I look at my finger and wonder whether the mark of my wedding ring will ever disappear. I wore it for ten years. Two rings actually — the diamond of engagement, and then the band of matrimony. Pregnancy was the only time I removed them, the humid Michigan summer and the third trimester making my fingers swell.
It’s faint. A thin, darkened stripe, almost like a tan line in reverse, sits below my knuckle, more visible when I’ve forgotten to moisturize my hands, something about dry skin highlighting the subtle shift in color. I doubt casual lookers see it, though when I point it out to friends, they say, “Oh yeah…”
The body records all that touches it, at least for a while. It shows the passage of time. It would be wrong to call the mark of my wedding band a dent, though my fingertips pick up a slight depression where the ring was, and though I did take some (metaphorical) hits, as all married people do — emotional punches thrown and felt, the face of one heart swollen and bruised, the face of a mind cut and bleeding, two heavyweight fighters locked together.
It would be wrong to call the mark of my wedding band a scar; the second half of my marriage brimmed with pain, but getting married was still the right choice; he and I were in love, and we didn’t know what we didn’t know.
It would perhaps be most accurate to call the mark of my wedding band a wrinkle: a line that formed where something was expressed many times — commitment, love, hope.
But will it go away? This line that tells the world something used to be here, something used to be different. You can Botox a wrinkle. You can smother it with retinoid and watch it disappear, the flesh regenerating, youth restored, time undone, experience blown off your body like dust.
A girlfriend said it might make me more alluring to men, meaning, they might glance at it and think Oh, she took her ring off tonight. I imagined that: my chubby, delicate hand curved around a cold glass of gin, tonic, and lime, the gold light in the dark bar hitting my skin just so, making the ghost of my wedding band pop, some dude a few stools away raising his eyebrow and thinking his odds of getting laid had just gotten better. My friend and I laughed. It was funny. But alluring to men is about the very last thing I want to be. Not…