I have to confess that I don’t wear my engagement ring that often.
Strangely, my fiance is fine with it, even though he purchased it at a great sacrifice and it means a lot to the both of us. There are a couple of reasons:
- I’m not really a jewelry person. I’m quite sensitive to touch and feel, and I don’t like the feeling of wearing jewelry. I rarely wear earrings, have a hard time wearing my badge at work, and even tend to roll sleeves up past my wrists. Wearing a ring is actually hard for me.
- It doesn’t fit anymore. I’ve posted a couple of times about the lifestyle changes I’ve implemented over the past year, and it has led to my loss of almost 50 pounds. The ring is way too big. I’ve tried putting a silicone spacer, but it’s incredibly uncomfortable. I was wearing the ring on a necklace, but people thought that was weird.
So, why don’t I just take the ring in to have it professionally resized? I don’t want to. The ring has far too much sentimental value for me just the way that it is.
John and I have been engaged for a little over three years. We’ve been a couple for about 6 ½ years (that’s roughly as long as I was married, incidentally). When we met, I had just about completely written off men and resigned myself to remaining single for the rest of my life. My marriage had been bad, the men I had found to date, while good guys, were not anyone that I wanted to spend the rest of mortality and all of eternity with. I felt completely comfortable with John, because he didn’t want a relationship, either. We began dating about a month later.
When we met, I was teaching in an economically disadvantaged urban school. I loved the children to pieces, but the job was ruining me. I felt like a target on every side. The stress was leaving me bitter and hardhearted. I had to stop at a gym on the way home and spend 30 minutes working out to get enough stress out of my system to go home to my kids. I survived, and John loved me, anyway.
During the early times of dating John, I was trying to finish my masters degree. I was taking classes at night as I could while working full time during the day. When I had the stamina, I took summer classes. I have no idea how I made it through – I can’t imagine how the kids survived. The weight of the burdens I was carrying left me tired, frazzled, and impatient. I made choices in raising my kids (especially in the punishment area), that I would never choose now. John witnessed it all, and he loved me, anyway.
I’m a comfort eater. When my feelings are hurt, I eat. When I’m stressed out, I eat. When I’m lonely, I eat. When I feel rejected, I eat. I packed on a lot of weight during the time that John and I dated, and I wasn’t thin when he met me. He loved me, anyway.
So, what does all of this have to do with my ring?
When John proposed, I was at my highest weight ever in my life. In my mind, my weight was the symbol of everything that was wrong and defective about me and my life. The ring he purchased because I loved it was way beyond anything he could afford, but he put the money together. He proposed at a time when I believed I was the most unlovable.
Some things in life have improved for me, some have remained constant. Some things that looked like tragedies have turned out to be blessings. Some of the things I thought would be wonderful have gone sideways and turned out to be extremely disappointing. The weight has come off as I have focused on finding joy, living life to be happy, and gaining better skills to deal with life.
The ring, however, remains a reminder of John’s love for me when I wasn’t very lovable. That’s why it’s so special, even if it doesn’t fit.