Thursday, March 21, 2013

Of Removing Wedding Rings

This morning I'm making bread.  We almost never buy store bread anymore, and Husband and I both both have our particular recipes that we like to use.  (When we try to use each other's recipes, no matter how close we follow the guidelines, they always fail).  His recipe can be kneaded in our stand mixer, but the recipe I use is too big and I have to knead it by hand.  I don't mind kneading.

As I started the dough, I took my engagement and wedding rings off.  For some reason, this shocks people.  I always take my rings off when I'm about to do something potentially icky or gunk inducing, especially baking or working with raw meat.  I do it now more than ever since last time I had my engagement ring cleaned the jeweler looked at it and said, "There's...something in it."

"Yeah, that's dough," I had to admit.  "I bake a lot."

Husband doesn't wear his ring at all.  He used to, long ago before he was Engineer Husband and was Works For a Shipping Company Husband.  After just a few days working for the shipping company, his ring was covered in dents and dirt.  He took it off.  That was almost 10 years ago and he hasn't put it back on.  He's left-handed and finds it gets in the way.  And lest you think he's not fair about this issue, he has told me that he doesn't particularly care if I wear my ring or not.  We're married whether or not we wear our rings.

Some people, though, have very high emotional feelings about removing wedding rings.  Even though many wives and husbands remove their rings at certain times or don't wear them very much due to allergies, comfort, weight loss or gain, fear of losing them* or getting them dirty, there is still the pervasive idea that removing your wedding ring for any reason is somehow immoral.  I've talked with some people that even worry that removing their rings, even for a second, will somehow indirectly and cosmically cause a divorce down the line.  They don't take theirs off and don't like to see other people taking theirs off.

Obviously, taking off a wedding ring has a lot of cultural symbolism.  If you do a quick Google search about taking off wedding rings, you'll see a lot of images that are meant to hint that the person in the photo is about to have a go at adultery.  If you look further, you'll see many discussions about who takes off their wedding ring and why.  And then we have products like the Anti-Cheating Ring, which is engraved on the inside so that if a would-be cheater removes their ring, an impression that says, "I'm Married" is left on the skin.

It seems that there are a lot of people who feel that taking off a wedding ring is either asking for a divorce or signifies the intention to cheat.  What about you?  Is taking off your ring a big deal or no?

*One time I was just wearing my wedding ring when my engagement ring needed repairs.  I had lost weight since my wedding and my ring was huge.  I looked down at my hand and found it missing.  I searched and searched for it, wondering if I had just put it somewhere, while a friend of mine questioned me as to the reason that I would dare to take it off long enough to loose it.  It turns out it actually fell off my hand when I was doing laundry.  I found it in the washer.

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