“You’ll get to love the scratches”, he told me.

I didn’t understand what he meant. I was about to get some pictures taken, and wanted to make sure my ring looked good. A modest white gold band with deep-cut ledges on the outside edges, its original shine had been marred by the first month’s wear. The jeweller had made my ring, and my wife’s engagement ring and wedding band. They were all custom, designed from the pen & paper sketch stage with me, and later with my soon-to-be wife. Her engagement ring was to be low-key and low profile. She wanted something that wouldn’t look gaudy, wouldn’t attract attention, and above all, something she wouldn’t have to take off because it got in the way when she was working with her hands and playing sports. It turned out to be perfect, and we modelled her wedding band on the woven look of her engagement ring.

He cleaned, buffed and polished my ring to a fine sheen, for which I was more than grateful. He told me that it wouldn’t last, and that buffing and shining was not very practical – also that each and every time he buffed the ring, he was taking gold from the surface. He promised me that over time the scratches would actually become less visible. It seemed logical to me, and I agreed that I would have to get used to the bumps, nicks, and scratches from everyday wear. I wasn’t sure how I would do this, considering I felt that every time I picked up something that left a mark on my wedding band somehow degraded or defaced it.

But he was right. I wasn’t looking at the big picture, which was this: My ring became a piece of my personal history. Beyond what it represented, that I was expressing my love and devotion to one person, every nick, every mark, every scratch would tell the tale of my marriage.

The band has seen it all: Moving into apartments, and then into houses. Travelling across the country to visit family, through happy times and sad. Digging ourselves out of massive snowstorms, wife 8 months pregnant with our first son. Pushing that same son on the swings, two years later. Carrying our second son home from the hospital, and buckling his car seat into the vehicle to look over and see his brother. Two cribs. One big boy bed. Countless days at the beach. Afternoons sailing with the family. Afternoons hoisting a kid-laden backpack onto my back and toting it around markets, oceanfront walks, and forested day hikes.

And, most importantly of all, four years of marriage to the love of my life.

I look down at my finger and think to myself how much I value each and every one of those scratches.

Happy anniversary, honey.

Posted bythemikestand at 1:12 PM  

10 stepped up to the mike:

Sassy said... 1:54 PM, October 19, 2006  

Wonderful. I just cried into my lunch, but it was worth it! Happy, Happy Anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Mike!

canadian sadie said... 2:32 PM, October 19, 2006  

Lovely, Mike. :) Happy Anniversary to you AND TLW! :)

FrozenExtremities said... 3:46 PM, October 19, 2006  

Happy anniversary!

sween said... 3:50 PM, October 19, 2006  

A great big congratulations to ya, ya big lug!

... oh, and to the lovely lady as well. :-)

Tanya said... 4:09 PM, October 19, 2006  

Such a wonderful writer you are! Happy Anniversary!

Sassy said... 4:28 PM, October 19, 2006  

My template sucks. I know. :(

SRH said... 4:55 PM, October 19, 2006  

Happy anniversary! Couldn't you have gotten a blown up image of the ring?

Christine said... 7:49 PM, October 19, 2006  

happy anniversary :)

Megan said... 2:32 AM, October 20, 2006  

Aww, very sweet. :) I guess you could get a ring made out of something else, like Titanium, for every day/heavy duty wear, but if you really love that ring, then don't. :)

Steph said... 8:12 AM, October 20, 2006  

Happy Anniversary.

I remember the first scratch in my husband's ring: We were on our honeymoon and were at a friend's cottage in Ontario. The three of us were climbing over rocks as we headed downstream to sit in the deeper water of a river where the water pushed against you like the jets in a hot tub. Mr. Happy grabbed a rock with one hand while he held my hand with the other. He realized what happened right away and showed me the deep scratch. We both expressed our dismay but realized it wouldn't be the last.

That time playing in the river was one of the highlights of our honeymoon - the pictures always make me smile.

Here's to scratches!

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