As a person who has literally lost her wedding ring, never to be found again, I've pondered quite a bit what exactly that ring symbolizes and how much stock should be put in the physical object itself.
My boyfriend-at-the-time-now-husband had a hard time finding me an engagement ring, because I apparently had once made it so clear that I wanted a pearl instead of a diamond, he was terrified of getting the wrong thing. Eventually I just went to a jewelry store, picked out a ring, told a salesperson my name and the ring I wanted, and directed Scott which jewelry store to go to. It all worked out in the end, and he proposed to me with that ring, perfect and unique, with a pearl at the center and diamonds on the sides.
We had only been married a year and a half when, on a trip to the emergency room (don't worry, I turned out alright!), I went to the bathroom and left my ring on the sink after washing my hands. Almost two hours later, when I was finally being discharged, I realized what I had done. Scott immediately ran back to that bathroom, but it was gone. I swear to you, I mourned that loss like a death. I couldn't believe I had been so careless with an object that meant so much. The ring I said "yes" to, the ring I said "I do" to, the ring that bound Scott and I together. I still feel a little bit sick just thinking of it.
Thankfully, Scott's family had an heirloom ring that they had planned to pass down to a future bride anyway, and that's what I inherited. It's beautiful and vintage: big circle cut center diamond, baguettes, 14k gold. The wedding band is just a thin gold circle, gorgeous in its simplicity. It's a ring that establishes family, history, trust, and love. I've worn it for over a year, and am immensely grateful to my in-laws for entrusting me with such a precious object, so why do I still feel like it isn't mine?
I secretly dream (well, not so secretly anymore) that at some anniversary far down the line, Scott will present me with an exact replica of my first ring, the one I chose, the one that meant that he chose me, but what would that mean for the ring I have now? Which ring, if either, is really mine? Wouldn't a replica of the first ring, though the same in appearance, just be another empty replacement? Could it possibly hold the same meaning that the ring had when he slipped it on my finger the very first time?
On the other hand, what does it even matter? Though a ring is an outward symbol to the rest of the world of your commitment to another human being, not having one or having a different one or losing the first one doesn't change my commitment to my marriage or the meaning of my vows. Does it matter which ring I wear? Does it matter if I wear a ring at all, if I know what's in my heart? Am I just a total brat for not appreciating wholeheartedly the beautiful ring that I now have? Am I just asking all these questions to justify my horrible blunder to myself?!?!
Has anyone else out there ever lost their wedding ring? What did you do about it?
(P.S. I now have a very strict rule that I am only allowed to take my rings off ever if I put them in a white box on my nightstand, so at all times, they are either on my hand or in that box. So far...so good.)