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“Those are my favorite kind of wedding rings,” he said. “You can tell where they came from.” I was standing at the tall wooden counter of a “party store” in a small rural town. My friend and I stopped in for a cup of coffee and were surprised at the variety of items they stocked. The usual sweet and salty snacks were there, convenience items, hats, t-shirts, a hodgepodge of stuff. And at the front of the store were wicker baskets with a few fresh fruits and vegetables. The man running the place was probably in his mid 50’s, graying hair and a physique that belied his love of beer and burgers (or so I presumed). I  expected him to be somewhat brusque, or at least apathetic to our craving for coffee when his pots were empty. But maybe he’d been given his fair dose of southern hospitality training. He willingly made a fresh pot for us, even though we were only buying 2, $1.00 cups. As I pulled out my money, he looked down and commented on my rings.

“What do you mean?” I asked, thinking about the many conversations my husband and I have about replacing them with something which reflects our personalities now. “Where do they come from?”

And he responded very sincerely. “From getting married young, before you had any money. My wife has the same kind. It’s my favorite.” His implication was that I’d stayed married to someone I fell in love with many years before. And the wedding band said it all. I nodded, unable to respond to such an unexpected and reflective observation.

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