Everyone likes a good love story. Apparently I do too. This is the first time in quite some time I’ve felt words simply pouring out. No hesitation — no “a colleague might read this” or “save the whining” or just nothing. Now the words come easily. I promised you a story about a ring – my ring. Here it is.
Ever since that life-changing trip to Italy post-graduation, I’ve been obsessed with old. The ancient-er the better (yes I know that is grammatically atrocious. As a writer who knows the rules, I can break them for artistic effect.) Surrounding myself with and filling my mental photo book with old stories, old buildings, old jewelry – sigh – it just makes my heart happy. My one requirement for my engagement ring was that it be old. Some cool backstory would be a plus, but it had to be old.
Less than a month ago – about 3 weeks in fact – my ring found us.
We were on a weekend trip to Asheville (our favorite spot and likely wedding venue), and we stopped into a little antique shop. I’d kept hoping I’d come across the perfectly unique ring during one of these stops. I’d tried in Boone around our anniversary, and nothing. I’d taken a peek in Boston while on a work trip, and nothing. I looked hopefully into the sparsely filled display case on this trip, but saw little that caught my eye. In fact, I half-heartedly tried about three rings before I grudgingly asked the woman behind the counter to let me try what would become my ring. It was the last one after all. Might as well. It didn’t seem like much in the case. It was paired with a plain silver wedding band, and both were in desperate need for a cleaning. But something magical happened when I slid that dingy ring on my finger. It’s almost as if it woke up, for when I looked down I was engrossed by the sparkle. I’d never seen a ring catch the light so much. A bright luminosity fought back against years of neglect and won my heart. This was my ring. I had to have it. It was almost as if it was telling me – “Now. I’ve found you, now’s the time.”
It sounds a bit cheesy, but I swear I wonder if we’d be engaged now if it weren’t for me finding that ring. Not that it was the idea of wearing a diamond that decided me on marriage – rather I’d looked and looked and hadn’t found anything that felt right. My fear was maybe I just wasn’t really ready – wouldn’t ever be ready. Clearly my ring (and Brian of course) knew I finally was.
I was disappointed that the proprietor was unable to give us any backstory on the ring. I’d hoped for at least an age, but no luck. Brian; however, didn’t let me down (he never does), and when he took the ring to be cleaned and resized the lady at Perry’s gushed over his fabulous choice. “They stopped cutting diamonds this way in 1919,” she said – and my heart fluttered when he repeated. The setting, she continued, looked to be from about 1910 – and I was blissfully happy. What can I say? I’ve got good taste.