Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Ring Dilemma

Recently, I stumbled across an article where two pastors, of all people, were talking about the merit of wearing a wedding ring. The first pastor was all for it stating it showed a commitment he and his spouse made to each other. He was blessed his wife chose him. The other pastor was against it stating it was a showy gesture for other people. Both he and his wife chose not to wear rings because they knew in their hearts they were committed to each other.

Okay, so they know they’re committed to each other, but is it a secret? Does he not want anyone else to know? Sure, he might say his family knows, his neighbors, and friends, but what about the guy in the gym? The other day I was working out in my gym when an unfamiliar man came and started chatting with me. He seemed fairly persistent and began to work out where ever I went in the huge gym. Finally, I went over to the treadmill my significant other was on and began to discuss the man shadowing me. He watched the other man with slitted eyes grumbling about the need for a ring to chase off other guys. Would a ring do it? He assured me it would work on most men.

Despite the stories, you see in scandal rags, most men or women won’t chase after a person with a ring on his or her finger. They do not want to waste time on a guy or girl who won’t result in a relationship or at least a date. Why make the effort? What do you get when you steal a guy from his wife? You get a guy who cheats on his wife…no matter who that wife is. Same with the women, a woman who leaves her man for a flirty new guy is a woman who leaves and doesn’t look back.

The more hip people are having their fingers tattooed with a ring as opposed to getting a real ring. It is definitely cheaper. Do you propose in a tattoo parlor? There are downsides to this including when the relationship goes bad you still have the tattooed ring on your finger. Do you spend all your time telling everyone you’re not married despite the ring tattoo? How many people actually believe you? It is very hard to spot the tattoo ring in a dimly lit bar. The upside is it is impossible to take off. It can be hidden with a large ornate ring, a Band-Aid, or even makeup. It is not a sure way to keep a cheater straight.

The double ring ceremony is relatively new. Women started wearing wedding rings in the 16th century. While the double rings ceremony did not start until the 20th century. It did not really become a standard until the thirties. Women wore wedding rings, but men didn’t. Women were regarded as the prize and husbands wanted other men to know their wives were off limits. Men worried about being cuckolded by other men. They definitely did not want to raise someone else’s child…thus the ring. Men did what they wanted, even cheated on their wives. Although it wasn’t viewed as that. It was common to have a wife and a girlfriend, especially among men who could afford both.

Women were probably the ones who insisted on their husbands wearing rings as a sign of their love and fidelity. Of course, it is relatively easy to take off a wedding ring. Many men insist they need to remove their rings for work, which may or may not be the case. The real question is if they put it back on? One wife went downtown for lunch with colleagues and bumped into her husband sans wedding ring. He passed it off that none of the guys wore their wedding rings out. If you’re wondering her husband is an accountant. I mentioned this to my guy and he told me the only reason a man doesn’t wear a ring is because he wants other women to think he isn’t married.

Maybe it makes people feel flirty and unattached walking around with a bare ring finger, even though they have no plans of hooking up with the waitress or the waiter. A married person can’t be single for the day. It is the equivalent of being a little bit pregnant. On the other hand, the person they’re chatting up is unaware that they are married. It really isn’t fair to the other person who is just serving to pump up their vanity.

The ring is incredibly symbolic of a relationship. What newly engaged woman hasn’t managed to use every movie-worthy gesture to show off her ring. She’s bubbling over with pride and joy that’s she engaged to the most wonderful man in the world. Of course, there is the flipside of ring wearing. Those who have been through a divorce know the marriage is officially over when one partner takes off his or her ring. It is the more than the beginning of the end. It is a total denial that the marriage ever was. The woman declares with this one gesture that she was never a euphoric engaged gal or a giddy newlywed, but rather a bitter, discontented spouse with one tiny action.

So in the end, is it better to wear a ring? Yes, and yes, again, because there are tons of single folks out there just looking for someone like you, or me, or my especially adorable guy. We don’t want to waste time on fending off advances. Nor do we want people to screw up their courage to chase after ring less married people thinking they’re single. It really is hard enough being single and getting up the nerve to approach an attractive man, chat him up, maybe even meet him by “accident” a few more times before you find out he’s married. A ring would have saved time and public humiliation.

As for the ring, it doesn’t have to be a diamond, but more of a symbol by the wearer that he or she honors their loved one so much that they will be loyal to them forever. That’s the real reason I am for ring wearing.

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