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If you are a follower of my writings, then you know I write a lot about relationships. Six years ago, I met this man, and in the beginning of our relationship I wrote a piece titled, "Keeping Mr. Right." At that time, having been single for so long, I had developed a plethora of unrealistic ideals of the perfect man. Soon after I met this man, I was faced with the very real possibility of self-sabotage. As a result, I was forced to reassess the ideal man I had created in my mind and the very real man I was falling for. So, as you can imagine, I had a real conundrum. Fast forward to now, and I can tell you a lot has changed since then; for one thing, I married that man. We all know at some pivotal stage in a romantic relationship, if we are truly committed, the question of is she or is she not the one will eventually come up. Which brings me to my question: what's in a ring? My answer: everything! And here's why.
The other day, I stumbled across wedding videos on Instagram. I was in a bad mood, so it was a welcome distraction. I'm not a big fan of big weddings, but I do get a warm fussy feeling when I watch a bride walking down the aisle to her patiently awaiting husband-to-be. In one of the videos I watched, there was a girl who got proposed to by her boyfriend. Upon the realization that he's about to propose to her, she started dancing and jumping up and down with such happiness and joy that, naturally, it made me happy for her. Suddenly, in that moment it occurred to me, even thought some might want to deny it, that the ring is everything!
Granted, it’s easy for me to say, because I've always known I was going to get married. I knew somehow, one way or the other, no matter how impossible it seemed, marriage was in the card for me. Call it gut feeling or intuition, but I knew I was going to get that ring. So much so that even my friends thought I was crazy to want to get married, especially after the first one ended in divorce. The more I talked about it, the more crazy they thought I was. I told them I was going to keep trying until I get it right.
Eventually, I did. I am now on my second marriage, and I can tell you I've a learned a lot, but at the same time, I've learned nothing at all. I've learned that marriage is challenging, demanding, tiring, exciting, fun, exuberating, surprising, and last, but not least, familiar. More than anything, I've learned that the other person is human, not perfect; as such, being married is a free pass to be just that: imperfect. Further, it's a partnership—whatever I do, the other person has a say. It means I am not alone when times are hard, and when the struggle is real, I know somehow everything is going to be alright. I also learned he's not always in a good mood, but that's okay, because neither am I. It took me forever, but eventually, I learned that he doesn't like public affection because somethings are not meant for everyone to see. In fact, he's so shy, he won't even make the first move, if you know what I mean. But that's okay, because I am not always in the mood. Yet, without a single word, he knows when it's time to lay it down and I still get weak in the knees. All together, the best lesson I’ve learned about being married is how to forgive, let go of anger and baggages that keep us from growing as a couple, and live a simple life.
For all that, I can also tell you that I've learned nothing at all. Like, I don't understand why I have to repeat myself a million times. And why is it so hard to put down the toilet seat or flush it after he's done? How come when he starts a fight, he knows I'm going to finish it, but acts surprised and hurt that I bring up stuff from two years ago? Also, why can't I turn the channel when he falls asleep during the movie he'd seen a million times. I hate the movie 'Alien!' All of them!! Furthermore, I don't understand why I have to keep my voice down when he knows I am Haitian and genetically incapable of speaking low. Lastly, why is it when I make plans to go out, I have to remind him a gagillion times? Meanwhile, he still acts suprised on the day I have to go out. Like I said, I still have a lot to learn.
Let's go back to the ring, I think it's fair to say that most people who are in committed romantic relationships, but not married, are just as committed as I am in my marriage. So, I stand by my earlier assertion that the ring is everything. Why, you ask? I'll give you the short answer. Romantic relationships are hard, especially if you are in it for the long run. And no, it's not easy to walk away just because you are not married. That's BS! Of course, when the ring is finally presented, the feeling is definitely that it's well deserved. Hence why you may see many women jumping up and down for sheer joy. The ring marks the end of a long ass audition for the starring role: wife. Finally, in the words of Lady Gaga's song, "Bad Romance," it's how one person tells the other, I choose you with all your ugly, crazy, drama, love, psycho, vertical stick, and your everything, etc. So, yes I'll say it again, the ring is everything!