Last week, I was jogging around the with Huckleberry stumbling over stumps and into serendipity; or so it seemed. When we came to a fork in the trail, I started to the left, but Huck wanted to go right. Even though it would add another ten minutes to the run, I decided to humor the beagle. As we were crossing one of the little bridges, I discovered Huck’s motivation to go right: a beautiful female hound mix. She stood still on the bridge, staring at us. Huck excitedly charged into her, knocking her into the creek below. He’s super slick like that.
I stifled a giggle at the sight of a very unimpressed female hound swimming back to the end of the bridge and started to apologize for my dog’s exuberance. I looked up and locked eyes with a dashing man in Carhartts and flannel. I immediately stopped in my tracks, completely losing my train of thought. He didn’t seem to notice and just smiled as he pulled some cheese out of his pocket for the dogs.
At the sight of the cheese, Huckleberry moved in to make friends. I agreed with him and also moved in to make friends. We started walking together and talking. I learned he trained his hound to hunt with him and he learned I trained mine to dress up as a bumble bee and watch Grey’s Anatomy with me. I learned he made homemade chicken wings for football games and he learned that I never waited for cupcakes to cool properly before frosting them.
He had a great smile, an easy laugh and a well-trained dog. I tried not to get ahead of myself, but I found my mind wandering. I pictured him building me a cabin in the woods, coming home after a long day hunting and warming his flannel-clothed rear by the fire as I adeptly exercised my culinary prowess to cook the wild game. I made a mental note to Google recipes for duck and venison as soon as I got home.
My fairy tale was suddenly shattered, however, when he finally pulled his hands out of his pockets and I saw a wedding ring.
I must have made a face. I’m terrible at masking my emotions and I couldn’t stop looking at the ring. He shoved his hand back into his pocket and casually mentioned his wife.
I smiled and said I needed to finish my jog. I casually called for Huck to follow me and took off at a dead sprint. I knew Huckleberry was staying near the man with the cheese, but I didn’t look back.
Huckleberry caught up with me in the parking lot and we drove home, leaving the handsome married huntsman and dreams of our cabin in the woods in the dust.
At work the next day, I swapped horror stories with some coworkers. One of my girl friends told me about being approached by two men at a club, both wearing wedding bands. When she pointed out the fact that they were married, they scurried off to the bathroom and removed their rings. I was appalled.
One of my single male counterparts, however, told me not to judge so quickly. He had been advised to go out wearing a ring because in theory he’d get more attention from women. My jaw dropped when I heard this theory. All I could say was, “What kind of women are you hoping to attract with a wedding band?” He explained that some single men use a wedding ring and a fabricated heartbreak story to get girls.
Are there really people who think that a wedding ring symbolizes some stamp of approval? As if to say, “Clearly, this guy can’t be all bad because some girl married him?” I felt sick to my stomach at the thought. I told my friend he’d only attract vultures and poachers. He didn’t understand, so I explained that poaching was: the art of breaking up a relationship and taking your share of the spoils and my personal feelings about it.
Still, I hear more and more people say they receive more attention from members of the opposite sex when they wear a ring. I wonder why – and if it’s worth a little trip to Tiffany & Co. next weekend?