i wear my grandmother’s wedding ring on my middle finger, right hand.
it was given to me by my mother, a few years back. she is one of 11 children. the middle child. out of all of her children my grandmother gave her the ring. its a simple gold band. thin, too small to fit on over my mother’s knuckles, apparently. i often spin it around my finger and find it odd that out of everyone in my family, i have this ring. i have something ridiculous like 30 first cousins. i have never met two of my uncles.
i never met my grandfather either. he died when my mother was just 21. i have visited his birthplace in edinburgh though, and his picture sits in a frame on my dresser. he’s wearing a brown plaid coat, sitting in a lawn chair at my aunts farm, laughing with his face tilted away from the camera. its one of those photos were the person looks genuinely happy. or at least looks so. my mother has the same smile.
i have so few photographs of my mother. she hates having her picture taken and rarely smiles a real smile. i use to have a photograph of her when she was about 5. we look identical, its kind of scary. i carried it with me forever, and just recently misplaced it. i haven’t had the heart to tell her i lost it. i’m still holding out hope it will some day surface. hopefully not lost in the ether, like my pocket watch.
whenever i look at my grandmother’s wedding ring, i think of my mother and wonder if she’s happy. she’ll never know, but she’s the reason i devoted so much of my undergrad studies to feminism, why my thesis was spent dissecting female othering, and the male gaze. why i’ll never wear a ring like the one on my right, on my left, or take another’s name. all these years spent trying to figure it out.
and she probably forgets that it all stemmed from the day she told me she wasn’t.
so why do i still wear this ring on my finger?
because i’m not ready to give up on the idea that it exists.
happiness. love. and the bag of chips.