So, I was toddling along on the treadmill this morning (like you do), and I distracted myself from the pain and the sweat and the general misery with the following thoroughly unoriginal thought: Wedding rings are stupidly expensive, diamonds come at the cost of the exploitation of those who mine them, etc., and they’re so…impermanent, for a thing that is supposed to symbolize eternal devotion. They get lost. They get damaged. You really shouldn’t wear them swimming. Why not just get a ring tattooed on your finger and get it over with? That’s what I was thinking, somewhere around mile 3.
Obviously, this thought could not have originated with me. It’s too reasonable, too sane. Someone has to have done this (so I thought).
In fact, several someones have done so, with varying degrees of humor and/or long-term success.
They can be all of the things that tattoos are — only for the people who wear them together in this way, they are an indelible piece of shared meaning. Obviously they have the same downsides that all tattoos do — maintenance, the “OMG what the hell was I thinking?!?” problem, the — ehem — “Rudy’s on my ass but no longer in my life” problem — but that’s part of the idea’s charm, I think. A symbol of supposed permanence (however illusory that is in life) should be hard to remove. That it may fade and weather a blur over time (instead of remaining pure and hard and perfect like a diamond) is actually an important advantage to the tattoo ring; it can live the life of the relationship it symbolizes.