I have never worn a ring before, so when Thomasina and I went to size my finger it appears we made a mistake and came up a size too big. But we didn’t discover this until our wedding day and it has annoyed me ever since.
I am already extra sensitive to how things wear on me – I never wear jewelry, not even a watch I need clothes to fit just right, so I was anticipating a difficult adjustment to having a ring on my finger at all times. The fact that it is too big and clumsily hangs on my finger just made the adjustment that much harder.
However, nearly five months in I am now coming to appreciate this as a real fortunate thing. In fact, this one-size-too-big ring might actually be the most perfectly happy accident to happen. Here is why:
It reminds me to keep my ego in check
Part of the reason we sized my finger too large – and the excuse I kept making to myself that the ring shouldn’t be replaced with a size smaller – is that I have laughably huge knuckles. In order to slip fully onto my finger, my wedding ring must first pass over these big ‘ole knobby knuckles and so of course it has to be slightly too big just to fit over my knuckles. Of course, the part of my finger it actually rests on then has an awkward gap and it usually sits crooked and “pops up” when I grip something in an awkward way.
This reminds me of how most people see me. In order to get to know me they have to get past that part of myself I show the world that is a bit larger than my true self, a little bit of my ego and a lot of my insecurities putting up a defense. In order to accept me and see my true self, people often have to be big enough to get past those initial impressions before they are able to see me for who I truly am.
This is something that I constantly need to work on and be aware of. Putting this ring on my finger every day is a constant reminder of that struggle to try and tamper it down as well as appreciate those who do make it past my outsized ego.
It reminds to accept that not everything in our marriage will always be perfect
Could the ring fit better? Sure. A size down would probably fit over my knuckle still and fit more snugly. I could replace it. But if I do that I will always know it wasn’t the original ring that I received on my wedding day.
Going into this marriage, Thomasina and I were focused so much on the positive and how much we loved each other and how “perfect” we were for each other that it became easy to forget about the problems we bring into the union and the fact that there will be mistakes, struggles, and even some “irreconcilable differences” of opinion or personality.
I finally made up my mind to not replace this ring because I want to stick with the original choice that was made and accept the fact that there might have been some flaws in the process of choosing it, but that doesn’t make it any less special.
Thomasina and I have certainly downplayed problems in the past and we will certainly encounter unexpected problems in the future. But, this ring reminds me to look at the bigger picture and remember that that is all okay. We chose to make a lifelong commitment to each other for good reasons. So, even if there were some things we didn’t think of at the time and even if we are surprised to learn that we will never change each other’s mind on something that seems important at the time — we still chose each other for the right reasons and whatever the problem is, in the long run the benefits of our lifelong commitment to always love and support each other will make the rest seem like trivial imperfections that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
It reminds me that I always have room to grow
Thomasina’s first response to discovering my ring was a little bit loose on my fingers was to say, “Well, you could stand to fatten up a bit anyway. Just eat well and I’m sure your finger will grow into the ring.”
I kind of rejected this notion out right as unlikely to happen, but she has a point. I am a bit underweight and I don’t always eat as healthy as I should. Who knows? Maybe my fingers will fatten up a bit when I am better at taking care of myself which is certainly not a problem I have that anyone is debating.
And the fact is, as much as I want to pat myself on the back for the growth I have made over the past 20 years and failed relationships – growth that I feel got me to the place where thought I was finally ready to make a lifelong commitment to the love of my life – if I am honest with myself, I know I have a lot of room to grow. I don’t need to replace my hand with a new one and I don’t need to change who I am in order to make our marriage work, but I do need to always be growing and improving.
Wearing this ring is a constant reminder to me that I still have plenty of room for improvement and growth and that is going to be a lifelong process. And I am so blessed to have a woman who loves me for who I am and where I am right now and is willing to grow with me.
It reminds me that marriage is work
I already have an aversion to wearing jewelry, and now I have committed to wearing a ring for the rest of my life that is kind of clunky and heavy. It is kind of a shock to feel the weight of it on my hand every day and trust me, I am acutely aware of it’s weight every day – more so than most people since I already have an extra high sensitivity to how things are touching my body. It is unlikely that I will ever just get used to wearing this ring and forget it is even there.
And my hope for our marriage is that I never just get used to it and forget what a special and dramatic commitment this is we have made to each other. I never want to become complacent and take my wife and our marriage for granted. I want to always be acutely aware of this beautiful decision we have made and how momentous it is and let the weight of that – and the work it will require on my part every moment of every day to always be present in my mind.
Fortunately, I am so lucky to have a ring that will never let me forget that marriage isn’t just some casual thing to be taken lightly.
It reminds me to not take everything so seriously
At first I thought, “Okay, this ring doesn’t quite fit right – no big deal,” But as time went by it started to bother me more and more and suddenly my mind was obsessing with it and thinking that everyone else was noticing it and judging me and I needed to do something – and quick – to fix it!
Of course, this is silly. No one is looking at my slightly too big, often crooked ring and thinking, “God, what a looser,” and if anyone does notice it, who cares what they think? It is just a ring. It isn’t that big of a deal. There are way more important things I can be allowing my mind to be occupied with and my energy and efforts can be going into.
In our marriage, and in our lives in general, it will be too tempting to obsess over little things that probably don’t matter that much. It will be easy to start worrying too much what people think about apparent flaws in our marriage or personal flaws I cannot easily hide. But no one is perfect. No marriage is perfect. And obsessing over all the imperfections and who might be noticing them or judging me will only make me lose sight of all the amazing and wonderful things that Thomasina and I have going for us. Worse yet, stressing about outward appearances might make me lose sight of more important things we need to be working on that no one sees and are hidden deep under the surface.
Thank God I have this ring on my finger to remind me that some things just aren’t as big as a deal as they seem and sometimes the best response when something starts to loom large in my psyche and make me feel self conscious and embarrassed is to get a little perspective and shrug it off.
At the end of the day, when I take my ring off to go to bed I am slightly relieved for my hand to feel natural again, but the feeling that is even stronger is the overwhelming gratitude that I have a ring to take off at the end of the day and the excitement I feel with the anticipation of putting it back on tomorrow and enjoying it’s beauty (Thomasina really did a bang up job picking out this amazing ring!) and the blessings that it represents in my life.
I am so proud of my wife and I am so proud of our marriage. I am also proud of my wedding ring and even though it isn’t the most perfect natural extension of my finger that I might have hoped it would be, I am proud to be able to wear it and to show it off to the world.