We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.

19
September

Should you put a ring on it?

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In last Monday’s quiz, I asked all of you how you REALLY feel about strip clubs. Both Claudia and I were fascinated by your responses. As far as the votes go, it turns out most readers of The Zeros Before The One are not big fans. The article/quiz got a few of you thinking about fidelity in general, and one of our readers emailed us with an anecdote about something that recently happened to her at a party and suggested we write about it. And so, today, I am. (As a side note… keep those comments, emails and suggestions coming; one of our favorite parts about creating this site is interacting with our readers through your comments, emails and facebook posts. Also, if you have ideas about subjects you’d like to see covered on the site by all means let us know. Coming up with topics five days each week can be tough, so your thoughts and suggestions for stuff we should be covering are always welcome. Better yet, if you think of a subject you’d like to see on the site… write about it and submit it to us. We LOVE our fabulous guest authors and are always on the lookout for more).

But back to the story… Our Dear Reader was at a party with a married female friend.  As it happened, the friend wasn’t wearing her wedding ring that night. At some point in the party, a male acquaintance came up to our Dear Reader, asking why her friend was not wearing her ring, if she was having trouble in her marriage and if Dear Reader thought he might have a shot with the friend. Dear Reader was both surprised and dismayed at his question. Was he serious? It seemed to Dear Reader that he was.

My first reaction to hearing this story was very similar to Dear Readers. Really? Seriously? A girl eschews her bling for one night and that’s read as an invitation for a guy to offer his services as rebound guy to her flailing marriage? That doesn’t seem right.

But when I told my guy what I was planning to write about he pulled a ‘Well, I’m kind of with the guy here’ face. Which surprised me. “Really? You think because a woman doesn’t put on her wedding ring one night, it’s reasonable for folks to speculate about the health or happiness of her marriage? Doesn’t she have the right to not wear her ring?” I asked.

Perhaps my response was a little defensive. I have a confession… my guy is not only my guy, he’s also my husband. We’ve been married for a little over a year, and we’ve both chosen to wear wedding rings. He’s never been a jewelry wearer, so wearing the ring took a little getting used to for him, but now, unless he’s in the shower, that ring is on his finger. I’m a little looser with it. I don’t like sleeping in jewelry, and though I love my ring, there are plenty of days when I forget to put it on. It isn’t an indication that I’m any less committed to our relationship. Just that I’m more forgetful… hence my slightly defensive reaction. I’d hate someone to see me wedding-ringless and think, “Oh Megan must be unhappy in her marriage”.

As usual, his response was infuriating reasonable and fair, “Of course she has the right to go out without her ring. But if she’s someone who usually does wear her wedding ring, it isn’t unreasonable for someone, particularly someone to whom she’s isn’t particularly close, to read something into it. A wedding ring is a symbol and wearing the ring is symbolic. So not wearing a ring, especially to a party, can also be seen as symbolic. She has every right not wear her ring, but shouldn’t be surprised if, as a result, she receives unwelcome male attention or is the subject of speculation about the status of her marriage.” Damn him and his use of logic!

I don’t know anything about the friend who went ringless to the party, but my assumption was that there was an innocent reason – either she simply forgot to put it on, or it was at the jewelers getting resized, or something equally reasonable and innocuous. But then I started to wonder… if the story had been about a guy who wasn’t wearing his ring at a party or bar, would I assume his motives were as pure? I hope that I would, but maybe not. Maybe I’ve seen too many TV shows and movies featuring the cliché about the guy who, on a business trip, slips off his ring before moseying down to the hotel bar. Maybe I’m a total hypocrite.

In this day and age, many people are in lasting committed relationships, but choosing not to marry. Similarly, married people are increasingly choosing not to wear wedding rings. Is the ‘check a guy’s finger to see if he’s married’ thing a relic of the past or a damn good idea? As we’ve discussed in previous articles, lately the giant diamond craze has turned what was once a simple symbol of commitment between two people into a public display of one’s husband’s financial prowess, which is totally gross. The wedding ring is still perceived to be an important symbol of a committed romantic partnership in our culture. Should it be? Certainly, it makes things simple for those in the dating world to know who is and who is not available by looking at a simple piece of jewelry. So I ask you…

A Zeros Before the One Poll

Does a married person have a social obligation to the world at large to telegraph his or her marital status by wearing a wedding ring?

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6 Responses to “Should you put a ring on it?”

  1. Elisabeth Fitzgerald September 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I sat here and stared at these choices and I can’t decide. I’m a real “live and let live” type of girl, but I know that I’d be upset if my husband decided to eschew the wedding ring. So, I’d understand if he got huffy if I ditched mine.

  2. September 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Let me start by saying I am a happily married man who rarely wears his ring.

    1)I know I’m married, everyone I know, knows I’m married, who cares what people think is usually my train of thought. I wear my ring to special occasions or family events. I really don’t like the feel of jewelry and no one should make anyone else wear something that is uncomfortable to them (spouses should not make each other uncomfortable and MAKE them do something they don’t like)

    2) We don’t know the whole story, maybe this guy knew she was married to a douche and was waiting out the marriage (Seinfeld episode). Having been in the non ring wearers circle, he should have known how this couple’s relationship was. Maybe they had a pretty weak marriage and he totally assumed it was over. He politely asked a friend and got the appropriate answer. He was tactful enough not to go straight up to the non ring wearer.

    3) As someone who makes a semi living from making engagement rings and wedding bands, please people, keep on buying diamonds!!!

    Thank you.

    • Megan Gray September 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      I love 3 point answers. Thank YOU!

  3. Claudia Maittlen-Harris September 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I love that you’re in the wedding band/engagement business and “don’t like the feel of jewelry” – that’s awesome. If I worked in that industry, I’d be blinged out for sure:)

  4. September 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    For the past 5 years and the first 3 years of my 17 years of marriage, I wear/wore a ring (only didn’t cuz I lost my original and took too long to replace it). My wife’s engagement ring became too small after pregnancy, and we didn’t bother to replace it for several years. Then 5 years ago I replaced it with a pretty smokin’ diamond (not the multi-caret variety, but pretty close to a full caret). She wore it now and again for a while, then let it retired it to the jewelry box, claiming the ring (not the rock) was “too big” – even though we have free-no-questions-asked-as-many-times-as-you-need-it resizing from the jeweler.

    Does it piss me off? You bet, first because it was an expensive gift that she’s clearly not appreciating, and then because she gets a lot of male attention that she’d probably avoid with the ring on (not all of it, of course; there are always douchebags).

  5. September 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    maybe take it as a compliment that your wife is hot enough to get hit on :) go her and you! besides diamonds are kind of evil anyway.

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