We were preparing to ring in 2012 at a friend's party in New
York when my own ring began receiving some unwanted
My girlfriend bought me a ring a few years ago, which I wear on my
wedding finger. I know. I know. I probably shouldn't wear it on
that finger because I'm not married, but: I do.
I'm not superstitious about ring fingers. I believe all fingers
are equal, and fair game for rings and besides, all my other
fingers are too fat.
But all the gay couples at this party are married, and now, thanks
to the ring, they assume that I'm married too. This is awkward.
It's also the last time I take Beyonce's advice. I definitely
shouldn't have put a ring on it.
I soon find myself comparing rings with a man who recently married
his partner of three years. They had their rings designed
especially and I'm getting the epic story of the meaning behind the
ring. (I hear the sound of J. R. R. Tolkien turning in his
Next, he regales me with all the fabulous details of his wedding
day. Oh God, I'm getting flashbacks of the John Lewis fabric
department: rifling through raw silk swatches for bridesmaids'
dresses and hearing wedding plans for various straight
He went on: "Isn't it so much better when you're married? I feel
so different? Do you feel that?"
What? Oh no. I have to come clean.
"Er, actually I'm not married. I just have fat fingers."
My new friend isn't put off, he simply changes tack, "How long
have you been with your girlfriend?" 8 years, I tell him. "Wow,
that long." It's as if I just revealed that my relationship is
woven on the Bayeux Tapestry. "You must have set a date
When did it become all about marriage? Now I know how straight
couples feel: all the questions, the prying, and the societal
pressure - the pressure of a date.
My new friend then begins loudly singing, "Here come the
Fortunately, my girlfriend's expression confirms that she's as
embarrassed as I am. I decide to take my ring off for now and she
sneaks me one of hers to fit another finger. Exchange of rings