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The Goddess Speaks

MARILYN IGE

Tuesday, May 29, 2001


Ring is warm
band of love

Over the years the rough gold nuggets that once made up my wedding band have been worn almost smooth. Running a finger across its surface, you can feel just a little unevenness, small dips and raises, against its rim.

At one time those dips and raises had been rough-hewn nuggets embedded in the band. The chunky, jagged edges had been handsome and unusual, and caught my eye as my then future husband and I wandered through Kahala Mall, looking at store windows.

We knew we would get married eventually, after Glenn finished up his bachelor's degree at the University of Hawai'i. A diamond engagement ring was not something I wanted. We were children of the '60s after all, and while we were not hippies, we thought diamonds ostentatious and materialistic, totally not our bag.

But a wedding ring is symbolic of a couple's love, unending, and a gold band was something we did want. And compared to a plain gold band or an engraved one, this chunky ring seemed so earthy and real. Besides which, it was just gorgeous.

We wandered into the diamond-filled jewelry store, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, and asked about prices.

The suit-clad salesman assured us we could buy a his-and-hers set on installment. Glenn wanted one too, so it was agreed, our sizes were taken and we made a deposit.

For the next four or six or eight months (I can't remember anymore, it was so long ago), we went by the store regularly to make payments. Eventually the total was paid off and we had the rings.

It was still months before Glenn finished school. But eventually the day came in early 1975 when he and I stood in Foster Garden and became a married couple, surrounded by a small gathering of family and friends. My ring was admired by the women. The men didn't give Glenn's ring a glance.

Since that day my band has come off my finger just once, when I was hospitalized for the birth of our son. It has stayed on my hand through long days at work, vacations, household chores, illnesses. I wore it through the screaming fights, cold silences, giddy celebrations, warm shows of affection and the all-important give and take that happens in a marriage. The humble act of living has gradually worn away the rough edges.

The gold nuggets glow softly now. The ring is still beautiful, but in a much gentler way. And funny enough, the ring we chose for its good looks turned out to be the perfect symbol of our marriage, worn smoother and mellow over the years as two people ironed out differences, became comfortable with one another and learned not to sweat the small stuff.

I value the slightly worn ring more now than I did in 1975, and the slightly aged man I married far more than I did in 1975.

As for Glenn's band, well, he had to take it off each day because he couldn't wear jewelry at work. He lost it after about a year. At the time I was upset; his ring cost almost twice as much as mine since it was so much bigger, and it was symbolic, you know?

But hey, it is only a symbol. And his love for me remains as strong and bright now as that ring gleamed then. You learn, in a marriage, what's really important.


Marilyn Ige is a copy editor
at the Star-Bulletin.



The Goddess Speaks runs every Tuesday
and is a column by and about women, our strengths, weaknesses,
quirks and quandaries. If you have something to say, write it and
send it to: The Goddess Speaks, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O.
Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802, or send e-mail
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