I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
September 22, 2011
Bruiser started swimming lessons yesterday. When we arrived, I checked him in with a group of lifeguards standing beside the pool. One of them, a guy who looked to be about my age, talked to Bruiser a bit as we waited for the class to begin.
“You like The Transformers, buddy?” he asked.
Bruiser grinned and hid behind my leg, peeping out shyly.
“How old are you?”
“Four,” Bruiser said, holding out four stubby fingers. I smiled, pleased in the way that any mom is when another adult takes an interest in her child.
Before long, the lesson began. “I’ll be watching you,” the lifeguard promised as Bruiser and two other kids followed their teacher over to the side of the pool. A few minutes later, the lifeguard came over and crouched down beside where I was sitting on a bench against the wall.
“How’s he doing with his lesson?”
“Okay,” I said. “He’s a little afraid of being dunked.”
“You don’t come here very often, do you?” he asked.
“We’re actually here quite a bit,” I said. “But we generally come to the pool on the weekends.”
“Oh, that explains it,” he said. “I don’t work on weekends.”
“Oh,” I said.
“So, you’re a single mom, huh?” he asked, leaning in with a smile that was clearly meant to be both charming and sympathetic.
I blanched. “Oh! Oh no. I’m married. I’m very married!” I said quickly. “I don’t always wear my wedding ring because… I have… dry skin!” Suddenly, I had an urgent need to check my e-mails on my iPhone. I picked it up from my lap and began frantically pushing buttons as my face turned three shades of red.
“Hey, you can’t blame the guy for trying,” Hubs said later, after I’d told him what had happened.
“I know, but I was mortified!” I said. “I felt like I’d somehow led him on by not having on a wedding ring!”
The truth is that I haven’t worn my wedding rings in years– not because Hubs and I are on the outs, but because the eczema that occasionally flared up on my fingers from time to time got much worse after Bruiser was born. Now, just about anything sets it off, from preparing food to using certain kinds of soap… to wearing rings. Cortisone cream makes it better, but the kind that works best is prescription strength and can only be used once a day– So it’s much easier to simply try and eliminate the things that set the eczema off in the first place. I now use disposable gloves when making dinner– and I now almost never wear rings. I do keep a few cheap silver rings in a dish in the kitchen just for the times (like when I’m going to the kids’ schools) when wearing a wedding ring seems like it might be a good idea. The last thing I want to do, after all, is get the rumor mill going.
But even then, it’s a sacrifice, because the whole time I’m wearing the ring, I’m uncomfortable. Any ring I wear burns as if its inner rim has been coated with thin layer of acid. As soon as I get home (and often before then), I rip it off and put it wherever I happen to be (which is why my real wedding rings are safely put away- I can’t tell you how many cheap “replicas” I’ve lost over the last few years). Afterward, my ring finger and the fingers on either side are red and inflamed, and itch for hours.
I try to tell myself that it’s not a big deal that I don’t wear a wedding ring. After all, it’s not my fault. My husband totally understands. I think he’d rather me not wear the rings than coat my fingers with cortisone cream and wear white cotton gloves to bed, which I tried for a while and which TOTALLY CREEPED HIM OUT. (No one wants to see mime hands in the middle of the night, ya know?) And what is this weird need we have as a society to prove to each other that we’re spoken for, anyway? It’s archaic, really. He loves his wedding ring from https://manlybands.com/collections/titanium-wedding-rings, I just wish I could wear mine too!
But as I sat on that bench beside the pool, I had never wished for a wedding ring harder.
I can’t really think of a solution for my dilemma. One of my friends suggested wearing my wedding ring around my neck, but my husband and I both think that’s a little silly. I’ve even thought of getting a wedding ring tattoo, but I can only imagine the effect that dye would have on my eczema-prone skin.
Surely I’m not the only woman out there with this problem, though.
What would you do?
Image via Pete/Flickr