When I was a young, single college student, I had a minor obsession with wedding rings. I'd notice a band on classmates' hands, and with equal parts envy and disdain, contemplate the symbolism of the tiny metal shackles. "There's a person on your finger," I'd ruminate (while I should have been learning how the Yangtze River impacted the culture, politics, and economy of southern China). Instead of memorizing Chinese dynasties, I'd ponder the band's implicit statement: I have a favorite person.
Over the years, as married people became less an oddity around me (and as I learned to pay attention in history class), my fixation diminished. When Coach and I picked out our wedding bands, I honestly didn't give it very much thought--except that I didn't want anything that emphasized the stumpyness of my freakishly short fingers. In fact, I was so concerned about my fingers looking like knuckled sausages, that I ordered my ring a little too big. (It was summer, and I didn't want anything constrictive.) The jeweler warned me against it, "You'll need to get that sized right away," she said. "If it doesn't fit well, you'll end up losing it."
She was right. I've lost it a couple times due to the fact that, apparently, when I'm sleeping I'm prone to removing it and hurling it across the room. One time it ended up under our bed, between the bed frame and the wall. The other time it was in the crack of the couch. Each time it was missing long enough for me to think it was gone gone gone. Eventually, as a precaution, I started taking my ring off every night before bed. But I'd end up forgetting to put it back on most mornings. Eventually, I stopped wearing it altogether, except for special occasions. (And when I don't want to get hit on. (Which is hardly ever.))
Coach, on the other hand, has no such trouble. He wears his ring all the time, day and night, summer and winter. Back in med school, he used to leave it home when he was on surgical rotations because it was easier than taking it off every time he scrubbed in for surgery. But even then he was apologetic about it. "I'm just leaving it home so I won't lose it at work," he explained, not wanting me to worry about his un-ringed hands.
"Dude, I don't care," I said. "I don't even wear mine anymore. Wedding bands are so 2002." Still, my sweet Coach kept on wearing his.
So it was strange, but no big deal, when I saw he'd left his wedding band on the bathroom counter yesterday morning. I even thought about calling him up and asking if he had any big plans for his day without the ole' shackle. But he beat me to it. He called me to tell me he kept noticing the absence of a ring on his left hand, and missing it made him miss me.
"Dude, with or without a ring, you know I'm wrapped around your finger," I said.
"Stop calling me 'Dude.'" He said. "The name's 'Sweetie.'"
"It sure is," I said. "It sure is."
I love you, Sweetie. You are my favorite person.