Sunday, September 23, 2018

An Alarmingly Late Realization (About Rings)

You know that game people play, where they say some really obvious mistaken belief they held until were alarmingly old?

Well, I just recently discovered mine.

In The Lord of the Rings, there are various scenes where Frodo puts on the One Ring. In the mythology of the movies (and books), the One Ring makes its wearer invisible to ordinary mortals (say, orcs searching nearby) but quite visible to the ring's master Sauron. Moreover, we are told, the ring "wants to be found" -- it exerts a power over its owner, tempting its holder to wear it so that Sauron knows where it is so that he can get it back.

Anyway, in these scenes Frodo puts the ring on, and then encounters the terrifying gaze of Sauron, at which point he struggles to take it off. He pulls at the ring, which seems to resist him until finally with a great yank he pries it loose. And for all my life, I assumed Frodo was struggling because the One Ring was resisting him.

But now that I, for the first time in my life, wear a (wedding) ring, I've realized the more banal truth: rings -- of all kinds, even ordinary mortal wedding bands -- kind of require a bit of yanking to get off one's finger.

It just never occurred to me -- until age 32 -- that rings required effort to remove under perfectly normal circumstances.

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