The day I wasn’t married for 20 minutes

Yesterday my family and I went to Kite Beach in Dubai, our former local.  It reminded me of the time 18 months earlier when I lost my wedding ring there.

Probably not surprising, I remember it quite vividly.

It was just Myles, Lewis & I.

We went for a swim, walked up and down the beach fossicking for interesting shells, and then we played a bit of rugby along the beach.  One of the boys threw a poor pass which I had to stretch down to catch in front of my feet.  As I did this, something felt unusual.  I was pleased to catch the ball before it hit the sand, and ran a few more steps.  Then I realised, the unusual sensation was my wedding ring was no longer on my finger.

I’ve lost a bit of weight in the ten years since my wedding day.  As a result, my wedding ring has become quite loose on my finger.

Hindsight has 20-20 vision.  While at the beach I really should have temporarily moved the ring it to my middle finger which is a tighter (and more safe)  fit.

I checked and saw no ring on my finger, and rushed back the few steps to where it would have dropped.  It was where the waves were hitting the shore line – a terrible place to lose it.  I frantically dug into the sand and water, but found nothing.  I got the boys to help me, and after a few frantic minutes and increasing desperation I increased the search zone.

I made a mental note of the landmarks, while I thought of where I could get a metal detector, and whether I should report it to authorities. In fact there were a lot of worries going through my mind, including what kind of coverage we had for such loss of personal property.


What made things worse was Elle happened to be out of town.  She had flown back to Australia on a short trip.  Losing your wedding ring while the wife is away seems so much more suspicious than while she’s there.  In fact, I suspected my ring had some kind of GPS sensor that would already be sending alerts to her back in Tasmania the second it came off my finger and she’d be shortly calling me, asking what was I up to.

I tried to think calmly, and not show my utter fear of losing the ring.

After a good 10 minutes of digging, the three of us had covered the whole area where I suspected the ring would be.  But with no luck. It was gone.

I decided to clear my head and perhaps enter into the wonderful world of denial. The three of us went back to passing the football again.  The whole time I was still numb with worry about the lost ring, and talking nonsense that it didn’t matter.

After some lacklustre passes, it was clear our minds were elsewhere.  So after around 10 minutes we decided to head home.

I figured at that point, why not have one final look at the area – you know, just in case.

I walked over roughly to the area, lined myself up with the landmarks I previously noted so I was standing in the right position.  And just as I looked down, right there, directly in front of me, on top of the sand literally between my two feet, my ring just got washed in from a wave.  It was the same sand which the boys and I were furiously digging earlier to no avail.  It was completely surreal. It seemed like my eyes were clearly playing tricks on me.  Though I didn’t dawdle. I snatched up the ring along with the sand beneath it.  I opened out my fingers, looked in and lo and behold, there it was, my gold wedding ring safely in my grasp.

It almost seemed like a scene from Lord of the Rings, me looking into my palm with the ring glistening in the sun, almost animated with shine.  I avoided a slow motion raising it up above my head triumphantly – like from a movie.  Instead I put it straight onto my wedding finger, clinched it in a fist, and covered my left hand tightly with my right.

To be honest, losing something of such sentimental and financial value had made me feel completely sick in the stomach.  This feeling washed away completely with feelings of just how fortunate I was to find it again and have it back on my finger.  This emotion was no doubt intensified after almost giving up on it and wondering how to break such news to my wife.

Fortunately something was on my side that day, and it never came to that.  And while I’ve still not resized my wedding ring, without fail I always move it to the safety of my middle finger if there’s any risk that the activity could cause it to fall from my finger.