That Ring Isn’t Right

Handsrings01Heard at a meeting at work, “that ring isn’t right.” Comment directed to me by someone I don’t know that well before the meeting began (as people were entering and taking a seat.)

Say what? Were you talking to me?

I looked at the guy who said that and it was clear to me that he was talking about the ring on my left ring finger. (Yeah, I am wearing my ring on my finger rather than on a chain–I’ve gotten used to it, and actually like to be reminded of my marriage by feeling it.)

I noticed that a few other people who know me better than this guy does took notice, and seemed to be waiting for me to either punch him in the nose or tell him off… or something.

Soon after he said what he said and I realized he was talking about me and the ring on my finger, the meeting began. We all had to do our professional thing and get through it. However, throughout the meeting, I was thinking about what to say or do. I wasn’t going to let anyone make that kind of remark and get by with it unchallenged.

Then I started having second thoughts. What’s the purpose of challenging someone who is closed-minded? Was he actually talking about gay marriage, or did he just have a problem with the ring for some reason? Too bright? Platinum instead of gold? What was this guy’s problem after all?

As I said, this guy doesn’t really know me, and he may not even know that I married a man. But I also know that people talk, and I’m not in the closet. So he very well could have learned that my ring represents that I married a man — oh-oh, “gay marriage.” Bolt the doors, block the winders….

As the meeting ended, I was preparing to say something when a colleague who I have known for more than 20 years spoke up first. She asked, “what’s wrong with his ring?” The reply was what I feared, “gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married.”

I began to speak, but my female friend cut me off. She said, “heck, Fred (not his real name), you’ve been married and divorced three times. [BHD] has been in a loving, committed relationship with the same person for more than 20 years! How in the hell (sic) can his expression of love for his husband by wearing a wedding ring be anything less than the ring that I wear to demonstrate my commitment to my husband?”

Then she gave the kicker: “how is his marriage any worse than your three failed marriages? Is his marriage wrong? Hell no!”

“Fred” and I just stood there, mouths agape. Then I felt a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Fred left without saying a word. I hugged my colleague, wordlessly. Meeting adjourned!

Life is short: it’s amazing the support you have by being out at work — and never knew.

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About BHD

I am an average middle-aged biker who lives in the greater suburban sprawl of the Maryland suburbs north and west of Washington, DC, USA.

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