Friday, April 29, 2011

Thank You, Prince William, or With These Cufflinks, I Thee Wed

Prince William has decided not to wear a wedding ring. Much has been made of this fact in the media. I'm still not sure why he decided not to wear one, but all I can say is "Thank you!" Now I can finally get over the fact that my husband, J, does not wear one!

J has a wedding ring, sure. And he vowed to wear it as a symbol of our love or something to that effect in our wedding. And that vow lasted...about 13 days. Thirteen days in which he actually lost his ring TWICE!

J has never worn any jewelry, not even a watch. The only jewelry he had when we met was an iron pinkie ring which he never wore, because he got his degree in engineering, and in Canada, all engineers get a pinkie ring made out of iron to remind them of how if they make a mistake in their job, bridges and mines can collapse and people can die, so they should always remember not to make a mistake. (I'm sure I don't have all the particulars of this tradition right, but this was the gist of what he told me. He actually became an IT guy after he graduated and so has never needed to wear that ring to remind him.)

J told me in advance he didn't want to wear a wedding ring because he doesn't like wearing jewelry, but I thought surely he would get used to wearing one. We picked out a lovely white gold band, I had our wedding date inscribed inside it, and we forged ahead to our wedding day.


J's ring is JUST out of sight in this picture, taken during our cocktail hour.

We exchanged the vows, I put the ring on him, and all was going very swimmingly until about an hour into our reception. Suddenly, our videographer came over and tapped J on the shoulder.

"Are you missing something?" he said, and held up J's wedding ring, which he had seen slip off his hand. J, not used to the ring, hadn't even noticed! One hour into our marriage and the ring was already a problem.

The next morning we flew off to France and Switzerland for a 10-day honeymoon. We started off in Lyon. J put his ring on everyday, but he kept turning it around and around on his finger and it was obviously driving him nuts. And him fiddling with it all the time was DRIVING ME NUTS!

Our third day in Lyon, we took a boat ride along the Saone River. J kept fiddling with his ring. And then all of a sudden, I heard, "plink, plink" and then nothing. I looked at J. "Did you just drop your ring?" J looked down at his hand and then up at me: "Yeah, I guess so." We looked at the metal bottom of the boat...I figured after the second "plink," the ring probably went over the side, into the water, and that was that!

As we looked around behind us, a voice from two rows back said, "I"ve got it!" and handed forward J's ring. I put the ring on my finger for the rest of the ride. I was like, "Seriously, J? You've lost the ring twice in four days?!"

"I just can't get used to it...I'm not a jewelry guy," J said. "It doesn't mean I don't love you or we're not married if I don't wear it."


I took this picture about 30 minutes before we went on the boat ride
where he almost lost the ring.
It is LITERALLY the only picture I have
that shows him wearing it!

J toughed it out with the ring until the end of our honeymoon and a few days at home. The first time he drove the car, he felt like he had to take it off to drive! And the day we returned to work was the last straw for him.

"I can't type with the ring on," he complained. "How do you do it? I'm sorry, but I just can't get used to wearing it."

And that was the end of the ring. I really had a hard time with it the first few years of our marriage and wanted him to give it another try, but he steadfastly refused.

Over time, however, I started to get over the ring issue. Especially after I began to realize that I actually HAD given J a piece of jewelry on our wedding day that he wore, maybe not every day, but at least weekly.

Cufflinks.

Before our wedding, J had a dress shirt with French cuffs, but he didn't have any cufflinks. He just wore the fake ones that came with the shirt. (My husband needed a little help in the style department when we met, obviously LOL. OK, he still needs some help.) Since I knew he loved that shirt and would need cufflinks with his tuxedo, I got him a pair of silver cufflinks engraved with his monogram and gave them to him as a wedding gift.

He wore them at the wedding. He wore them on our honeymoon with the shirt. He continued to wear them when we got home and bought other French cuff shirts because he LIKED wearing his cufflinks. They perform a FUNCTION with his outfit and do not GET IN HIS WAY. As an IT guy with an engineering background, this is something he appreciates.

Apparently, I should've simply held his wrists during the wedding and said, "With these cufflinks, I thee wed" or "Wear these as a symbol of my love" or whatever. :)

Some of my girlfriends have commented on J's lack of wedding ring over the years, and I've told them about his wedding cufflinks. But now that Prince William has decided NOT to wear a ring from the get-go, I think I can finally let the issue go and get over it, once and for all.

After all, if Prince William doesn't feel the need to wear a ring, J, my prince, certainly doesn't have to! :)

Note: J still has his ring. It sits in a lovely music box we purchased in Geneva, Switzerland at the end of our honeymoon, along with his cufflinks. J actually picked the music box out because it has a red rose on the lid and we did a variation on the Unity Ceremony with roses in our wedding. He liked the symbolism. So he's romantic in his own way. :) I'm lucky to have him.

2 comments:

  1. Honestly, I don't know what the big deal is or was. Many people, men and women cannot wear wedding rings for one reason or another. One of them is my mother. After wearing her engagement ring and band every day for over ten years, my brother slammed her hand in the sliding door of a mini-van and it latched. Her finger broke, the rings had to be cut off and the way the bone healed, she has never been able to wear rings on that finger ever again. My dad still wears his band, he accidentally threw it away in the trash at work a month after getting married while drying his hands in the bathroom (ring slid off into paper towel and he didn't notice). It was one of those trashcans that attached to the wall so a janitor kindly undid it and gave my dad some gloves and they went through it together. My grandmother-my mom's mom- also had an accident that resulted in her breaking her ring finger and no longer being able to wear her rings after 40+ years of wearing it. My husband didn't wear his band the first year we were married because it was too big and although resizing it was free, he just never got around to it. What prompted him to get it resized and just start wearing it full time? A co-worker who started after we were married tried to set him up with her sister.

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  2. I thought this was a little weird as I read this story, but on second thought, it shouldn't really be that big of a deal. As Kristen just wrote, lots of people can't or don't wear rings. I take mine off when I play guitar. It's the promises that people make that are important, not the jewelry that people wear.

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