Saori and I started looking at wedding rings in Stuttgart and didn't get too far. For one, we could see the dollar signs accumulating in our trip planning and wedding planning, and neither one of us really wanted to shell out a bunch of money for rings at this moment in time, and we couldn't devote the time and energy to get just the right rings, especially in a foriegn country.
We tried though. I pulled up a bunch of ring and jewelry stores in Stuttgart and we actually went to quite a few.
The first one, located across from the city office where people are married, coincidently, looked promising. Lots of nice rings in the windows. We went in. Couples and sales staff huddled together over private tables and vitrines. Nobody talked to us. We were approached by a confused looking staff member. It turned out we were supposed to make an appointment ( naturally! ) and then they would sit down with us "for a few hours" to decide together how to craft the perfect rings for us. We took their business card and pressed on.
We didn't find anything we couldn't live without at the more avant garde pop-up jewelery boutique, and while we found rings we thought were simple and affordable at the local Kay's Jewelers equivilant, it was a throbbing madhouse because it was saturday afternoon, and ALL the stores are like friday before Christmas on saturday afternoons.
Sitting down exhausted for a coffee, I looked at the ring Saori was wearing with new interest. Saori had made the modern silver ring ten years ago, before she had met me, at a jewelry course. She wore it occationally, and I'd always liked it, but I'd never considered it for myself. I tried it on. It fit. I liked the design, I liked the bold statement, I liked the idea of wearing a ring that my wife had created. I asked if I could use this ring as my own. Saori thought it over for a minute and said she would be honored to let me have it, but with the condition that I would never alter it.
So that became my ring.
After deciding that we wern't going to have any ring breakthroughs for Saori's ring, we decided to get just something nice and simple for the purpose of the wedding, to be upgraded or exchanged at the one year anniversary. We picked out a ring on Amazon.com, 14k gold, and I had it shipped to Saori's sister. Actually, she really liked the ring, she said she would be happy to keep it as the one ring.
In Atlanta, we tried on the ring. It was too small. We had tried serveral ways of measuring Saori's fingers and existing rings, but we screwed up somehow because the ring really did not fit. Saori then produced a backup ring, a costume jewelry ring purchased when she wasn't sure I was going to order the ring online on time. This was also too small, because she had used the same sizing we used when we ordered the first ring. Fortunately, she had also brought a backup, backup ring.
A few weeks before, I had bought Saori a glass ring, mostly because it had our wedding colors, with a nice gold leaf splash on top cast into the ring. It was a spur of the moment thing, for a fashion accessory.
So those became the two rings, temporarily misplaced, imbued with totemic symbolic power, and twice exchanged.
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