My daughter and I went back-to-school shopping today. We are both very fond of acquiring school supplies, and less fond of shopping for clothes, but it was a fun day anyway. It is always a bit weird to venture out into the real world on a weekday. I felt like I was visiting an unfamiliar culture, with rituals and customs I don't really understand. Mostly that is because I lack a Shopping Gene, and feel acutely alienated from the rest of humanity when I am in a Mall, which is exactly where we went today.
We were very entertained by some of the bizarre fashions, including what I will call "mature" styles for pre-teens. Fortunately my daughter isn't interested in wearing something that looks like adult women's lingerie to school.
I was also entertained by the saleswomen who glanced in an obvious way at my ringless ring finger (I am married but don't wear a wedding ring) and then called me "Miss", as in "Can I help you, miss?". The beringed woman near me got a "Can I help you, ma'am?". Perhaps that's part of the sales job, to identify people by their situation and customize the greetings? I don't care what they call me, but it briefly interested me to be categorized like that. I know it is odd to be married and ringless, but I've never worn jewelry (I seldom even wear a watch), and the ring symbolism doesn't mean anything to me or my husband, so neither of us wears a wedding ring. My ringlessness has resulted in some strange encounters over the years, and some people are quite disapproving of my lack of a wedding ring, as if I'm less committed to my husband, trying to look single and available, or somehow violating a law of nature. I keep thinking that eventually some of my relatives might change their mind about the significance of a wedding ring, as my husband and I remain happily married and my ring-wearing siblings/cousins and others divorce, but it hasn't happened yet. I have never met another married woman who doesn't wear a wedding ring, but I think there must be others out there somewhere. (?)
2 months ago