Ring of the Magi

Soon after we were married, my husband Joe lost his wedding ring in a railyard. I was suspicious.

“Why did you take it off?” I accused. We couldn’t afford another.

“I might lose my finger or get electrocuted if I wear it at work,” was his excuse. Which made sense since he repairs electric commuter trains.

You can read here how I never took off my original wedding rings and got in trouble. Here I talk about my second set of rings that I don’t wear all the time.

In this post, I’m pondering why, after 37 years, Joe bought a wedding ring for himself. He never wears jewelry, even when he’s not working. So why, and why now?

His ring was in the store’s display case when he bought mine. The rings matched even though not a set.

“I thought if I waited to buy it, it’d be gone.” Like other missed opportunities due to finances?

But, since living together, a ring was never important to him. So why take on another bill two-years before retirement?

“After I retire, I’ll be able to wear it all the time,” he explained. I wasn’t convinced.   

Did Joe’s ring preface a new life? Maybe he’s getting ready for the big change. A change that can upend one who has worked so long that transitioning to a second act can unearth them.

And why does the ring catch my attention whenever Joe wears it? The band on his weather-and-work-abused mitt also catches my breath. Not because it’s an exceptional piece of jewelry. It’s not.

The new ring on my husband’s familiar hand bleeds my vanity. He still wants others to know he’s married. To me. The one with the matching rings. Whose hands are veining and crinkling. With a neck I feel sorry for.

Like the gifts in O. Henry’s short story The Gift of the Magi, our rings are unnecessary. They only symbolize a union already solid and unending, even in the face of change.  

Have a much-loved Christmas.



  1. It all rings true. I love you.

    1. Yes. It says I love you without saying it. Thank you for your comment.

  2. What a beautiful and thoughtful story, Dawn. My husband worked in electronics and needed to take his wedding ring off during work. If he caught any high voltage, it would burn his finger right off. But yes, we are truly blessed. Our men love us and want to show others that they are still married--to us.

    Have a beautiful Christmas with your loving husband and wonderful family, Dawn!

    1. Thank you, Victoria. Have a peaceful holiday with your family.

  3. Merry Christmas Dawn
    My husband never wore a ring because his father didn't wear one. He has stuck around for 30 years.lol

    1. I can see some people being too uncomfortable wearing one, or just afraid of losing it. Thanks for sharing this.


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