When I was getting married, my mother-in-law to be decided to give me an engagement ring. She meant well, but I really didn’t want an engagement ring because we’d never actually got engaged so, although I was very pleased with the plain gold wedding band, I didn’t like the engagement ring with the huge rock on it, and pretty soon I broke it. I think it probably lasted about three weeks. This may have been some sort of Freudian slip on my part, or it may just have been that I am about as delicate as an elephant and don’t deal very well with fragile things. Give me something robust – something that can stand up for itself. Give me things that will put up a fight. I can’t be doing with the fiddly, the filigree or the frangible. Give me solid.
So my mother-in-law, who was probably quite upset by my trashing of her family heirloom, gave me another ring – this time much smaller and neater – and I promptly bashed a hole in the middle of it. This time it wasn’t replaced: and every time I look at it I feel a stab of guilt at my clumsiness.
When I was at school I got a name for being cack-handed. This may or may not be connected to my left-handedness in some actions, notably writing; though I was spared the torment of previous generations forced to write with the right hand. Later in life I developed a little more poise: yoga helped, as did an increase in self-confidence. But it’s hard to get over your early experiences, and one day when I met those ex-classmates whose idea of me was a klutz, I instantly dropped what I was holding and crashed into the table. This of course caused a collective rolling of the eyes – a reaction which at my school passed for an uproar.
It’s hard to get out of dynamics which have been laid down in early life.
Speaking of rings, it has come to my attention that George R R Martin (of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame) was born with only one R. Do you think he might be trying to ape Tolkein?
I think we should be told.