‘She doesn’t even act married’

I am married. And I don’t always wear my rings. Recent gossip has decided to surround this fact. Before you burn me at the stake, let me explain why.

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Almost 5 years into my marriage, and I still don’t quite have this wedding-ring thing down yet. I forget to wear them when I should (like when I’m out at a bar), and I forget to take them off when I should (like when I’m doing yardwork.)  It means I’m forgetful. Nothing more.

For the first few years I wore them 100% of the time. Never took them off. Wore them to do dishes, wore them while working out, wore them while getting a manicure (until they would ask me to take them off.) As a result, there are multiple scratches in the platinum.

Then I started exercising like crazy, and I got smart about taking them off. Problem is, I have been so used to leaving them on that I forget when they’re there, and I forget when they’re not. As a result, I will take them off for a run and forget to put them back on for 3 weeks. Seriously.

Sometimes I remember my rings but I forget my other jewelry. Sometimes I remember my other jewelry but forget my rings.

The only person I feel I would ever owe an explanation to is Jeff. And he doesn’t ask for one because he trusts me. Imagine that – trust in a relationship. Yes, I know it’s rare, but it does happen.

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I am not and never will be in a relationship in which I feel as if I am being owned by someone. I will never be that girl that’s not allowed to stay out late or go out with her friends. A single girlfriend mentioned to me recently that she wanted to invite another single girlfriend of mine out for drinks and guy-scoping, and she assumed I would not want to go along since I am married. “Of course I want to come!” I replied. I enjoy meeting new people. I enjoy making new friends- male and female. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been out with a girlfriend who is meeting a great guy and I’m talking to his married friend – or single friend – or female friends. I am an awesome wingwoman, for the simple fact that I enjoy talking to people. I have heard a few times: “Melissa never met a stranger” – and I gladly take that compliment.

I once went out with a newly married friend who felt she had to use her ring as a shield. Any time a guy got within 5 feet of her she’d flash her left hand and call out “I’m married! I’m married!” That is not me. I a) do not assume they are approaching me to hit on me; and b) enjoy making new friends, and I figure blowing people off immediately is not the way to do so.

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Recently Colleen and I were out and we met two guys. Neither of us were interested in them romantically, but we enjoyed their company as friends. They bought us drinks although we offered to pay, and they got us into clubs without paying cover. Late into the night, she and I realized we could be in a bit of a pickle – would these guys assume we wanted more than friendship, simply because we had been hanging out with them all night? She is single, I am married, but we both knew from the start we were not interested in these guys. Is it our fault if they assume otherwise? Is her lack of interest any more dishonest than mine? Let me also state that neither of the guys bothered to ask us anything about ourselves – what we did for a living, how old we were, where we live, what our interests are, or whether or not we were single. Had they asked, we would have gladly provided honest answers. The pickle we got in was surrounding the fact that they didn’t ask, and then clearly enough time had passed where we worried that they were assuming things incorrectly.

Boys, know this: If a woman wears a ring it means she’s not available. But if she doesn’t wear a ring, it does not mean she is yours for the taking. She could have a boyfriend, be a lesbian, simply not be interested – or, like me, have forgotten to wear them. And honestly, I think most guys do know this, and that is why most guys ask before they just grab a girl and take her into a corner and have their way with her.

Jeff teases me about not wearing my rings, but he knows it doesn’t mean anything. Recently he teased me in front of a group, and one of the girls thought enough of it that she decided to tell her boyfriend. Her boyfriend happens to be friends with one of the guys Colleen and I met that night, and he decided to tell him (gossip much, people?) The guy Colleen and I met responded with “She doesn’t even act married.”

Let me also state that this girl is so involved with her boyfriend that she spent the entire weekend texting him instead of hanging out with the people she was there with. She also left early in order to get home to spend time with him during his lunch break from work, because he was angry at her for being away all weekend and wanting to go away two weeks later with her girfriends. Folks, that is not me. And it never will be.