I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but I kept postponing. Maybe because I feel so bloody stupid every time I think of it. It’s about time.
I married Heike in May 2019, after having been together for almost 10 years. At the time, we had a baby underway, which was our real token of love. But as these things go, being a parent is a whole lot easier if you’re married. And so it was that on a January evening in a shabby Indian restaurant in the middle of Utrecht, we decided that we would get married. No knees were bent, no engagement rings were bought. What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic.
Given that Heike was about seven months pregnant with our son at the time of our wedding, we decided to go very untraditional. We bought the cheapest passable rings that we could find, and got married on the Wednesday-morning free slot. We decided to skip the party, and save it for a moment where we actually could also both get wasted. Instead, we spent the afternoon having some fine dining six-course lunch in a very fancy restaurant, to which we invited only our witnesses. It’s really funny when you just get married without telling, or inviting anyone. People will act somewhat offended. But fuck it. We got married for us, not for others. And you have to believe me, we really had in mind to throw a party at a later stage. But then we moved abroad, COVID-19 came. What can I say, it’s not easy. But it’s still our plan.
Cheap silver rings. Simple. Those were the rings of choice. You know, I’m not the guy that places value on an insanely expensive piece of jewellery, and I’m glad that Heike is similar in that regard. Our rings are simple, and no one would think anything of them. I never wore a ring in my life, so it took some getting used to. Although I wore it every day, it was also quite painful for my fingers, and for this reason I always took it off at night. Not sure what it means, but I guess I have highly sensitive fingers. Whatever. I still liked my ring, and liked seeing Heike with hers. I love being married to her.
You may have noticed that I said I wore my ring. Past tense. Indeed. I’m no longer wearing it these days…
Don’t worry. We’re still together. We still love each other. Well, I hope she still loves me, despite the kind of moron I am sometimes.
Maybe moron is a bit strong, but I make a habit of silly clumsy stupid things. And so I lost my ring. But not really. Technically, I still have it. It’s just not on my finger, that’s all.
Here’s what’s happened. When our daughter was born three months ago, we went on a road trip with our camper van. It was great. Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Italy. We saw a lot. Our van is great too. It has a double bed in the high roof, and a double bed below. Heike would sleep downstairs with our daughter, and I would be up with our son.
The ritual would be similar every day. We would park somewhere, aiming for the most level parking position we could achieve (this is important!). Around 7pm, just after dinner, I would usually pretend to go to bed with our son. The ritual involved, among others, taking my glasses off, my ring off, and in the bed, under the blankets, and stay there until my son would sleep tight. My stuff I would always place on a tiny ledge that seemed to serve no other purpose than to be some sort of night stand. It was a perfect ledge, for about, well, forty nights? And then, we arrived to this unfaithful night, where my parking was not great. I parked the car on a slightly sloped lot. It was only a tiny tiny slope, but a slope nonetheless. It was hard to notice to be honest.
Until I put my ring on the ledge, it landed on it’s side, and started rolling towards the front of the ledge. Little did I know that there was a tiny hole at the end of the ledge. A tiny crack, where the Westfalia commercial camper interior kit did not fit seamlessly. It wasn’t very big, but just big enough to let my wedding ring pass through.
This means that my wedding ring currently is located somewhere in the front of our camper’s high roof. Don’t ask me why this space even exist, but there’s quite a large empty area for rings to roll into, that is completely out of reach. There’s no feasible way to get my ring back, unless I would strip the car from its entire interior. I mentioned that the ring was cheap… It is in fact so cheap that this is not worth bringing my car to the specialized mechanic for.
So, since a couple of weeks, our car doesn’t just have climate control, central heating, water, gas stoves, and a toilet. It now also comes with an integrated wedding ring. I think it also means I cannot ever sell this car, because it would feel like handing over my marriage to another person.
So there you go. My fingers are ringless, and now you know why. It feels very empty and very bloody stupid. I just told my wife that I would buy a new ring. I will marry her again. (And again, and again, and again, if I have to.) I may keep it on at all times from now on.
I still promise there will be a party some day!