This I Believe

Grace - Los Altos, California
Entered on August 27, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, love

The day before my 20th wedding anniversary, I lost the diamond on my wedding ring. I realized it was missing while standing at a grocery checkout, and by then, I had already run a few errands around town. Naturally, I retraced my steps and searched, but the diamond was unfortunately gone.

Initially, I felt the loss was fraught with hidden meanings. Perhaps the diamond harbored inharmonious marital energies–fights about my in-laws, petty squabbles over family finances, disagreements regarding the reasonable level of care afforded our dog–which required exorcism from the relationship before safe passage through another twenty years of marriage was assured. Or, maybe losing the diamond symbolized that what had bonded my husband and me for the first–let’s be optimistic and say third–of our married life would prove obsolete in its second phase as our children grow older and our personal goals and priorities mature.

Or, perhaps as a friend noted, “You were probably just ready for something bigger.” Yes, well, that makes sense, too.

At any rate, I have given my marriage ample thought lately. I met my husband in our freshman dorm when we were both eighteen and barely starting our adult lives. Twenty-eight years later, I cannot explain what makes us so compatible. We have different agendas, interests, problem-solving strategies, taste, and taste buds. We almost drive each other crazy. Maybe it’s that whole men/women/Venus/Mars thing, but my husband is Spanish, and I’m Japanese, so culturally-speaking, we are far enough apart that Mars and Venus–located in the same solar system at least–seem to me relatively navigable. In my opinion, Spaniards and Japanese exist in parallel universes, and I just chanced upon a porthole and inadvertently crossed over.

My husband and I share a sense of humor, though I lean Woody Allen while he leans Three Stooges. I didn’t marry him for the laughs necessarily, but in marriage, every little bit helps. Truth be told, I don’t really know why I married my husband; that is, I don’t know why I love him. I don’t love him for his exceedingly good qualities, though I try not to begrudge him his crummy ones, either. I don’t love him because he is the father of our children. I don’t love him because he materially or emotionally provides me with anything; I know if he stopped providing, I wouldn’t stop loving. Love–timeless, boundless, transcendent–is such a mystery to me. I believe love has no reason, no reason at all.

Thankfully, my ring was insured. I chose another diamond, and once set, I will treasure my new ring as a symbol of my most intimate, enduring human relationship. It will never replace the ring I lost as the new diamond looks nothing like my old one. But, that’s fine by me. The new diamond happens to be a bit bigger than the other one as well, and that’s fine by me, too.