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With(out) This Ring…



Today, I was glued to the television during the live broadcast of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding extravaganza. Finally, all the meticulously planned details came together in full view. While most people might remain transfixed on Kate’s wedding gown or the inevitable reminiscence of Princess Diana, I certainly observed Prince William’s wedding ring or should I say, lack thereof because, William has communicated that he will not be wearing a wedding band when married.

William is not the first man to abstain from wearing his wedding ring after saying “I do”. But in my book, Kate is the first woman informed prior to the wedding of her beau’s ring-ditching plans. The prince should be grateful to his lucky stars or cupid that Kate is fine with his plan. With new ‘royal’ routines to adapt to, a ring-less spouse could very well be the least of her concerns.

My friend, Cornelia* is not Kate. Neither is her husband, Charles*, in possession of the same lucky stars Prince William has.

The first time Cornelia and I went out together for an event, I noticed her ring finger was unembellished.

I said to her, “Madam, biko …please… where is your wedding ring? There are fishers of women everywhere.”

She smiled faintly and replied, “I just tell them I’m married. I don’t wear my wedding ring. You’ve never noticed?”

True, I had never noticed. We lived close to each other and met up only a few times prior to that day, typically when we teamed up to jog on weekday evenings or early Saturday mornings.

I shook my head in quick disapproval, “You don’t wear your ring because…?”

With an undaunted look, she confidently responded, “Because my husband does not wear his.”

Cornelia narrated the quite simple circumstance preceding her decision to go band-less.

A short while after Cornelia and Charles got married, Charles stopped wearing his wedding band. Cornelia questioned him about it and he said his ring was too tight. She went to retrieve it and asked him to try it on. He wore it and as you would imagine, it was anything but tight. She told me that Charles still tried to prove his point. Unconvinced, she took off her wedding bands, and told her husband to let her know when he decides to start living by example.

End of story.

Unlike Prince Williams, Charles certainly has the ‘omalicha no nonsense’ kind of cupid.

Compared to most (African) women, Cornelia is definitely audacious and women like her are far and in between. Clearly, she is not primarily defined by her dazzling bands, gems many are pressured to desire, eager to flaunt and yearn to upgrade at nearly all costs. To aptly describe Cornelia’s retaliatory measures, her husband’s actions simply gave her the permission to do likewise. In other words, she took off her own rings to stress a moral cue to the man she married.

But what’s in a ring anyway? Some would argue that it is merely a symbol of the love and commitment residing in the heart, not a representation of all that marriage entails. True. Obviously wearing your wedding band does not make you faithful, and ditching it certainly does not make you a runs-master. Interestingly, a friend of mine, Brandon, wears his wedding band but thinks it is actually more “dangerous” to because in comparison to his single days, he gets hit on a lot more now that he is married. My dear friend Bomi of the inspirational thinks married folks are just better off wearing their wedding bands regardless. For starters, there is really nothing else to go by to identify who is taken and who is available. Surprisingly, at a farewell party I recently co-hosted, the biggest flirt there had his wedding band on and a pregnant wife at home. So no woman would say she didn’t know right? Sure.

Both sides, the band-less and band-wearing, whether male or female, have saints and sinners. Those who wear their bands only in the presence of their spouses should be the most feared.

I most certainly would prefer that my husband wears his wedding band when going out regardless of the presumed jeopardy wedding rings attract. Out of sheer consideration for my beloved, he is allowed to go band-less if he has an itchy rash or if he loses his ring finger altogether. If the ring is too tight, I’ll lovingly renew his gym membership. But seriously, if all else fails and he still comes up with illegitimate reasons to go band-less, I hope cupid will give him a hint of what is truly “dangerous”: an angry spouse.

So… do you really care if your spouse ditches the wedding ring?

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