Wednesday, May 25, 2011

For Better or For Worse... or For Real?

I needed to look at flashlights and headlamps.

Since I was in the area, I stopped by my friend, REI, to explore the options. This time, I was glad for my extreme familiarity with the store, since I was able to walk with utmost confidence to the lighting section…rather an interesting experience when you consider I was still in a dress and heels, having just been the pianist for a friend’s wedding (thankfully, I remembered to remove the corsage in the parking lot). Click. Click. Click. Talk about strange looks.

Later, I found myself in front of the hat section, since I don’t own one and really ought to bring one to my island nation. After I looked perplexed long enough, a salesperson stopped by. “Can I help you?”

“Oh yes,” I answered, “I need a hat for Papua New Guinea that won’t disintegrate in the damp and isn’t so expensive that if I lose it, I won’t feel devastated.”

He laughed, and began describing the virtues of one particular hat and then looked at me, teetering on the only (and last) pair of heels I own. “It’s one downfall…is, well,” he hesitated, “it’s not particularly fashionable.”

I snatched the hat from him and smashed it around my ears. “It’s great! I’ll take it.”

It certainly has been wedding season this May, with at least six of my friends tying the knot (and this weekend I will again slide behind the piano and attempt to time the processional to the walking speed of the wedding party).  As you know, I’ve also been getting into the spirit of things! After all, I’ve now created a gift registry, been thrown a shower, planned a honeymoon (according to the cashier), shopped in men’s clothing, and even considered apparel for starting a family!

However, it became apparent the other day that I was still missing a key element of the season.

The ring.

I don’t own rings—a fact that is rooted in my dislike for anything mobile on my hands (rings, bracelets, even watches). But, according to most travel experts, a single woman on the go ought to wear a wedding band for safety reasons.

So yesterday, my mom, grandmother, sister, and I went wedding ring shopping.

Here are the mighty shoppers ready to tackle this adventure!

As all good girl outings should, we started with lunch—at the Rainforest CafĂ©. Not only is the restaurant full of memories from my childhood, but it seemed a fitting beginning for a ring that will travel to the jungle.

Then we trekked over to Icing, by Claire’s, but we soon discovered that the bling on these rings was so ridiculous that getting mugged for a $10 rock seemed to defeat the purpose. Across the hallway was Nordstrom’s Clearance, and here we found a much wider selection.

Very wide.

Where does one start?

Another woman was perusing the racks alongside us as I tried on various rings, Hannah documented with photos, and we all kept up a lively commentary. No, this one is too tight. That looks too gaudy. I don’t think this is wedding-ring appropriate, do you?

I could see her eyebrows rising, like Sherpas in the Himalayas. My grandma turned to her, “We’re wedding ring shopping,” she explained. The woman’s eyebrows climbed higher. “For my granddaughter…she’s traveling overseas. She needs a wedding band.”

 Some wedding bands were wide (and felt like clumsy bandaids…). Some were so tight I thought I might lose circulation…some sparkled… some glittered…and some even had the engagement ring attached. Fake jewels abounded.

I found rings that imitated Princess Diana’s or the One Ring found on the floor of Gollum’s cave (I wasn’t sure if I wanted to risk being joined by eight companions and being compelled to chuck it in the nearest volcano). Some were terribly noisy, clattering and snagging whenever my finger brushed against the outside world, or were so bulky that my poor hand didn’t want to close.

I could practically hear the Hobbit music

Finally, we found it.

 Narrow, silver, no jewel. and most importantlycheap.

Let the wedding bells sound—Catherine found her ring! Now, all I need is the man :)

I'm not the only one trying to discover his whereabouts! One day, after a presentation, a man came up to me. “So,” he asked, “what does your husband think about all this?”

I thought he was joking. “Oh,” I smiled, “he’s been rather silent on the matter.”

You could have heard a pin drop. I realized with horror that he was serious.

His wife scooted closer and jabbed him with her elbow, whispering frantically, “Uhh, I don’t think she’s married!”

Although my husband didn’t have a lot to say in the decision-making process, it’s now time for him to become more vocal (or, at least no longer nameless)! As my mom, sister, grandma, and I sat on a bench outside of the store (and I practiced not jumping at the shock of seeing something on my hand), we attempted to conjure up a fitting moniker. To simplify paperwork, we decided to follow the matrilinear tradition and let him take my last name of Rivard. But as far as a first name…

  • Gus? (Groom Unknown Still)
  • Matt? (Man Absent 'Till Tomorrow)
  • Abe? (Arriving Boy Eventually)

What do you think? What should his name be and how did we meet?