I don't know what any of this means.
On the last horrible day of living with my husband, I was e-mailing my siblings about every half hour. What do I do about this? What should I do here? Please keep me moving. That kind of thing. One of the questions I had was, "what is the wedding ring protocol in situations such as these?" Leave them on the table in an essentially unproductive fuck-you gesture? Take them with me but take them off? Keep wearing them as a sign of hope and commitment? They came through, the sibs did -as they always do. I was encouraged to keep the rings; they were a gift to me. Take them off, if that felt better. But the rings belong to me.
So, I took them off and got on the road. The strange thing is that I don't feel the rings when I wear them. But I felt their absence, and it was just another in an apparently endless string of painful experiences. Then I remembered that I have a ring of my very own.
When I graduated from college, my mother gave me a ring that had been hers and her mother's -and possibly her mother's. Stories become apocryphal fairly quickly in our family. However many generations, though, the idea is that the oldest daughter inherits this ring. (When Victoria graduated from college, she started lobbying for the ring, thinking that the "rule" was that it was a graduation present. But that can't be right. Not all those women went to college, much less graduated. So I haven't handed it over yet.) It's an amethyst, in a beautiful old-fashioned setting. As a little girl going through my mother's jewelery box, I always loved this ring.
So, to deal with the "phantom-ring pain", I started to wear this ring. Maybe somehow, I reasoned, I could channel the strength of those formidable women. The thing is... it doesn't fit. This is looking like a very bad omen. On my left-hand ring finger, the ring wobbles around and I'm afraid it will slip off. And the setting is fragile and the stone is a little weak, so this is NOT a ring you can wear while you clean the bathroom -as one can with a diamond. If I put the ring on my right hand, it's way too tight. And believe me when I tell you that I have channeled no formidable strength.
So for a few days I put my wedding rings back on. That felt comfortable, physically, but it hurt my heart to see them. I don't want the symbol of being married, for heaven's sake. I want to BE married. So, the amethyst has come back out of the jewelery box.
Not surprisingly, it still doesn't fit. Maybe I'm just not a strong woman in this lineage.