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Kansas City MO 64131

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Cindy Maddera

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I took off my wedding rings. Saturday. I didn't do it because I have any sort of "dating" plans or anything like that (please, where would I even begin?). I took them off because they didn't fit right any more. They would just spin around and around my ring finger. One day, they even managed to slide past a knuckle. After that happened, I became ultra aware of how I carried my left hand or how that ring finger curled around the handle bar of the scooter. It was beginning to make me nervous. I knew I'd be doing yard work Saturday, so I took them off and placed them on the chain with Chris's ring. This is the first time that those rings have ever left my finger for more than a minute since the day Chris put them on me. There was a short two week period when the engagement ring was at the jeweler's getting re-pronged, but I still had the wedding band part. I would take them off to put lotion on my hands and then put them right back on. If I remembered, I would take them off before starting pie crust or biscuits. It was not surprising to find dried bits of dough stuck in various crevices of the rings. The rings are old (they originally belonged to my Memaw) and I could never get them to stay clasped together, but I never wanted to go through the trouble of having them fused.  My bare ring finger shows the signs of it's wear.  There is a slight indention and the skin is more pale. It is also dry and cracked where the ring used to rest.

Now the rings rest with Chris's. They all clink together when I walk and make a chiming sound. Sometimes my rings pass through Chris's because his ring is so much larger. Sometimes just the wedding band will kind of nestle itself inside Chris's ring. Often, I shove my rings aside and twirl Chris's ring around on my index finger.  At times it feels odd to be without it. Like I'm missing something or I'm incomplete. But mostly it feels fine. Like I said above, the rings just didn't fit right anymore. I have reached that gray area where I am no longer married, but I'm not divorced and I'm not quite single and I'm not comfortable telling strangers who ask me if I'm married that "no, I'm a widow". I am unprepared for this question and have yet to come up with a good answer, though "I'm a widow" is probably a reasonable one.  I'd rather just be undefinable.

It's kind of like that scene in French Kiss when Meg Ryan's trying to get new passport, but she's no longer an American and not quite a Canadian and she says "I'm currently without country".