I Felt Naked Without It

What losing a wedding ring really means

By Bobby Neal Winters Published on February 14, 2021

I feel naked without it. When I say that, I am not speaking figuratively. I mean that I feel like I’ve stepped out of the shower to discover I am at the corner of 4th and Broadway.

A few days ago, I was sitting in my office having a Teams meeting with two colleagues; I felt my ring finger like I do out of habit; and it was gone.

I Miss It

Friends have given me a lot of advice about how to look for it. I’ve alerted the custodian and campus police to be on the lookout for it in Lost and Found. I’ve checked my pockets, retraced my steps, dumped out my various pencil holders. Nothing.

This is not a ring of great material worth. A rose gold, nugget shaped ring, I think it cost several hundred dollars 30 years ago in that jewelry store on Main Street in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It has a great deal of sentimental value, of course, but that’s not the reason I am missing it.

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I miss it because, as I say, I feel naked without it. I tried to explain this to one of my daughters and she said, “Oh yeah, Dad, you’re such a chick magnet.” Even though she’s brilliant, she doesn’t get it.

Such was my discomfort, that within 12 hours of losing my ring, I’d gotten on Amazon and bought a new one.

While doing that, I made a discovery, maybe several. First: you can buy a wedding ring on Amazon. Second: They don’t cost that much. Third: You can order one on Friday evening and have it on your finger before that time on Monday. Fourth: You can do that for about $20.

So as I type this, I do so with a $20 ring on my finger that is made of tungsten carbide.

Not as Attractive, But

It’s not as attractive as the one my wife got me. It doesn’t have the sentimental value. It doesn’t have the monetary value.

But I don’t feel naked anymore.

I squeeze my left pinkie and middle fingers against it, and I think about my wife. I feel it, and I know my wife is about in the world, and that I am not alone.


Bobby Neal Winters is associate dean of the college of arts and sciences and a university professor at Pittsburg State University. A native of Harden City, Oklahoma, he blogs at Red Neck Math and Okie in Exile. His last article for The Stream was Remember the Dead by Loving the Living.

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