A Wedding Ring, an Engagement Ring and The Purple Finger



It’s been a little over eleven years since my handsome husband put an engagement ring on my finger.  It’s been a little less than ten years since my lovely wedding ring joined it, as well as my grandmother’s wedding ring, and the three became inseparable – literally.  My grandmother was a tiny thing, but her fingers were larger than mine when she was married, probably due to arthritis later in life.  As a result, I could not wear her ring without blocking it with the other two so it wouldn’t slide off.  This is a ring that was passed down from the youngest daughter (my mom) to the youngest daughter (me), and will be passed down to my youngest daughter when she gets married, so, it’s pretty special.  Well, since my honey and I will be celebrating ten years of marriage in May, I thought it would be nice to fix up my engagement ring – something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now.  The ring has a solitaire diamond in the middle, surrounded on either side by two little diamonds, with a single small ruby in between the diamonds.  It’s set in white and yellow gold with little ‘swooshes’ holding the solitaire in place.  Sort of.  Anyway, it’s stunning and extra special because my husband had it designed specially for me.

Anyway, for some reason, one of the rubies kept falling out.  The first time it happened, I just paid for the ruby, since the ring is under lifetime warranty.  And being a small ruby, it didn’t cost much, which was nice.  Unfortunately, not too long after, the same ruby fell out – again!  I keep meaning to have it fixed and have even considered replacing it with an emerald – my daughter’s birth stone.  I asked my husband about it and he seems okay with the idea, so I may just do that.  So, while I’m fixing the ring, I thought I would get both the engagement ring and wedding ring resized.  See, I’m not as small as I was in 2004, and neither are my fingers, so the rings have gotten a little snug.

My mother in-law was getting her ring resized recently and suggested I get mine resized too.  The logic she gave me for this, was if I was ever in an accident, my rescuers would have to cut off my finger to get my rings off.  Yikes!  Well, give that image to someone with an already overactive imagination and you’re going to get some sleepless nights.  Well, I will.  I have no idea why being in an accident would necessitate taking my rings off.  Is it so they can identify the body if I’m unrecognizable?  Are my fingers mangled beyond repair and gettign the rings off means I at least get to keep those?  Is the adreniline pumping the blood through my body at breakneck speed, and those two rings are cutting off the blood supply, which means I lose my fingers even if they are the only part of me not hurt?  Yeah.  Gruesome.  But what the heck do I know?  I went to college for animal science, not human.  And while cats and dogs have a lot of the same anatomy as humans, I’ve never once encountered a situation where the vet had to decide on amputation of a limb due to a tight wedding band.  But, I digress.

So, with this fear of digit amputation leading me to wonder if maybe the rings are just a bit too tight, I decided to try to remove my rings yesterday.  And that’s when the fun began.  Yeah, not really fun, per se.  I think I went through all the stages of grief while struggling with that darn ring.  First, denial.  I got the engagement ring off with only a little pain.  So, as I stood at the kitchen sink (with the basket in the drain in case my ring decided to fly off for some reason), rubbing dish detergent on my finger, I began to question whether I even needed to take the wedding ring off.  I mean, the engagement ring was already off, and that’s the one that needed fixing.  The wedding ring looked plenty comfy where it was.

Then came anger.  I struggled to get that blasted ring off with the detergent, but it really didn’t want to leave its friend.  I tried bargaining (the third stage, by the way) with my finger that if it would just release the ring, I would give my finger a break from all rings for a while.  This part was in my head, since my husband was in the other room, and if he heard me bargaining with my finger…well, he might be making a call for the men in white coats to take me away to somewhere cushy.  Next stage: depression.  I began to cry and pull on my ring and the tears are dropping into the kitchen sink.  My finger is turning red but the ring is showing no signs of give, and I’m at the point where I figure, this ring is never coming off.

Then, acceptance.  Sort of.  I said, (out loud this time), “Oh, just cut my finger off!  I don’t care!”  Of course, I did care, but when you’re in this stage of fighting with a stubborn wedding ring, it seems like a viable option.  Until you think of the blood.  Yeah.  Let’s not go there in case I have readers with weak stomachs.  So, when my husband finally comes into the kitchen and tells me to put my finger under the tap and pour on the cold water until it stings (we’re talking freezing here, people.  And, it just now occurs to me that I could have had the same affect by plunging my hand into the snowbank just outside the patio door) and to hold my hand over my head for a minimum of thirty minutes, I do it.  For a little while.  By this time, it’s 9:25 and I have to leave for the late shift at 9:40 since it takes about twenty minutes to get to work and I start at 10.  So, I obediently hold my hand over my head for about ten minutes and read a book on my Sony eReader with the other.  Way easier than trying to hand a real book one-handed by the way.

Finally, I give up, because I only have 5 minutes before I need to leave and the swelling is not coming down.   I get out the butter and start slathering.  I get my finger nicely lubed up and start pulling at it with my fingernails hooked under the wedding ring, trying to keep it from sliding back and interlocking with my grandmother’s ring.  And no, I can’t bring them together, because of the fun little thing a larger ring does to a smaller.  It tries to come first, which means neither one is moving.  And of course they link because my wedding ring has this little ledge all around, which acts like a perfectly locking puzzle piece.  So, I finally separate the two and being to work the ring off my finger.

Remember the title of this post?  Yeah.  My finger started out purple and as I edged it over my knuckle (gritting my teeth against the pain because I don’t want to alert my husband, who has gone back to the other room, to the fact that I only half took his advice), my finger turned a darker purple.  By this time I am convinced my knuckle is about to break and I decide I can handle a broken finger.  I mean, come on!  I gave birth to an almost nine pound baby once, and that hurt way more than this!  And it was a natural birth!  A broken knuckle?  Pfft!  Bring it on!  At this point, my finger is almost black.  Kind of edging from purple to gray and up to black that says, ‘there’s no blood pumping to the end of your finger anymore.  Time to amputate’.

At this point, I have decided that if my finger breaks, it’s okay, because then this rassem frassem ring will be off!  As I contemplate writing my novels with a broken finger, I think how cool it would be to have Talk-to-Text Software on my laptop, so I can ‘write’ in the bath or while cooking dinner or whatever.  And I start wondering how much it would cost and if I could ask for this software for Christmas…  At last, the ring slips over my knuckle, which by this time is throbbing.  I’m pretty sure, if it could talk, it would be saying, “What did I ever do to you?”

I take a deep breath, look at the two rings lying on a plastic sandwich bag, waiting to be washed and it occurs to me that this would make a really interesting blog post.  Well, for me anyway.  So, life experience and all that.  It also occurs to me that I can’t live in denial anymore.  Those rings need to be resized.

A question for my readers.  Do you have any funny stories to share?  Feel free to post in the comments below, keeping in mind that this is a blog read by young adults, so please keep it clean.

Until next time, keep dreaming and never give up!

Amy McGuire


About Author Amy McGuire

Author of The Heart's Discovery, a YA Romance novel set mostly in British Columbia with a brief foray into Quito, Ecuador. Also the mother of a bubbly second grade redhead who adores turquoise, and wife to a very patient man. She lives in Toronto, the inspiration for so many of her place names and characters.
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2 Responses to A Wedding Ring, an Engagement Ring and The Purple Finger

  1. savvystories says:

    “Digit amputation” – you crack me up!

    One time I went crazy and decided to build my wife a winery over our garage. it was a 3-car garage and the whole attic overhead was tall and open, so it would be ideal for her to custom blend her wines, as she is a hobbyist winemaker. I drew up the plans to add a wall and a window air conditioner, and a bunch of insulation. It was hot work, doing it over the summer o my evenings and weekends, but soon enough it was shaping up. That’s when the fingers of a desk worker guy changed into a hammer wielding guy’s fingers, and they swelled up. No big deal…

    I was never a jewelry guy, but I had worn my wedding ring since my wife first slipped it over my finger as we exchanged vows. I only took it off on occasion, like when I lost weight and needed to get it resized. As strange as it felt to start wearing a ring all the time, it felt strange to be without it, too. My finger showed the marks where it had been.

    Soon enough the winery was finished, but it would be a while before my fingers returned to their original size.

    Except they didn’t.

    Oh, the swelling went down, but I guess I also put on a few pounds since I got the ring sized down from when I lost the weight. So when I went to put it back on, it didn’t fit.

    Week after week after week, it didn’t fit. I will now have to lose probably 20 lbs if I expect it to get onto my finger again! Or I can spend some money to get it resized for my fatter self. Something tells me to keep trying to lose the weight and save the money, but we will have to see how that plays out, and so far it ain’t looking good!

    • shesanauthor says:

      ~L~ Yeah. When I say ‘snug’, I’m being kind to myself. I gained weight and figured, there’s no way I’m getting those extra pounds off any time soon. So, get the rings resized. And then of course, I can always resize down again, right? Thanks for the story, Dan. 🙂

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