With this ring…

Last night, or maybe it was the night before, Cate asked John, “How do people get divorced?” John responded something about going to court or paperwork, and Cate responded, “Oh, I thought the two people took off their rings and threw them at each other.”

Sometimes I forget that kids aren’t born understanding everything. Who knows where she heard about divorce, or got the idea that it involves throwing jewelry. It certainly wasn’t at our house. Here the only talk about rings has revolved around the hundred trips to the jewelry store we made this Fall to undo my big idea.

See, way back fifteen years ago when John and I got married, we didn’t have any money. We were also short on style, maturity and class. (maybe I should just speak for myself.) Anyway….when I went to choose John’s wedding band, I did not understand the concept of eternity, clearly, because I picked out the cheapest, plain gold band available. For years since, I have known that John would prefer a nicer wedding band, but something always got in the way. For example, still not having any money.

Then this year, for our 15 year wedding anniversary, I had the most spectacular idea: I would surprise John with an awesome new wedding band. From here on out, you can just assume this story gets worse.

I should probably take a moment now to admit I’m not a good listener. For example, John does not like mustard (or is it mayonnaise?), and has been telling me this for the last 20 years, and yet I still show up with mustard (or mayo) on his sandwiches. I love this man more than life itself and I can’t remember this simple detail. It’s enough to make anyone want to throw a ring at me.

It turns out he also hates surprises. Who knew? Me, apparently; but then I forgot. I spent the better part of a month researching rings online and visiting jewelry stores in search of the perfect ring, based on descriptions I was pulling unexpectedly from John during staged conversations. I was so stealth. And you all know how stealth I can be, especially after a few drinks. (So, yes, I’m sure he was on to me.)

I opted out of taking his ring off while he was asleep to measure for size, and instead ordered a silver band with a design that somewhat matches my tattoo in “whatever is average male ring size.” Yeah, those jewelry store people love it when you order the ring like that.

Then the day of the big reveal came and poor John had to tell me (again) how much he dislikes surprises. Oops. And also the ring was completely the wrong size. Oops. And also he really dislikes surprises.

We tried to take the ring back and exchange it for the right size, but there was this long string of interchanges where they ordered the ring and it was wrong, and we drove across town several times and finally we just said, “forget it.” So just let me know if you want me to help plan a romantic gesture for your anniversary. I’m really good at it.

Luckily John is the sweetest and he totally doesn’t care. Or at least he pretends not to care about my antics, which is just as sweet. I think I’ll keep him forever; He has the original gold band to remind him.

…His 40th birthday is next year and this time I’m not messing around. I made myself a big alert on my iPhone on his birthday that says, “NO surprise party!” Just in case.

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