Metro column 4

Richard Herring: I didn't see the point in marriage but I get it now
Buying wedding rings put Richard Herring in a state of flux but after he got over the shock, he confesses he is really looking forward to wearing his… just don’t tell the boys.

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Richard Herring Richard Herring is currently preparing for his wedding

Wedding plans continue – just over a month until the big day (gulp). This week, we went out to buy our wedding rings. We only got engaged in December and I am really hoping there will never be another three-month period in which I spend so much money on rings.

Don’t get me wrong, I like rings: they’re pretty and symbolic – but for symbols, they’re also pretty pricey. Unless they are supposed to symbolise how much money you will spend on your wedding, in which case, as you were, rings, brilliant symbolism. If perhaps a bit literal.

I have never been the kind of man who was keen to decorate my stubby fingers with jewellery. You might have heard me being referred to as The Lord Of The Rings but I got that nickname for an entirely different reason… due to my expertise on the gymnastic equipment – what were you thinking?

I think I have only worn one other ring in my whole life and even then not for long. It was given to me by my first girlfriend when I was 17 (I don’t think she bought it especially, it was one of her own – oh dear, that makes it even more special). All I recall is my best friends mocking me, with impeccable teenage logic, for being a ‘gaylord’ who preferred the company of a girl to a group of young men (do you ever get the feeling that homophobes are actually just protesting a little bit too much?).

But I was influenced enough by the peer pressure to accidentally on purpose lose the tiny band of tin. It’s not surprising that I would soon lose the girl who gave it to me. Oh, the opportunities I lost for fear that my friends would take the p*** out of me.

The rings I bought this month were a bit more expensive. I don’t want to bang on about the money, because it’s not in the romantic spirit, but crivens, my heart stopped when I saw the price tag. It’s a tiny bit of metal. These ring manufacturers are on to a sweet deal. They can charge what they like, knowing that anyone complaining will lose face in front of their loved one.

Looking down at my be-ringed digit I felt a pang of panic. There’s nothing like having a wedding ring on your finger to make you realise that you’re actually getting married. In fact, this is the only time that you have a wedding ring on your finger and you’re not married.

There was still time to escape… but I didn’t want to. As I looked at the ring on my finger it felt right.

In the past, I couldn’t see the point in getting married. If we love each other, why do we need a piece of paper to confirm it? But now I get it. It’s cool being ring twins. I felt even closer to this foolish woman who wants to be with me for as long as we’re breathing (and if I have my way, long after that – stuffed and displayed in an erotic tableaux in the Tower of London).

Luckily, my school friends didn’t turn up to extract the Michael. Actually, thinking about it, all those perineums are married now.

I could have avenged myself by turning up at their weddings and shouting homophobic epithets just as they said ‘I do’. Man, I would have looked so cool.

Secretly, I am really looking forward to wearing my precious (it’s pretty much going to make me invisible).

Please, don’t travel back to 1985 and tell Geoffrey Quigley.

Richard Herring is currently touring Britain with his show, What Is Love, Anyway?

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