After 41 years, this old song has lost its ring
Trying to come up with a message, or story, this week shouldn’t be difficult, I thought. After all, I have now been married to the same man for 41 years. As of Saturday.
But, oh, how I cringe at the idea of another one of those sappy columns entitled “Here’s How WE Did It,” or “How Lucky WE Are,” or “How Great ALL of OUR Offspring Are,” “Never Go to Bed Angry,” “Trust in God and Each Other,” blah, blah, blah.
It takes all of that, of course, for most people. But those are private matters and not things I want to know about — except for the inside scoop from my nearest and dearest friends! So, I’m sure you don’t give a whit about my secrets, either, so I’ll spare those details.
Instead, I’ll tell you why my husband of 41 years isn’t wearing his wedding ring. No, it’s not because of some young, blond thing half my age (not that I know of, anyway).
The story began in the spring, when Virgil slipped sideways on a rock in our creek while trying to hook up the foot valve to pump some fresh water into the goldfish pond. (Yes, I make him do those things.) His left hand landed first. As he tells it, when he got up, his ring finger was hanging sideways, flopping around like a fish out of water.
So he popped it back into the socket and trudged up the hill to the back deck, wearing a look on his face I’d never seen before. He was stark white and mumbling a few choice words, the likes of which I also don’t think I had ever heard before.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. “You look weird.”
“I just picked my finger up off the ground and put it back on,” he said. “Argh.”
“Don’t you think we’d better go see somebody, like the ER?”
“Nah,” he said, feeling really macho for taking care of the matter himself. “But I think I’d better put some ice on it.”
A couple of days later he was having coffee at Frisch’s when Jim Shireman took a look at the swollen finger and said, “I think you’d better have that looked at!”
By then, the tip of his finger was purple, and his gold wedding band was hidden in there, somewhere.
Tom Conway looked over at the mess and agreed with Jim. “You’d better get that ring off. You could lose your finger.”
A couple of hours later, when he was finally convinced he might just be in trouble, Virgil headed to the ER at Harrison County Hospital in Corydon.
The doc took one look and got out the saw. For the ring, not the finger!
“Yeah, we have to cut these off all the time,” he said, or something to that effect. “It’s a good thing you didn’t wait much longer, or … ”
Virgil brought the pathetic ring, now cut in two, home in a plastic Ziploc. It’s still on the kitchen counter, beneath a pile of some important stuff, waiting for the swelling in his knuckle to go down.
So what’s our secret to a long, long marriage?
Never a dull moment. Never.