Running Rings Around You

It's not easy, to determine when and how you fell in love with someone. In some sense, there is a defining moment, a point of clarity, but when you look back, it seems like you have always been in love. This person has always been there. And equally, you are aware that there is a distinct before and after. There was a time that this person was not involved in your life.

Mr. Spit and I grew up together, that much is true. To a greater or lesser extend, during the year, we saw each other. And this continued. He was there, in a corner, and so was I. We came together, perhaps a few times a year, for holidays.

And then he arrived in Edmonton to pick up a mirror for his telescope. My mother was in a downward mental slide, and I was determined to keep him from finding out. I did the only thing I could think of, everywhere I went, he came too. The first night, he arrived, I looked at him, told him to put his bags in his room and hurry up, we had a theater performance. He needed to bring $15 for the performance. I can't remember what we did on Saturday night, but by the time he left on Sunday, he had perhaps spent a grand total of 20 minutes with my mother.

And in all the time he spent with me, I started to enjoy his company. He was funny and smart and kind, and while he must have realized the game I was playing, he was kind enough to not mention my mother's incipient mental issues to me, or to his father.

The conversations started in email, in earnest, and carried on through the summer, and into the fall.

And suddenly, after a long and horrible day in late October, I realized that I wanted him. I wanted him, by my side. I wanted to lay down on my couch and put my head in his lap, and be still. I wanted to hear him breathe next to me, I wanted to come home to him.

There was no flash of light, no blinding moment of clarity, there was just an awakening.

I was engaged with a ring he had already bought me. Our wedding rings were $88 for two, including the cost of the sizing. We moved, quickly, but carefully towards our life together. And we have held together.

Indeed, those rings have formed part of the story of us. With no money, struggling, we have told the story of 2 rings just when we needed them. Like our first apartment that was a dump, and the odd neighbours that lived below us, and the landlord from hell, our cheap rings have formed part of who we are. Far from those days now, we could look back and remember who we were, and how we started. That the story of us has not always been wealth, but not always poverty. There has been joy, and there has been sorrow. And through it all, in the midst of it, a set of promises. Reminders.

And in the break-in, mine was stolen. The Secret Shopping Mission was this - a new set of rings for both of us.

A solitaire and band for me, and a band for him. New rings to remind us of an old thing, holding on and hanging in are what makes a marriage.

My North, My South, My East and My West. My working week and my Sunday rest.