Sunday, January 16, 2005

Lost Ring

I messed up. I lost my wedding ring. The details aren't important, but it's gone. Mrs. NOS is cool with it. It was just a piece of metal. We're still married.

I know the ring is gone, but my sensory system does not. My left hand keeps feeling light, so the thumb runs along the lateral aspect of the ring finger, and not finding the object that has occupied that space for years, it reports this to my sensory system. The sensory system raises a general alarm. And so I'm reminded, again, that I lost the ring. It happened about 20 times yesterday, and already 3 or 4 times this morning.

I expect eventually homeostasis will be restored. My body will no longer feel like it's missing something. Until then, my hand feels light. I'd say it feels naked, except that's actually how I feel. It amazes me that other people do not see and immediately comment on the lack of ring. It is so obvious to me that something's missing.

The entire episode made me think a bit about marriage, and I realize that a ring is a poor analogy to marriage. A marriage is dynamic, not static - since the ring doesn't change, it fails to capture one of the essential parts of marriage. A marriage can end, but without any care a ring will continue to exist long after the wearer is dead. Even my ring is still out there, unchanged. Marriage changes as the people within the marriage change, as they have kids or do not, as they move into houses, and out of houses, as they fight, love, and everything in between. Marriage grows for some, withers for others, a ring remains the same. A marriage is imperfect, not represented in the ring's perfect circle. Marriage changes the people who are married, but our rings never formed such a bond. The only change the ring left on me was a tan line over the summer.

I think marriage is better captured by a car. It requires constant attention or it loses even more of its value over time. If not fed gas, it stops working altogether. It rusts and acquires dings, which may or may not be repaired. They are expensive to own, more expensive to break, and worth far more to the owners than the market would allow.


Blogger jazzfest said...

My first thought is that I'd rather think about marriage as a tree. The growth rings are bigger/smaller based on the weather. Cars do eventually weat out. Unless you have one of those really nifty vintage cars -- like a 64 1/2 Mustang

2:58 PM  
Blogger Linda Hope said...

A very thought provoking post. Thanks. You are right about the ring being an inadequate representation of marriage, yet it does represent the hopes of one. Hope that love will never fail, that it will be "till death do us part", that through all the changes in life the love and care and acceptance of one another stays consistent...and though marriage, and the individuals change, the core of who they are would stay solid, and unbreakable.

A car would be a good description...though it is another imperfect image of marriage for you can trade it in whenever it gets old and rusted...or you just get bored of it and want a newer, slicker model. I hope one day, the man i marry would love me just as much when new and shiny, as i am old and rusted...unchanged. Kinda like a wedding ring.

Hope you find yours...or get a new one.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Car as a tree. Good one, except marriages don't have to grow stronger and stronger before they die. But I like other images: like seasons for growing and seasons for rest. Some marriages even bear fruit!

3:48 PM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

As for trading the car in - I think that's more apt than not. Thanks for your posts.

3:49 PM  
Blogger The Ken said...

Not sure if you're still following the conversation but I've posted another comment on that discussion we were havving in my blog. (

5:27 AM  
Blogger Wench` said...

It's been 5 years since my ring came off and my hand still misses that damn ring. I just ignore it.

I like the tree analogy - I think it was perfect. The trees that are cut down represent the "felled" marriages.

7:20 AM  
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