks ago, I trekked to the Iowa State Fair. I’ll be honest: it’s hot and dusty and I can’t eat any of the food. I don’t like the fair, but I like my friends.
So I parked near the capitol and took a shuttle to the fairgrounds. But because I burn by just looking out the window, I slapped on a bunch of sunscreen before I got out of the car. So responsible!
So responsible until I looked down during the shuttle ride to find that my ring finger was all fat. It looked fat because it was naked. I didn’t have my wedding rings. I’d taken them off in the car to put on sunscreen. They’d been in my lap. And then? Maybe they were in the car? Maybe they were in the street? Maybe they’d already been pawned by gypsies?
I texted my friends. I got off the bus at the fairgrounds. I bought a ticket, went inside to use the bathroom and cry, grabbed my friends, and got back on the shuttle for Operation: Find My Rings and Save Me From Filing the Stupidest Insurance Claim of All Time.
But insurance couldn’t really replace the rings. You know, the rings that my darling husband gave me. The rings with which we promised to be married and together and stuff. The rings I really like.
I vacillated between laughing with my friends and crybarfing. You know, when you can’t decide if you’re going to cry or barf, so you just sit there with your hands over your face? Yeah.
We walked back to the car. MY RINGS WERE LAYING IN THE STREET. Right next to the car, like I’d left them there on purpose. I started crying in earnest. And almost barfing with relief. Because that’s a thing, right?
I’m tempted not to tell this story because there’s a huge opportunity for a big ol’ “I TOLD YOU SO” from my dad. But … he’s my dad. When I was nursing a particularly broken heart, one of our phone conversations generated a scrap of paper that’s still in my wallet. On one side? Things to look for when buying a TV, because he’s a tech guy like that. On the other side? Reasons why I would find love again. Because he’s on my side like that.
I’ll grant him one big, huge “I told you so.” We’ve both earned it.