“Married women don’t get enough credit,” my mother said one afternoon a few weeks back. “Marriage is all about being able to deal with assholes.”
I don’t know what my father had done that day, but clearly, it wasn’t good.
My mother’s wisdom is always appreciated, but that day’s insight may not have been what I should have heard the night my cousin Julie arrived from Canada with my Great-Grandmother’s wedding ring.
Julie passed the generations-old, Irish-made gold band on to me in an understated ceremony in my kitchen, over a beer. I think the theme from Riverdance was playing from the Bose in the background, then again, my memory could just be over-romanticizing the significance of the scene and the transcendence of my Celtic heritage.
“I don’t doubt you’ll put it to good use,” she said as I slipped the ring out of the silk sack and onto my finger.
Mistake. I was stuck with it as we headed out the door. Cute waiters were no longer fair game – I was, for the night, a taken female.
Starring down at the ring through dinner, watching my finger change colors from peach to blue, I grew strangely sentimental and slightly anxious. Few things have been passed successfully through the generations in my family – a blue vase and a fetish for hats – and to have my great-grandmother’s wedding ring bestowed on me was to have an unexpected amount of pressure on my shoulders.
I guess I was going to have to get married after all.
Another Blue Moon and a bar of soap when I got home made removing the ring somewhat less painful than I had anticipated.
A week later, my friend Julia posted on my Facebook wall: “I had a dream you were engaged!” And then last week a woman stopped me at the cross walk for a chat. She was eager to make a friend and seemed slightly crazed from the hot summer sun. Midway through my story about my hat, she interrupted me: “You’re going to get married. I just know it! You’re going to get married.”
It seems the voices have changed their tune from prescriptions (you need to find a nice rich husband) to premonitions. Luckily, I don’t put much weight in the predictions of raving women on crowded street corners.
Then again, the soothsayer in the crowd advised Julius Caesar to beware the ides of March… and, well, we all know how that turned out.
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Don’t feel too much pressure. In the end it’s just a ring – an object has exactly as much meaning as you let it.