Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Ring On My Finger

Allow me to share a little story with you about my precious wedding ring. This ring has traveled the world just to rest on my finger and I love it, but it's not mine. Well...at least it wasn't destined to be mine, of this I am almost thoroughly and irrefutably certain. You see my husband, Rigid Raider, was an army boy. He traveled to Afghanistan on his first tour and Iraq on his second. Before he flew out to see me he was preparing to be shipped out to Cypress. Alas, upon his return from Los Angeles, the dream vacation that it was, he pulled out all his paperwork and refused to re-enlist there being no compunction as to who he'd be spending the rest of his life with. This he knew in less than three weeks of having personally known me. Quite frankly so did I.

We were swept away by the fairytale of it all. He was dropping it all for me. His life, his career his everything because there was no everything without me. Forget about the fact that he'd have no way to support me, forget about the fact that we'd be poorer than poor because none of that mattered. Only we mattered. He struggled in his formal proposal to me. I refused to accept proposals over the phone, chat rooms, poker rooms, Xbox Live rooms etc. He asked me one day what in the world I would rather he do. I responded and let him know that he should not propose to me over the phone, online on a computer or on Xbox Live especially not in an airport.

Well, three months after his initial visit he packed and got ready to come back to me. As he was packing away his belongings he came across a little tin can with a see through top. The can was just big enough to fit a small can of tuna. It contained money he's collected from around the world including a few other knicknacks, but most importantly it contained my ring. He peered inside and found it nestled amongst Rupee's, Dinar's and Eurodollars. My little ring. This heartened him and allowed him to made up his mind then and there. It was the sign he needed to be sure. It was right there shining back at him inspiring him to place it on my finger. When he retells me the story he says that all he could see at that moment was my beautiful face and how much he wanted to look up at me from bended knee and watch my face light up with happiness.

It did at that. Mostly out of sheer humiliation. He's an impatient and impulsive man and when he makes his mind up about something a train couldn't stand in his way. I met him at the airport and we hugged and kissed gently. His curly hair spilling all around his forehead. He got down on one knee and he asked me to be his until the end of our days. My heart felt as if it would burst from happiness but people around us were starting to stare and point, whisper and smile. I was in shock and held my face in my free hand. He took out the ring and placed it on my willing finger and I turned beet red because the strangers were starting to clap. I wanted to faint and couldn't speak. What a jolt I received as he belted out the next line in his proposal, "Well, come on, don't leave us here like a cunt!" I wanted to die. Right then and there in that very moment I wanted to die. So I hurriedly agreed to marry him and yanked him up off the floor. We kissed and the crowd clapped harder, so we unlocked waved a quick thank you and good bye to the kind strangers and rushed away as quickly as possible.

It was a moment. A moment I never thought I'd have lodged in my cerebellum. No, not me. You see my dream proposal would have pretty much been anything but that. Still, it was sweet and I loved my ring. When he told me the story of how he came across it and how it came to be that it made the long journey from England to me I loved it all the more. I had questions, but it wasn't until about a year later that doubt entered my mind. The real doubt of a woman who knows and understands her husband like no other creature on this earth. I'm not saying that my husband is a liar, though an embellisher is putting it mildly.

He was on tour in Afghanistan. About three months into his tour he started to get the feeling that things were amis in his relationship. He had been with Joe for nearly a year now and things had been great before he left, yet she was avoiding his phone calls or cutting them rather short. It always seemed as though she had something better or more important to do. He began to fear the worst and made up his mind that his relationship was over. It was only a matter of time. Deep down in his gut he knew she was cheating on him and he shared this fear with a close friend. Two weeks before his tour was to end he was out in an open air market shopping for a few trinkets to bring back to England. He came across an old Afghani selling rings. Rigid says the man convinced him to buy a ring and when he found one asked him if he had a pretty girl to give it to. He said he didn't, but that he liked the ring so much he decided to go ahead and buy it claiming the old man informed him that the ruby had been mined in Afghanistan and he wasn't actually supposed to take it out of the country. The ring was packed amonst the coins and rupees had collected while there never to see the light of day until the day he was to fly back to me.

When he got back home from Afghanistan he did in fact find out that his girlfriend had been cheating on him. He left her and never looked back. His life thereafter was peppered with this girl and that. Some beautiful conquests and terrible mistakes were made, but he was only in it for the sex and nothing more. Nothing and no one mattered to him until the day he heard my voice while playing Unreal Championship on Xbox Live. It was love at first kill. There's a heated debate till this day of who killed who first. I can guarantee you he is wrong. I ran circles around him and I loved it. The ring went back and forth with him even going as far as Iraq on his second tour, but then I came along and derailed everything.
We eventually married, but this is where things start to go a bit askew in my head. You see, I don't believe he bought the ring "just because", I don't believe the ring was destined to be mine. He bought it for Joe. He hoped to get back together with her after he came back from Afghanistan. Oh, I'm sure he wasn't lying about the feeling that his relationship was doomed, but I'm sure he hoped it wasn't. He hoped that if the relationship continued he would bestow this lovely ring upon her finger and she'd love him forever. It wasn't to be. The ring never made it to it's intended target because shortly after he'd gotten home he found out the truth. Oh he will deny it to me. He Denys it inexorably and he'll deny it until the day he dies. He's a cruel man. I'd rather know the truth so that I can slough these feelings away the instant I remove this ring, but now even if he gives me another trinket one day there will always be that doubt and I'll never shake it.
Was this ring really meant for me? Was it really destiny? No my friends, no it was not. Some people call it an accident, other people may call it coincidence, others fate. I call it seizing an opportunity. Should I be grateful that it presented itself to him or should I hate the thing I love so much and wore with such pride. Is it wrong? Wrong hate the something that gives me such joy and makes me feel so close to him, makes me feel like an extension of him? I don't know, maybe I'll never know.
Maybe it doesn't matter.

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