I am not like other girls. You should know this by now. Sure, in the most fundamental ways, I have some generic feminine traits. For instance, I believe the right pair of shoes makes an outfit (though I never own the right pair of shoes and matching a purse to them is mindboggling).

I can swing a mood the way Jose Bautista can throw a bat, and yes, I require the toilet seat to be in the down position (and will prove the aforementioned fact when someone leaves the seat up in the middle of the night).

But I am not typical in other ways, at least not based on what I know from my female friends. I don’t accessorize. I mean, I understand the principal, but I can’t comprehend the effort. I don’t wear earrings, as a rule. I am afraid of my hair-straightener, (because anything that obviously named is something I can surely screw up).

Also, I don’t own an engagement ring. The only symbol of my marital status is a wedding band. This was my choice, since I proposed to the Carpenter first. You know the saying, “why buy the cow, when you get the milk for free?” Well, I’m lactose intolerant so I just went ahead and took the bull by the horns.

I never take my wedding ring off unless I absolutely have to. Recently, during a medical procedure, I had to remove it. I love the symbolism of that ring and the memory of the day the Carpenter slipped it on my finger. But somehow I forgot to put that ring back on for an entire week.

Sunday night, I realized my folly and commented on it. The Carpenter, otherwise engaged in sports scores on his tablet, made his obligatory “uh-huh” sound on cue. I caught it.

“Do you think this will create a scandal in town?” I asked. He said, “No,” dismissively.

“Do you think men will flirt with me? You know, try to pick me up, thinking I’m single?” I asked, assuming he wasn’t listening.

That caught his attention.

The Carpenter erupted in laughter so loud the dog jumped out of her slumber. My spouse laughed so hard he started to cough and gasp, choking on the bile of his own humour. Tears watered his eyes.

Offended is not the right adjective to describe my facial expression. The gall of this man.

“Are you suggesting that no other man would want me?” I said curtly.

Now the Carpenter was hysterical. He composed himself long enough to blurt out, “Oh no honey, you’ve still got it,” which only set him off on another explosive round of coughing fits.

Despite my attempts to appear furious, his infectious hilarity caught hold of me as I watched the Carpenter mime impressions of the ghouls who would try to approach me on the street. He was amusing himself alright, to the point that the teenagers emerged from their caves to see what all the noise was about. They stared at their parents, unsure of their genetic links to the two freaks rolling about in laughter on the couch.

My wedding ring is now back on my finger. The symbolism of that simple gold band is enduring. Forever is a long time.

If you’re going to hold on, you better laugh together, often.



Kelly Waterhouse