If you attended the wedding, you may have noticed two things about rings:
1. I threw out my wedding ring by accident in 2001. I was working in the basement of our San Diego house, so I took off my watch and ring and put them "somewhere safe," which was the small gray trash can I kept in the wine cellar. At some point, I forgot that I had done so - and then presumably emptied the trash. Weeks later, I tried to find the ring and failed.
Dan's is the only one left of that matching set.
In 1985, I left for a year as an AFS exchange student in Essen, Germany. En route to Germany, I stopped off in New York City for one night along with all of my fellow AFS Germany assignees. There, I roomed with a man by the name of Bret Thurwalker from St. Louis, Missouri. He was gay, and as a 15 year old this was of course exciting for me: I had never come out to anyone before then.
Long story short, we developed a close friendship that year - he lived a couple of hours away in Bielefeld - and kept in touch. Dan and I visited Bret and his partner Mark at their home in Kiel, Germany for New Year's Eve in 2000; there, we met Mark's mother and sister, who are both jewelers. His sister (I've forgotten her name) ran a small shop in Hamburg, where we bought matching rings. I don't know what kind of metal it is - something relatively ordinary, probably aluminum or steel - but they were super chunky and kind of awesome. Inside, the word Liebe is engraved in blue lettering.
2. For some reason - probably because we didn't rehearse this - I gave Dan the wrong hand during the ceremony, so he put my wedding band on my right hand (oops). This was bad - I foolishly tried to get the ring all the way on, but I injured that finger playing soccer as a child and it's much, much bigger than my other ring finger. Once I got the dang ring on, my finger started swelling and turning purple. Ouch. Thankfully, I gracefully licked it enough to be able to get the ring back off. If you have pictures of me sticking my finger in my mouth, well, now you know why I was doing that, at least.
I then put it on my left hand where it belongs and it's great. I guess this is why most people rehearse their wedding to death - but I intentionally avoided doing so in hopes of keeping the spirit of "fake it as you go along" that has served Dan and myself so well as a couple for all these years.
Confidential to Yogi: Remember when you saw me buying light bulbs at Albertson's on the afternoon of our wedding? Austin and I hadn't yet finished writing the ceremony. Crazy, eh?