August 22, 2019

Manly Wedding Rings for Manly Men

“I recently bought my own wedding ring, which was a good opportunity to go to the mall, grab a smoothie, and think about how happy my father seemed in the months after he got divorced. He had worn a plain gold band my whole life, and I remember, after he moved out of the house where I grew up and into our neighbor’s basement, how bare his hand looked as he gestured to describe some funny thing his roommate said while they were eating soup in front of the TV. The other wedding ring I clearly recall belonged to my old boss. It was black and made of some anodized metal, and he could open a beer bottle with it, which I thought was extremely cool. I remember resolving to learn how to do that, but then two decades passed, and a lot of things that had impressed me as a young man lost their appeal.

Going to the jewelry store at age 41 was like going to the club, in that I felt compelled to explain myself to people who didn’t ask. I mentioned to the saleswoman, casually but also before I mentioned size or materials, that I was marrying for the first time. I wanted her to know that I was one of the good ones, and that although the subset of aging bachelors who married and adopted children after a lifetime of responsible but ultimately selfish drug use was statistically small, I was nonetheless routinely attending school events with an 11 year-old boy who sometimes called me “Dad” instead of “Dan.” That’s why I was at Kay Jewelers alone and so old.

You can’t burden strangers with that kind of biography, though, so instead I fled the jeweler to eat feta fries at the Greek place and look at rings on my phone. I mention this because I want to make two things clear. One, I am not having an identity crisis. Two, in the midst of my admittedly massive identity opportunity, the Internet was there to offer me this antler sand-blasted titanium gunmetal wedding band. It forced me to ask myself: Could I be an antler sand-blasted titanium gunmetal type of guy?”

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