Yesterday my husband and I would have been married for 38 years. The last anniversary we celebrated was #33. Jimmy was healthy and happy, but if you had a gun to my head I couldn’t tell you where we went and what we did. I’m sure it had something to do with sex. And, sex. Oh, yeah, and sex.
I do remember our 25th. For that milestone anniversary I bought Jimmy a gorgeous new wedding band. It’s a blend of silver and platinum and gold. I think it was my way of re-claiming my man. Or maybe, branding him?
The original gold one according to Jimmy “Got bent when I got shot in the finger” –He told me this when I noticed he had stopped wearing it. Well, I couldn’t deny him points for imagination and originality. Most men would have simply mumbled “I lost it” or “It bothers my finger.”
He went on to tell me that a brave little ring that saves your finger should be kept securely in a sacred drawer aka ‘my night table.’ I saw the ring. Indeed, it was squashed. It was oblong now but showed no traces of gun powder.
“I’ll have it repaired” I said challenging him.
Without a hesitation Jimmy announced, “Not a chance. That ring should remain squashed to remind us what valor means.”
This is a man who clearly did not want to wear his wedding band. It begged the question, why? Which explains why I bought him the new one on our 25th anniversary.
As any wife with an IQ of three digits, I was determined to get to the bottom of the fishy “I was shot” story. Played like an episode of Law and Order I reconstructed the scene.
To add a bit of flare to my interrogation I raised my eyebrow and his suspicion as I handed him a glass of sweetened (‘with what?’ he worried right on cue) ice tea. I began by mentioning that it seemed odd that he didn’t come home that day and say,
“Honey, a bullet whizzed through my office today. I know it’s unusual to have a drive by shooter hit you in the finger while sitting at your desk on the 7th floor in a building on Long Island, but as Henry, my best friend is my witness – just call and ask – that is exactly what happened.”
“Drink up, honey,” I punctuated with a wink. “To your health” I said as I touched his glass to mine.
Jimmy stuck to his guns and never budged about being shot. I decided he must have
slammed his desk drawer on his hand and – yes – the ring saved him. Most lies do have
a little bit of truth in them.
So, here I am at year 38, my 5th anniversary without him. Anniversaries take us back. Couples reminisce. A widow does, too.
Just a week ago or so ago in anticipation of this day I had that new ring re-sized for me to wear on my middle finger. Everyday, I salute him with it for leaving me.