The Texture Of Things

Ice, Part Two

January 16th, 2007

As soon as my hands thaw out, I’ll put up some more pictures of the ice at my house. Although the sun is out again today, the air temperature is absolutely frigid (right around 20 degrees Fahrenheit for the high), so meltage is molasses-in-January slow. The part of the tree that fell is still down and no more has fallen. Yet. I went out to take pictures and ice was popping and throwing itself off of trees and houses and cars in random bursts, so who knows what’s coming down next or when.

Today’s ice story comes from the jeweler’s. I just picked up my wedding ring a couple of days ago after having it repaired. Again. I had dropped it. Again.

The first time I dropped it, Husband Guy and I had only been married a short time, maybe a year and change. We were living in our old house and our kitchen had vinyl flooring. This is an important detail because I want it noted that I once dropped one of my not-exactly-breakproof stoneware plates on that floor on its edge and it bounced. BOUNCED! It didn’t even chip. But not my ring! When I dropped that puppy, the sound of the diamond cracking rang through me. It sounded like a bone breaking.

Fortunately, someone had recommended we get a rider on our homeowners insurance for our wedding rings and we had, so the replacement of the diamond was covered. It isn’t my diamond anymore (you know, the one we carefully and lovingly picked out as totally gross about-to-be-married types), but it is beautiful and it’s a better color and clarity. So, sad but overall a win.

This most recent time, I dropped it on the ceramic tile floor of our main bathroom. It made the same cracking sound, but smaller. I gasped, HG gasped, we checked the main diamond in the ring and were greatly relieved to see it was fine. There are two small diamonds, one on each side of the main diamond, and it never occurred to me to check them. They are hammer-set and they’re, um, diamonds, so I figured they’re immune from impact damage.

Wrong!

A couple of hours later, while I was out shopping with the tot, I felt a rough edge on my ring. I looked down to discover one of the hammer-set diamonds missing. I was crushed. I very nearly said the F word in front of the tot. I searched everywhere, HG searched everywhere, to no avail. It’s a pretty small diamond, so I’m not surprised. It probably went missing in the store when I put my hand in my jeans pocket for something.

Ugh. But my ring is back, and the jeweler cleaned it and buffed the wear marks out of it and the bitch looks brand new. Like I just got married! Again! Only I didn’t have to plan a wedding and fight with my mother to do it this time! Huzzah!

The real reason I’m writing this story down is because I have a question lurking in my head, triggered by a conversation (the kind with lots of subtext) I had with my mother-in-law the night before I picked up the ring.

She and I were talking in my kitchen when the jeweler called to tell me the ring was ready. I gave her the rundown of this particular ring-dropping event, and she had a pained, confused look on her face. She eventually asked me the thing that was bothering her: why would I drop the ring?

Oh, I was putting it on. I had showered and the tot was brushing her teeth in the main bathroom. HG was with her. I scurried to join the gang in our holiest of shrines when I fumbled with my two rings and dropped the important one.

No, no, why was I putting it on?

Um, because I married him? And I like the ring ‘cuz it’s really really pretty? (Okay, I didn’t say this aloud, but it’s what I was thinking. I didn’t actually say anything.)

No, no, no, why did I take it off to begin with?

It took a while for the two of us to get on the same page, but basically, she believes that once you wear that ring, you never, ever, never, ever, never, ever take it off. Ever. And did I mention Never? Yeah, that too.

But I take mine off all the time. I’m not wearing it as I type (slows me down from making all my typos), I didn’t wear it for about the first year of the tot’s life (the thick band and sharp edges were incompatible with soft baby skin and body), and I don’t ever wear it when I bathe, wash my hands, do anything dirty, or clean house (hardly ever!).

Am I wrong here? Is this the reason the divorce rate is so high, because if it is, shit, I’ll go put the thing on NOW. Or is this moment brought to us today by a generational gap? I’d ask my mom, but she was never able to stay married. I’d ask HG, but he’d answer like a guy. Besides, he’s biased. He takes his ring off all the time, too.

For the record, I’m not going to change my habits, but I am seriously curious. What do other people do?

Crap. Gotta go. A man with a chainsaw is here to cut up my tree, and I’m totally taking pictures of that.

4 Comments »

  1. Marla says

    Couldn’t resist commenting about the ring issue – though I’ll mention your images of the ice are beautiful and I like the deer and if it wouldn’t take five men to move him, I’d happily scoop him up. A Chinese Buddha followed me home that way once. Ahem…

    First – diamonds are hard, but they’re brittle. The first “cut” is actually made by cleaving them, then they are polished. If one should fall, and strike a cleavage plane, it will crack or break or chip. So, it doesn’t matter what surface it fell on – it’s the angle that counts.

    Secondly, since I used to spend a lot of time looking at jewellery under a microscope, I’ll say – taking them off is just as normal as leaving them on.

    BUT – the rings from the ladies who never remove them are often loaded with disgusting gunk. Think about the women (and men) who knead meatloaf, or wash dishes or whatever, and then all that food debris gets into all the nooks and crannies…and stays there…along with all of the toothpaste, hair and skin products and the oils and flakes from your own skin or pet dander from petting and…and eeeuw.

    So all I can say is that rings are fetid petri dishes of grossness and contagion if they aren’t removed for some things, like food handling; and especially if they aren’t ever removed even for cleaning – and wouldn’t you want something like that cleaned daily?

    I’m just saying – a little warm water, a drop of detergent, some vinegar. By the way – most fine jewellery stores will happily clean and check anyone’s rings for free in the name of goodwill.

    Oh, here I am hijacking your comments the first time I ever do more than lurk…

    To answer your question – my ring (engraved platinum, comfort fit, no stones) stays on all the time – except when I take it off to clean it, usually daily – then it goes right back on.

    April 25th, 2007 | #

  2. liz says

    I take mine off for baking bread, meatloaf, and other gunky projects and leave them on for everything else, including showering. And I clean ’em with rubbing alcohol, a tooth pick and a q-tip every so often (but not as often as I should).

    April 25th, 2007 | #

  3. HG says

    Funny. Here’s my ring strategy: Sometimes I take it off… sometimes I put it on. *Usually* off at night, *usually* on in the morning.
    More specifically, on when I notice it lying about it (there fore noticing that it wasn’t on), off when I feel like it (like bathing, playing guitar/bass, working on the cars/motorcycles/garden/electronics, etc).

    My ring does not define my marriage. It is only symbolism… Like a flag… but that’s another topic… 😉

    However, I do understand that it is important to Mrs. Texture (or to other’s view of her) that I wear it for her benefit when in the company of others… not to suggest that *she* cares about it, I just do it as a courtesy… I think you all know what I’m trying to say, but I don’t think I can edit that enough to make it sound right…

    April 25th, 2007 | #

  4. amy says

    Marla and Liz,
    Thanks for delurking! It’s a pleasure to have you here.

    And Marla,
    It was hardly hijacking. 🙂
    I had no idea how diamonds are cut, though as soon as I read your comment I remembered that I was told about their brittleness. I guess in that way, the slang term ‘ice’ makes more sense.

    Also? The image of fetid meatloaf in a ring mount is really staying with me. And I suppose part of the reason I take my ring off when I do dirty things (like help my mom in her horse barn) is that I don’t want to get my ring dirty. I don’t clean it often enough, and I wasn’t sure how until I asked the jeweler the day I picked it up. I was afraid of using OTC cleaners on it. They gave me a jar of cleaner and explained that I could put anything in there except soft stones (opals, pearls, etc.).

    Moreover, as I told my MIL, when I wash my hands, my ring gets really slippery. Since it’s already a bit loose, I’m not looking to lose it. So, in the end, some days it just stays in the jewelry box for safe keeping. (It’s a tension set with a thick band, so it’s not sizable – I’ve asked.)

    Liz,
    I never thought about rubbing alcohol, or vinegar for that matter, but I know I don’t clean it enough. The funny thing is that people comment on how shiny the diamond is all the time. They ask me how I clean it and are they ever disappointed when I tell them I usually don’t do anything other than wash my hands with soap!

    HG,
    After talking to you last night, I realized that the most important part of determining how (and when) we wear our rings is that we agree. Could be all the time, could be on and off, as long as we’re okay with it. When I get grouchy at you (how could I?!), it’s never because you didn’t wear your ring that one time, that one day. smooch.

    April 25th, 2007 | #

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