My Wife Got Sent a Ring By Another Man

Matt likes to tell people about the day his wife (me, of course) got a ring in the mail from another man. He cracks his wry smile, waits a moment, then continues on to explain the man is my uncle and the ring was my aunt’s.

I was sitting in our shared office at our old place in Alexandria, doing homework. There was a knock at the door and Matt went to answer it. He called out that there was a package for me that I had to sign for. The return address was from my Aunt Tricia and a simple note was inside. She had met up with my Uncle John and he’d given her the last of my Aunt Cheryl’s (her big sisters) things. This was her engagement ring and, as the oldest of her nieces, it was to be mine.

I hadn’t thought about that ring until I was sitting, waiting Antiques Roadshow last night. Yes, I am only 30 and I watch AR. I’ll wait for you to stop laughing before I continue.

Ahem. I haven’t done anything with it but put it in my jewelry box. Maybe I tried it on once. Every now and then I consider taking it to be resized so I could wear it as a right hand ring or reset into a different setting, but nothing seems quite right.

My Aunt Cheryl died when I was in eighth grade in a car accident on her way into work. I was never particularly close with her, though all of my memories of times spent with her are very happy. Helping make her famous gingerbread village. Painting with chalk on my Nana’s driveway. Her laugh that took over her whole body.

We would have a great deal in common if she were still alive. She also suffered from anxiety and depression. She loved crafts. She liked music but wasn’t a musician.

Maybe I will finally do something with it one of these days. Maybe as something that Squirms can wear to a special event. Or maybe it’ll stay forever in its little box, a prompt for another of Matt’s not quite funny jokes.

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