Human Condition: How many rings does it take to get married? _lowres

 

I know it’s a corny old joke but one worth repeating in light of my current predicament.

How many rings does it take to get married? The standard answer: three — the engagement ring, the wedding ring and the suffer-ring!

As Maria and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary in July, I’m reminded of what my wife had added to that old joke — a fourth ring: “endur-ring!”

So now to my predicament. You see, I lost my wedding ring in 2012 on Feb. 29 — leap day of the leap year. So it has taken a “leap of faith” for me and my wife to “endure” and sustain our marriage through the “suffering” without my treasured and blessed (at our wedding Mass by the late Father Robert Boggs) covenant ring.

Maria and I had the same rings. I got the same sterling silver engagement rings made for us in the form of a cross. I gave it to my honey, whose nickname is “Cookie,” at the beautiful Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans on Christmas Eve in 1982.

For our wedding bands, we decided to get us each a nice, thick gold band with the sterling rings banded to them. They were so neat with the combination of gold and silver.

I’ve had the good heart-healthy habit of doing chin-ups every night on the kids’ swing set, which we’ve had for many years in our backyard. Unfortunately, I had the propensity to take off my ring when doing the chin-ups but had never lost the ring over the years — unless that’s what happened on that fateful Feb. 29. I’m hoping to ask a buddy if I can use his metal detector to try to find the ring in the grassy area of my backyard near the swing set.

Maria actually has been a real good sport about my having lost the ring. I bought a “fancy-looking” $10 shiny stainless steel Hallmark temporary replacement ring that has the following words etched onto it: “I think of you all the time.” Maria wonders if the quote refers to her or my lost ring.

And while Maria didn’t get a diamond back when we first got married, I have subsequently gotten her one on a necklace. I used to tease her that the look of the cross at the middle converging lines on her ring made “a diamondlike effect!”

Maria always jokes that when I finally do get her a diamond ring, it will likely be a “Dia-wond,” one of those fake ones because I am so cheap!

When it’s all said and done, I really don’t know where I lost my ring. It could still be somewhere in our house or outside. There was no name inscribed on the inside of the gold band, so if someone found it, it very likely got sold to one of those “We Buy Gold” businesses, which were prevalent around that time.

So as we approach another ringless Valentine’s Day, I keep holding on to the faith that one day I will find it.

And even if I don’t actually find it this side of heaven, I know that Maria and I will get through the third ring — the “suffer-ring” — and hold on to the fourth one that Maria made up — the “endur-ring” to keep us ringed eternally!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

— Horcasitas lives

in Baton Rouge

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