I lost my wedding ring the other day. It was only for a short time and everything is fine now, but while it was gone, I learned a few things about myself.
I was running at our local track last weekend with my husband when my hands started to swell up a bit with the heat and exertion. I tugged at my ring thinking I’d just take it off for a second. I was being very careful about removing it, but, I had to tug so hard to get it off that the ring flew out of my hand and rolled, quicker than any object has ever rolled, into the teensy tiny, 1/2 inch thick grate at the base of the track. There it rested about 8 inches below. It was well out of my reach, but the sun made it glint just enough to tell me where it was.
My first reaction? Did I calmly start to formulate a plan to retrieve the ring? Did I ponder in a Zen-like way that the ring was only a piece of jewelry (I should tell you my husband and I wear matching etched bands, so no diamonds were involved here) and losing it doesn’t mean anything other than that I lost a piece of metal? Nope. I, in all my 34-year-old maturity, burst into tears like a toddler.
It’s hard to describe how utterly lost I felt in those moments. That ring, I realized, means more to me than any other possession I own, no matter that I own other things that have higher monetary value. That ring was my physical acknowledgment of my love for Johnnie and that we wore matching ones was indescribably important to me. That ring went on my hand almost 7 years ago and I want to die with the very same one on my finger and no other could replace it. I stood there crying, waiting for my husband to come help me rescue it.
He did, by the way, with a very MacGyver-esque move that actually involved chewing gum and a straw. Not kidding. I jumped in his arms when he pulled it out of the grate and hugged him for minutes. I could not have been happier if you’d given me a million dollars.
Is that silly? Am I overly attached to a stupid, petty circle of silver? Maybe, but just try to wrestle it off my finger.
Are you looking to have your wedding ceremony and reception in beautiful Santa Barbara—without breaking the bank? We’ve got two fabulous finds: The first is Elings Park, a private, estate-like setting sequestered in the forested bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. This non-profit park’s 230 scenic acres includes several special event venues with a breathtaking blend of city, hillside and coastal views. Exchange vows in a stone amphitheater, serve cocktails on an oak-shaded patio, and then let the reception unfold on a vast garden lawn!
Another sweet spot is Unity of Santa Barbara. This welcoming, non-denominational church is right in town, across the street from Alice Keck Memorial Gardens (which provides gorgeous photo ops). Unity’s cozy campus includes a contemporary, skylit sanctuary; a fountain courtyard with a zen-like ambiance; and historic Unity House, whose white-columned veranda overlooks a lush garden meadow.
At first, love is so easy. You meet a hot guy with a sense of humor who’s gainfully employed and treats you well…what’s not to love? And when you discover that you both agree that Obama should be President and football on Sundays is fun, you’re ready to say “I Do” right then and there. Super. Let’s get married. Easy peasy.
But it’s after this initial mushy phase when you find out a mutual affection for Peyton Manning won’t always bail you out. We all know that, before taking the plunge, you should talk through the big issues like sex (How often? How kinky? What if I’m tired?) and money (Joint accounts? Big screen TV? You do realize my bi-monthly haircuts cost $150, right?) This stuff seems obvious. And yet, I know so many people (including myself in my starter marriage) who just never take the time to really talk through the big stuff. And that, my friends, equals trouble, or worse, and not too far down the line.
A great starting point for those marriage-saving discussions is the book: The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say “I Do” by Susan Piver.
Some of this is a bit toooo obvious, some is a bit cheesy, but, used correctly (and possibly covertly?) in a series of conversations with your Mr. Right, this little $8 investment could save you thousands of dollars and untold amounts of heartache. Plus, you just might learn some stuff about your guy that makes you love him even more. Love that.