Over the years I had received many rings. Gold ones, silver ones, platinum ones, round cut, princess cut, side stones, you name it I had received it. What I never really had was the love behind the meaning of those rings. Don’t get me wrong they men who got these rings loved me and I them, but I’m talking true love, long-lasting love, a love that stands the test of time. The first ring I ever received was when I was a senior in high school from a Marine on the USS Wisconsin. One winter’s night during the tree lighting in my town for a small donation you could send a letter to a service man or woman to thank them for all they did. So I put in my dollars, got two names and addresses and went home the next day to write my letters. This was during the Gulf War and I’m not exactly sure where he was stationed, but it wasn’t any place fun. I sent my letter and I waited. Within days a letter was returned to me with a picture. This young man and I wrote letters upon letters for over a year and a half. His ship was docking in Philly when he asked if he could drive up to see me. My family and I were happy to meet him and when he arrived he brought with him pictures of his travels and stories that seemed unreal to me at the time when all I really had to worry about was should I listen to Duran Duran or Cyndi Lauper. He left that day and said he was sending something in the mail and when I received it to please call him. The following week a package arrived and my mother and I opened it together. It was a box inside a box and when I got to the tiny black box my heart dropped. I was 17 years old. I opened that box, slipped on the ring and just stared at it for a minute. I was awaken from my trance by my mother yelling “TAKE IT OFF” I did and I called and he asked me over the phone, stationed in San Diego awaiting his next orders to marry him. I declined gracefully and wondered how a man who only met me one time, whose letters never revealed anything romantic in nature could think that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. With. Me. I didn’t speak to him much after that and the letters stopped. He got out of the service and I know now he lives in the Midwest somewhere with his wife and children. I still have those letters, but I returned the ring. I actually was a good sport and returned all the rings. At least I tried to. I kept Gingham’s ring thinking one day I would make it into earrings or necklaces for my children so they had a piece of the ever fleeting moments together. Surprise man would not take the ring back no matter how hard I tried and actually…I did try. He said “I bought that for you, it’s yours.” Well what was I supposed to do with it now? So this is how the day to sell Surprise man’s ring went. Gingham was visiting the kids so I had him watch them. I took Older Gentleman into the city with me to Park Ave. to sell the ring. So just so we are clear…I had my ex-husband watch my children so my new man could go with me to the city and sell my ex-fiancé’s ring. Seriously! I couldn’t even make that up if I tried. I sat in a very fancy jewelry store with people behind glass walls and cameras everywhere. I know they say never let the ring out of your sight, but the woman was memorizing and took the ring and said “I’ll be right back” I sat nervously as if she would find out or I would find out the ring was a fake. She came back and said “You know this is platinum right?” Umm…no, no I didn’t know that. She started speaking in cuts and carrots and blah, blah, blah and all I could think in my head was HOW MUCH???? I left that day with a very hefty check in my pocket and the next few months were very comfortable. Selling that ring made me very sad. How can you put a price on love? How can it all be reduced to a dollar sign? The ring is a symbol of never-ending love. I have had lot of rings …..what I want is the never-ending love. I watched a movie recently where the man asks a woman to marry him but has no money for a ring, the woman picks up a piece of twine and wraps it around her finger and promises to never take it off. The symbol of love and commitment is still there isn’t it?