I Don’t Want Your Grandmother’s Ring


I saw a meme in a Facebook group that asked what you would do if after five years of marriage, you discovered that your wedding ring used to belong to your husband’s ex-wife.

My answer was not exactly the most cooperative. For me, it would not be a means to ending the relationship, but I would be seriously re-evaluating some things in our marriage and relationship. To me, it’s trifling, cheap, and inconsiderate. And it would make me closely examine how he moves.

What amazed me were the amount of women who thought that this was not an issue and that said they would not really be bothered by it. Some even equated it to receiving an heirloom ring. To me, it was not the same exact thing, and hell, I don’t want your grandmother’s ring either.

So sue me. I’m big on energy. I really don’t want anything that has been passed down for generations. And I don’t want to be expected to wear it. I remember my mother asked me if I wanted to wear her wedding dress when I got married.

First, she got married in 1977 in upstate New York where the temperature rarely gets above the 80s. I was getting married in the dog days of summer August 2002 in Georgia. Her long sleeved lace dress would not work. And, well, superstitiously, her and my father got divorced. Now, really, that may not make a difference. I got my own dress and still got divorced. But I digress. I would much rather have my own.

My own traditions. My own jewelry. My own dress. It’s a nice gesture to pass down a ring. But I would much rather have my own. Or, if my man’s family insists on passing down the ring, we can give it to our daughter to have when she marries- if she wants.

That expectation that I will take a ring that belonged to someone else, or want to wear another woman’s dress that she wore for her wedding is a heavy one. And in the case of the meme, I don’t care how you slice it, it reduces the importance of the wedding ring down to not putting any thought or consideration in to a symbol of your union. And it also implies that after the marriage, he got the ring back somehow. That’s where the problem lies for me. And in passing down heirlooms, it assumes that I will assimilate and be okay with the thing that another person choose. It takes out my individuality and ability to choose and set my own traditions.

Maybe it’s a bit mean or cold to not want to wear your grandmother’s ring. Nana probably had really good taste. But given the chance to make my own decisions and make my own choices, so do I.


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