I was at a party recently where I had a conversation with a young woman previously unknown to me. She noticed that my engagement and wedding ring were placed on the fourth finger of my right hand and somewhat matter of factly said, "your rings are on the wrong hand."
I told her that in fact they were not. I explained that I was married in a Greek Orthodox church and as part of the ceremony, the wedding rings are blessed and placed on the right hand of the bride and the groom. Without entering into a deep and meaningful with this girl, I simply said that I wanted the rings to stay on the hand and on the finger where they were placed during my wedding ceremony.
To that she said, "Do you know you're in Australia?" On the off chance that you, dear reader cannot tell from these words alone that I was affronted and angered, I will provide you with some further context that will, I hope, make my disappointment and resentment seem obvious and justified.
The tone she used was condemning and scornful. I knew I was in Australia, but did she? The look she gave me showed she had no appreciation or reverence for learning and cultural awareness and she was rude. In other words, she was a shit. Moreover, a shit with racist tendencies, one of the worst kinds.
I will say here what I had no desire to say to her on the night, because I knew she wouldn't be interested in knowing and because I had no inclination to discuss any meaningful matters with her.
My wedding ring was blessed during my wedding ceremony on my right hand and that is where I choose to leave it. It symbolises the day that my husband and I were united in the church I was raised in. Does it really matter what finger it's on? No, it does not. Ultimately, a wedding ring will be recognised as one no matter where it is worn and as far as I'm concerned, the reason it is worn at all, is to show the world that you are married. So again, if it doesn't really matter, making such a statement only serves to paint the statement maker in a very unfavourable light.
And if you think that this is just an insignificant example, an over reaction on my part, an exacerbation, then I would have to say that I believe you are mistaken. That it is just one example among numerous other more disturbing ones in our society and in every other society around the world, is a point I will not argue against. So it is. But it nevertheless tells an important story about who we are and what we are teaching our children and it shouldn't be ignored. One merely insignificant moment if left unchecked, can lead, over time, through the generations, to other more significant moments. Why risk reaching that point when we can better understand our differences through our many similarities.