Sunday, January 09, 2005

More Than Just A Symbol...

My finger feels naked. I keep touching my wedding band and missing the special band of 5 diamonds just above it.

Friday night was an awesome workout of Deep Water Running. For anyone who has never tried it, you wear a floatation belt and do all kinds of running, skiing and cycling motions in the water for an hour... and boy can you ever work up a sweat!! Nick and I are absolutely hooked and Erin loves the chance to earn some baby sitting money by staying right in the fitness center's TV room with Bethany while we are in the pool a few meters away.

Saturday morning when I woke up however, my engagement ring snagged on the comforter and I looked down to realize that one of the claws on the outside most diamond had sheared off and that the stone was gone!

Seventeen years ago when Nick and I first began to look at engagement rings, both of us were on a very tight budget. He was working for one of the group homes in the city and trying to supply teach because there just weren’t very many teaching positions available unless you could speak French to teach Immersion. I’d just moved down and found a job at a local radio station writing commercials in the copy department for $13,500 (ONLY because I had a University degree. They’d been hoping to pay someone about $10,000) Most of the engagement rings we’d been looking at seemed way beyond our means when we had a wedding to save for and IKEA or yard sale furniture.

When the local Birks Jewelers has a ring setting sale, where you could look at lots of setting and which stones to put in them, I took along a very special pin that my grandmother, Jet, had left to me. We incorporated five small diamonds from that pin into a ring that I could wear all the time. As an artist, I use my hands all the time and didn’t want something I would have to take off a lot, so we chose a setting that would hopefully stand the wear and tear without snagging on things all the time.

We took it to another jeweler's on Saturday and sent it off for an estimate of how much it would cost to replace that diamond and transfer the other stones to a similar setting. When they looked at the ring with a magnifier, they could see that at least 2 of the other settings were also close to being worn away. I certainly have no intention of losing any more of my “Jet sparklies”.

I suppose I should be impressed that I’ve been married to Nick long enough to wear the ring out before the man... I had the pleasure of knowing I’d been married to him longer than my own parents stayed together last summer... but it is amazing how much I miss wearing my ring! It is one of those perception shifts. I looked at all the new, sparkling rings while we waited at the jewelry store and remembered when MINE looked that new. I don’t really feel as if that much time has passed... and yet I know that Nick and I have also been worn and weathered by over a decade and a half together. Neither of us is quite as shiny and new as we were the night we chose that ring and also purchased a sofa bed - our first piece of furniture we bought TOGETHER.

I’m still not sure which purchase that night terrified us the most!

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