Sometimes I want to rip off my wedding rings.
I walk around, day to day, living life, and people see my ring and ask me, "Oh! Did you just get married?" or "Your ring is so pretty! How long have you been married?" I think it is because I look so young. People do not do this to women as they get older.
The residents at the nursing home where I work ask me how long I've been married.
I get my nails done and the tech asks me if I'm newly married.
People I know introduce me to people they know and they make conversation by glancing at my hand and saying, "So did you just get married?" and "So when did you get married?"
Random people. Everywhere. They think it's new. They think I must be a newlywed. Sometimes I want to rip my ring off.
People are just being normal. People are just being nice. I'm not angry at anyone.
And it's like WELL DUH, I am wearing wedding rings after all. They are on my finger. They are visible to the world. What can I expect?
But every time someone uses a conversation opener like that, the conversation is going to go down. And it's going to go down hard and fast.
"No, actually, I'm a widow," or "I was married for 6 years, but my husband recently died."
Sometimes I just tear up when the question is directed to me and my ring. That's always a good time.
It's this pesky age and time of life. It invites people to ask the typical questions. Why would a cheerful, young gal sporting a wedding ring have a tragic tale to tell? It makes no sense. It does not compute.
Sometimes the conversation tanks even further than my startling response or almost-crying. LOTS of people follow up the shock with, "I'm so sorry. Was he sick?" or even better, "I'm so sorry. What happened?"
Usually, to the first question, I simply say, "No." The response is short and does not share, so it is not one I feel invites a follow-up question. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. To the second question, I respond honestly with, "It was suicide."
I'm not embarrassed/ashamed/unwilling to tell people that Rick took his own life. I am, however, not always a big fan of talking about the most emotional thing in my life with someone I have just met. I usually feel blindsided.
The response from people that follows all this is often not so fun either. Some people gasp. Some people's eyes look like they will pop out of their heads. Some people get dangerously close to giving me a hug.
All this because I wear my wedding rings.
And that is what sucks. Because the obvious solution to this ongoing problem is to stop wearing them. But I don't want to stop wearing them. I'm not ready for that. I don't want to put them in a box. I don't want to put them on a chain and wear them around my neck. I don't want to put them on a different finger (don't think they fit another finger anyway). I WANT TO WEAR THEM THE WAY I HAVE ALWAYS WORN THEM.
They're my wedding rings. They're mine. And I don't want to take them off.
So I really have no right to be upset when these instances of painful questions occur. It just is what it is.
So much of widowhood has no solution.