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The Graduate

gradThat picture, minus the date, is how I felt when I sat for hours watching the graduating class of my sons’ take their diploma and walk away into the night. A group of young adults, weathering the tests, classes, and teachers for the past 13 years…out in the real world now. It was surreal. My baby boy. The one who cried so hard when I left him at the little church preschool when he was 4 years old…now a graduate. I remember not being able to take hearing him cry. I called my husband from the parking lot and told him he would be taking him from now on. He couldn’t do it either. So I called my mother to drop him off. Eventually it got better. He acclimated to the other children and settled in. But boy was it tough.

He never gave me any trouble in school. Always a straight ‘A’ student, very conscious of his GPA, and rarely ever missing a day. I had it easy being his mom. And then the night came to see it end. No more seeing him pulling his hair at the counter, trying to squeeze out another page to his already 7 page long paper. No more having him ride the bus for the 45 minutes it took to get to the school. No more curfew to get the bed so he could wake up at 5 in order to ride the bus! He is now officially in limbo until he finds a job and waits to go to college in the fall.

So how do I feel about it all? Old. I no longer can say I have 5 in school. I have four in school and one going to college. Ahh…it gives me shivers. One is out. OUT, I tell you. Out among the other responsible citizens of the world. Able to vote, able to work, go to jail if he’s bad. (although I highly doubt it…still, he could go) I’ve got an adult on my hands. No, I won’t say it too often in my mind. I can’t. To admit it means I’ve lost a little bit of the world I’ve lived in for so long a time. I prefer denial. When I see him meandering in the hall after all the others have gone to school, I simply say to myself he’s just out for the day. It gets me through it. Don’t ask me what I’ll do when fall really comes and I have to leave him at that college. I think he may have to call my mom to take me home because he can’t take the crying! 🙂

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The Wedding Ring Conundrum

wedding-rings-on-black-handswedding-rings-and-hands-black-4iwwiixrI turned on the news this morning and was amazed, as usual, to hear what is making headlines. There seems to be a lot of talk about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner still wearing their wedding rings. As if it’s anyone’s business or a big deal. Who cares if they’re wearing giant, one-eyed parrots on their shoulders? But, it made me ponder the whole wedding ring conundrum. Personally, I don’t wear mine very much. If there’s an occasion and I’m dressing up I will put it on, or I’ll wear it for a few weeks and then put it away for a month. It just depends on my mood. What annoys me is when other people think it’s disrespectful or trashy not to wear one when you’re married. My comeback to them is, does wearing the ring make me more married? Am I only married when I’m wearing it? I know guys who cheat while wearing their wedding ring, and women, for that matter. Is it against some law of married conduct not to wear a ring? Who made up such a conduct?

With the Ben and Jen crisis going on:) I thought I’d take a look at the origin of the infamous wedding rings. It seems they date back many centuries ago in Europe. You see, 3,000 years ago, in ancient Egypt, during the engagement period, the man and woman would each wear a ring, usually made of a reed. It was a symbol of eternity, signifying their never ending love for one another. When they married, the two rings were then joined by a braid and the woman fashioned it on her left ring finger, where they believed a vein was housed, leading directly to the heart. (I feel my heart swoon just imagining the romanticism of it all:))

That was the single ring ceremony; the double ring ceremony is used in the United States. And until the 20th century, only women wore them. Then came a push to have men wear the rings, as well. Perhaps another gimmick to sell more jewelry, or the fact that equality was being attempted. After the wedding, the rings are worn on the fourth finger to display the couple’s external love for one another. It has become tradition and etiquette to do so. My feeling, as expressed in an earlier post, is that I don’t need a ring to show someone my love and devotion. Therefore, you will not find a ring at all times on my finger. I find it crazy that the media and fans of Ben and Jen are so wrapped up about the sight of their rings in the midst of their divorce. Divorce specialists, whomever they are, note that the power couple are sending a message to the public and to their children that they are united in their desire to co-parent. And, they think wearing a ring is going to do this? Who cares what the world thinks? Furthermore, do they think the ring has magical powers? Perhaps if they took their vows to heart, none of the outwardly crap would matter. “Till death do us part,” right? I don’t need a ring to remind myself of who I married or the fact that I am married. My morality guides me, not a piece of metal.

On a separate note, I probably would totally wear the ring all the times, if it had been a braid of the two of ours in which we wore singularly as an engaged couple. Now that’s romantic. Bling is not.