In high school and parts of university, I made my coffee & Kraft Dinner money by working in jewellery stores. I knew the ring size of each finger and picked up a small collection of bands – some carved and some with bits of bling. But, with the decline of my accumulation of rings a few years into my twenties, my ring sizes were firmly established early on. Since then, with the exception of Pregnancy of the Ten Pound Child, I haven’t had to stop wearing my rings. They have fit. Unlike pre-pregnancy fit left behind for post-pregnancy stretch, the skinny jeans abandoned at the end of day for sweatpants and, conversely, an after-kid decline in cleavage, my ring sizes have remained the same.
Okay, like any pair of jeans, my rings haven’t always fit well, and I don’t always wear them if I’m cleaning or just being lazy, but they fit. Some days they get stuck: late nights of cheering at concerts, too much salt after a sushi dinner. But lately, it’s been happening a little more often… and it’s not that I’m getting to enjoy more concerts or eat more sushi. Is it poorer fluid regulation? Knuckles getting more … knuckley[?] with added years of typing, cold[ish] winters and occasional piano tunes? Some times, the rings don’t fit in the morning. Some times, it’s a bitch to get them off at night. Some times, I end up sleeping with them on.
But random, uncontrollable and – so far – inexplicable – adjustments to my body aside, I have little recourse to complain that I can’t wear my rings. I would hardly be alone. No one else in the house wears their rings, anyway. Mr.Q never got in the habit of wearing his rings – occupational hazards – and even now that he can, he doesn’t. He has two rings: one declaring his occupation and one declaring his marital status. Neither ring, I’m told, is terribly comfortable [have fun with that one, you psycho-analyst types].
So, yes, I could simply size my rings up. It’s an easy thing to do and, bonus, they would get cleaned in the process. As they are now, you would really never know that I insist on quality over carats when it comes to gems, but it’s in there, under the film of day to day.
Or, I could simply wear them only as they fit. And that wouldn’t be every day. Never mind the weekends, I’ll have to head out into the real world some days with a few new-found minutes that weren’t spent oh-so carefully navigating a wedding band past my ever further irritated joints. Besides, it makes for better work gossip. And the occasional interesting commute.
I first realised the implications of going ring-less almost 10 years ago, long before it wasn’t a matter of not being able to wear my rings and more a matter of shift work and sleepiness made me forgetful when it came time to put them on:
An accident, this morning
I left home with an empty hand
And walked into the world with chances
I never knew I had
But as soon as I realised I’d nothing
I got caught up in sideways glances
But, beyond resizing and getting shiny, like-new rings in return or simply letting be and watching the fun unfold, I do have one more option. On the days the rings don’t fit first thing in the morning, I could just put them in the pocket of my skinny jeans.