Old Wedding Rings

lady_qMarch 6, 2011

I was recently moving some things around in our home office and came across my DH's old wedding ring (from his first marriage). My first instinct was to toss it in the trash, but then I thought better of it. When I mentioned it to DH, he said that he would like to keep it to give to SS when he's older (he's 16 now). For some reason, this doesn't sit well with me.

A few years ago, I took my old rings along with all my jewellry from my "old" life and had it melted down and made into a very beautiful bracelet. It's something I can pass down to my granddaughter, without it being in her mind connected to my marriage to her grandfather.

I think that by DH giving this wedding ring to his son, he is giving him the impression that he is hanging on to memories of the marriage to BM. I know that DH doesn't feel that way at all, but my concern is how SS will interpret it.

What did all of you do with your old wedding rings, and your now DH's ring? I'm very curious to see how others have handled this.

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Lady Q, you sent me off looking for my Ex wedding ring, it was right where I left it ten years ago...I just cant do anything with it, melt it or give it away..I have no feelings for ExH, I dont know why I m conflicted about doing anything with it..But I m sure my son wouldnt want it...DH didnt have a ring with his Ex , I m glad, because I m sure I d want him to toss it, and not pass it on to a son or daughter..He does have a ring with me , and if he goes first I ll bury him with it...I will probably leave my wedding ring to a relative, it looks more like a piece of antique jewelry than a wedding ring, so anyone could wear it..

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:46AM
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I think of old jewelry the same as I think of the old pictures. As long as they are put away so they can be passed down to the kids involved they are no big deal. I wouldn't want my dh's pics of him and his ex hanging up, just as I would not like him wearing a wedding ring from his previous marriage.

But I do think these are items that the kids would enjoy when they get older. I have my mom's wedding rings from her marriage to my dad (even though they divorced when I was not even a year old). I also have old pictures of them together before me and with me. I treasure those items and am glad nobody got rid of them. I never thought my parents stil held a torch for eachother by saving these items for me.

I have a neclace that my sons father gave me for my 16th birthday and I held onto it thinking that someday my son might want to have this. I also have our old prom pictures and old photo albums that my son likes to look through sometimes. When my son is an adult I will give him these things to keep.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:56AM
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The bracelet does sound lovely, but it was your jewelry & your decision to make the rings into a bracelet.

This is your husband's ring & he wants his son to have it;
it's the ring from the marriage that brought the son into the world.
(Prince William gave his fiancee his mother's ring!)

Don't make an issue of this, it's family jewelry & family sentiment, not some kind of romantic or emotional "cheating", & if you fuss about it, you'll sound obsessed & petty;
Leave it absolutely alone.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:04PM
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We all have a past and are entitled to our memories. It is not hanging on to remember good times... it's part of our life and made us who we are today. I honestly don't know what my husband's feelings are about his ex. I came across his wedding band in an envelope with his marriage license that they neglected to file.. so I tease him that I am his first wife. But, he also has his wedding portraits & a video taken during the honeymoon... and I've seen it, it's more of a vacation video... not a lot of romance, etc. so maybe it would bother me if there had been? I don't know. That was his life before me & he is entitled to hang onto his things.. just as nobody would suggest tossing a high school yearbook because it has the highschool sweetheart in it, right?

Just to clarify, his ex is not BM. He was never married to BM. But, he does have "family" portraits they took together. Even that doesn't bother me & I wouldn't expect him to toss them as long as he isn't taking them out & reminiscing... lmao. (looking at them kinda makes me laugh because she has been trying desperately to "create" a family all of her adult life... it's actually kinda sad)

We all deal with our past in our own way... yours was to do something with your jewelry and his is to give it to his son... and for the son's sake, there's nothing wrong with his dad giving his son the impression that he hangs onto the good memories of the marriage. Children of divorce should feel as if their existence came from a loving place, not focus on the negative. He knows his parents are divorced, he knows his dad is married to you, and even if he harbors hope that his parents will reunite, unless dad is doing things like meeting mom for lunch/dinner, taking out momentos & reminiscing, or doing anything that suggests he wants mom back, I think you will come across as insecure & jealous to make an issue of it.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:50PM
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I don't know about my father, but my mother is planning to give her rings to my brother at such time as he might become engaged, to either sell, use the diamond from, or give to his fiancee, as he chooses. It's the rings from the marriage that produced us! We're certainly not expecting my parents to get together - they've been divorced for over thirty years. But we'd also kind of prefer that they not pretend that that marriage never existed and we were found in a cabbage patch or something either.

I love old family jewelry. And, if said ring makes it to grandchildren or great-grandchildren, do you think that they're going to really care much if the parents ended up divorced or not - or are they just going to be proudly showing off "this was my great-great-grandfather's wedding ring"? Seriously, we'll all be dead and buried - but it will still be a ring from a marriage that produced their ancestors.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 2:39PM
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Mine was stolen, so my ring is gone and it was never recovered. I don't know what my ex did with his ring. Maybe sold when financial times were hard. I don't care.

I do have wedding pictures, of course put away in the album, not laying everywhere. DD has no place to store anything, otherwise I woudl give them to her. My SO has his wedding ring, I don't know what he is planning on doing with it and I don't care. maybe melt into something for grandkids. Who knows.

My parents are together, marriage 46 years, my mom lost her ring few years after they got married and my dad never liked to wear his. So my parents are pretty much ringless, but it made no difference. Those are just things, they don't mean much.

I would not care what your DH does with his ring. I would not care, let it go.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 4:49PM
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I still have my ring. It is just a band no diamond. I have it in a box locked away with all the other jewlery that exdh bough me over the years. I always say I'm going to sell it but I haven't. I don't think I am holding on to anything by keeping them except I just haven't done anything. I still wear the diamond ear rings exdh bought for DD to give to me for mothers day. They were from her, bought by him. Dh always says he needs to buy me new BIGGER ones but whatever. They were from dd and it might bother dh but dd knows they were from her and when she turns 16, I plan to give them to her. I only wear them occasionally. Especially on mothers day.
Dh wasn't married before so there is no ring involved. My parents were divorced when I was young and my older sister got their rings. For her it's a good memory, she loves having the rings ... For me I want my moms ring from my stepdad because that's more sentimental to me since I was so young when he came in to my life. I wouldn't care about my bioparents rings ... Not sure why. I say let him do what he wants. Ss won't think dad is hanging on to anything. It's a gesture he should make on his own since it is his ring.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 12:06AM
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My DH and I still have our rings. I have the diamond and the wedding band, as well as a bunch of jewelry. It's all going to DD. His ring is going to his DD.

It's a "mom and dad" ring to the kid. I don't think it's carrying a torch at all.

In fact, the ring I wear now is DH's family ring (as was X's ring he gave me). I don't feel like they are mine for keeps... just mine until...

My current ring will go to DH's daughter when she gets old enough/I get tired of it (meaning I'm not handing it over when she's 18 just because... but eventually it will be hers) and if we were to ever divorce I'd give it back for SD.

It's kind of nice to hold on to them. It's a piece of history. I wish my parents kept their rings for me and I have absolutely no misconceptions that they should have stayed together or should be together or might get back together.

Have DH put the ring away. Somewhere you will never see it. And then forget about it. :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:43AM
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I was GLAD to get rid of mine. The jerk cheated on me! In addition to the ring I GAVE the jeweler some other items for free! I went out and bought a Honda generator for our trailer that we camp in. I say that was a great trade off. My DH still has his rings from his past marriages, and I think he would like to give them to his kids. Whatever! It doesn't bother me. His kids I SURE don't want his old rings, but if they do, it no sweat from my brow. IF your DH is wanting to WEAR the ring....then that's another story. I made my decision, He's a big boy, he can make his.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:58AM
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I'm SO GLAD you posted this! I'd stuffed mine in a back corner of my jewelry drawer, but decided I'd *never* wear them, and that they were not even what I'd want my sons to give to their future brides. So OUT they went!

Or more accurately, off to the jewelry store I went. There's a store nearby that buys as well as sells, and they also do custom design. I have this one ring with a beautiful emerald center stone, but I never really loved the ring because the side diamonds were so tiny. They just made the whole ring look cheap. So I traded in my old wedding ring and the gold from my engagement ring, bought a second diamond to match my old engagement diamond (not a huge stone) and am having the two less-small diamonds reset with the emerald into a ring I know I'll love.

Trading in my no-longer-loved jewelry made the whole deal affordable.

I'll have to see what other 'unloved' pieces I have, now that the price of scrap gold is so high...

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Hello Wedding Ring crowd!

I've read your posts and feel this may be best place to ask your opinions of my situation!?
If you're up to a challenge as this is interesting to say the least! Regarding my dad's wedding ring from his 1st of 2 marriages:
My Dad's wedding ring given him by my mom. She divorced him for alot of good reasons, of which I, as a teen, was stuck in the middle defending her from him for years. By the end of their lives I'd gotten to a civil point with my dad and simply loved his new wife/my SM even tho we only corresponded by mail/phone for most of their 25 years.
My mom and dad were together 18 years.
The last 8 were miserable.
I have 1 younger sister and 1 younger brother by 6 years who had NO GOOD MEMORIES of his/our parents together ever. I have a few memories of them happy.
Anyhow, I'd left as a teen into the military about 2-3 years after 'actual' divorce and ?5 years before he remarried. I was virtually gone the next 30 years having visited maybe 4-5 times.
A few years ago I went back east to care for my mom thru cancer/hospice... I spent a few years doing so. I only saw my dad 2x as it was too much stress to handle both sides with the intense care I gave my BM. My dad came to see my mom before she died 1x to 'forgive her' ... which was sort of a joke as he was the *%^*!!! Anyhow, my DAD died unexpectedly 2 weeks before my mom! Dad left NO WILL and my Stepmom SM?! was in a mess having to sell a small farm which my sister did not want done. My little brother fell apart because his wife (snobby) didn't want to be involved and kept him away. He had a major meltdown and hasn't really recoverd in 6 years. They have twin girls.
So my SM's 2 sons from her 1st marriage did the majority of the major work to dismantle and sell the farm. They got absolutely $0.00 from probate other than gas $ maybe for using their equipment to dismantle a farm. Not fair but then my dad helped them ALOT to build their own farms and businesses. I was the only Schild to stay by Sm's side the last 5 years.
Upon cleaning out their basement I was given a box by my step mom labled 'parts for chaise lounge' to re-web it. There were 100's and 100's and 100's of 'boxes' as my dad was a packrat of construction materials. The Box ALSO contained some of his old millitary medals, rosary etc and his WEDDING RING FROM MY MOM.

So my question is: Who does the ring belong to (as per etiquette)? I'm not entirely sure my stepmom even knew the ring/personal things were in the box!!!! She just knew I was trying to re-web a chair!!! If she SM did know she said nothing. She divided up/sorted out lots and lots and lots of things for us 3 birthchildren even though my sister did a 180 or their relationship and brother vanished.
I'm the oldest daughter (my dad/stepmom had 0 children together). I have 2 sons.
My sister (2nd eldest) has 1 son, 3 daughters. My sis refused to speak to SM or invite her to any Gkids graduations etc etc. They've shut her out sadly.
So, when I found the ring I hadn't said anything to anyone yet as I was unsure what / how and then I got hurt at work a few months later... bad. Head injury / brain damage etc. I was a basket case for awhile. My sister took me in until a friend came for me to help me move back west, away from all 'family' again, to heal where its warm.
My 2 sons (20 somethings)only saw their grandpa a few times in life vs all my neices and nephews were 1/2 raised by my SM & BD / their BGD &SGM on the farm, all holidays etc.
So, now its been ? 5+ years and I was wondering what to do about the ring.
Do I mention it to my sis and bro? They've banished our SM?!

If it is supposed to go to my brother (who has NO good memories of his parents together and has had emotional/mental illness since this all fell apart 5 years ago) I'm not sure if it would make him feel good,better, bad or worse?! He has twin daughters. He did spend a lot of 'good times' with our dad as an adult as I understand it.
If this is the 'etiquette' then I'd probably go this route hoping it doesn't cause a mental meltdown or worse problems with him and his (snobby wife) who already have issues.

My sister may become very upset she didn't know sooner. She has the majority of both 'sentimental and valuable stuff' from BOTH parents and was 'daddy's girl all along'.
She has 1 son.
So which child?: I, sis or little brother would 'customarily' get their dad's wedding ring post divorce/death?

Or is it based more on who has a grandson?
I'm not sure if my sons have enough good memories of their GD vs. horror stories they've heard over the years, or my nephew, who had a decent relationship w/ GD. My sons may appreciate an attempt to make this into something 'new' vs an object of marriage?!

It could be emotionally easier to let the sleeping dog/situation lie and make it into rings for my sons someday or myself?!
This could be an attepmt to unite very old M & P GParent's jewels w/ the few diamonds from my MGM's broken diamond watch via my mom? My mom gave any 'decent/working rings/jewelery' to my sis and bro before she passed.... as I'd been gone for years?! She gave me the 'broken/unfixable watch' because I was always the 'artistic/creative/fix-it type (before I got hurt/broke/disabled' one who made jewelery a few times (not diamond setting).
Note: I've been pretty disabled myself(barely out of homeless) after the work injury and decades of auto injuries that left me unable to work (lost my business etc)years ago/divorce my kid's (cheating) dad. So 'marriage' hasn't been a real sucessful thing to my sons or stepson whose baby's mom left him after 10 years of non commital treatment.

I also considered selling it/turning it into something for myself but I'd REALLY love to know and like to do the customary 'right' thing if feasible (and affordable).

So.. Opinions?
Thanks so very very much!!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 1:57AM
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If I were you.....

I'd send an email to sis and bro telling them that I had the ring, and announcing my plans to keep it until such time as one of the grand-children (son or daughter) got married and wanted it for themselves or even their spouse as a wedding band, since it is a family heirloom. To me, it doesn't make sense for the ring to go to any particular child (as in, you or your sibs) if no one has happy memories of the marriage anyway and it would probably sit in a drawer. Some day one of the younger generation will want it because it's their grandfather's wedding ring.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:12AM
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Wow you guys (mostly ladies I imagine...) seem to attach so much emotion to a silly little object. Must be a chick-thing.

I tossed my wedding ring out the window of my car one day...a couple days after I realized my ex was cheating on me for the 2nd time in 3 years, when in a moment of clarity I realized it was over. I was on a bridge and into the river it went!

Now granted it was not a valuable ring, we got married sort of quickly (not a pregnancy thing, had to do with a sudden move across country) and just picked up two silver bands in a "bong-shop" on the beach in San Diego, so my ring was worth maybe 10 bucks. I subsequently got her a nice platinum band, but I am not a "bling" type of guy, so the silver band was fine with me, I wore it every day until that day.

I have not idea what she did with the engagement ring (spent about 8K on that) or the band (about 1K)....all I know is when we were splitting up the assets in mediation, I was able to not have her say anything about me keeping my Harley since she had 9K worth of rings that I was letting her keep. I hope she had the sense to not toss them out the window!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:27AM
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"she had 9K worth of rings that I was letting her keep"

LOL, "Letting" her keep. They were hers, they were not marital property. Sorry dude, that made me laugh!!!

As for attaching emotion to a silly little object like a wedding ring... perhaps that's why she cheated 2 times in 3 years. Not saying that cheating is EVER okay, just saying that if I were married to a guy that thought our wedding rings were silly little objects instead of a symbol of our commitment to each other, I might not take the marriage very seriously either.

Foxy4 ~ Reading your post makes me wonder if you are seeking approval for keeping it because you seem to give lots of reasons to justify not telling anyone & just keeping it... but maybe you feel guilty doing so.

It wasn't really given to you with the intention for you to keep it and I think mattie's solution is reasonable. If nobody ever asks for it, there you go. If it's valuable, it could cause a lot of problems and if there is no sentimental value to it, then another option would be to sell it & split the proceeds with your siblings. Or have it melted down & used to make something for each of the siblings.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:52AM
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"perhaps that's why she cheated 2 times in 3 years"

Nice, try to make a simple point and you gotta get personal. Real mature. You know nothing about me. FYI - I was willing to try to look past the first affair, because I did love her, and take my commitments seriously. She was the one to look me in the eyes and lie a thousand times to me about everything under the sun...so don't make it like the marriage failed because I was some uncaring soul. I just dont attach much emotional value to an object, but I walked the walk, I was faithful, I worked hard to support the family so she could be a stay at home, which is what she wanted, treated her with respect, and cared a thousand times more about the marriage than she apparently did.

As for the "marital property" issue, hey she brought up the motorcycle in mediation (which I had too before the marriage, so I guess technically it wasn't marital property either), not me. So go laugh somewhere else.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:47AM
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My DH was never married to BM so no engagement/wedding rings were around.

I do remember YEARS ago (probably 6+) I was in DH's office at work and opened a drawer and there was some jewelry---rings, braclets, necklaces. When he and BM had broken up, she'd stuffed everything he'd ever given her into a box and given it all back.

There was a beautiful diamond and tanzanite ring, and some diamond studs----several other nice pieces. I wasn't necessarily *bothered* by it but it did make me feel weird. Not sure why.

I have to admit, when I've seen pictures of DH with BM and SS as a baby, it makes me feel weird, too. I think it's a) partly because DH was so young (19-25) in the years he was with BM and it's odd for me to see him that way and b) BM is just so awful/cruel/vindictive now that it's tough for me to imagine him actually BEING with her.

Fortunately, since they split when SS was 10 months, HE doesn't have any memories of them together. So there aren't pics in his room or anything of his parents together. All the old pictures DH has are in boxes and filing cabinets in our garage, and some are in a photo album, but most of those are of DH alone with SS---in the years after he and BM broke up.

Rambling....anyway, at one point, DH asked me if I wanted any of the jewelry. I think the death stare I gave him said it all!

I assume he sold the jewelry or something because I've never seen it since and I've never asked. I really don't care.

I wasn't married to DD's father, either, nor was I engaged.

My ring now was purchased by DH for me---not a family heirloom or anything. If we were to ever divorce, I assume I would keep it, not sure what I'd do with it. I could see hanging onto it and giving it to DD or maybe having the diamonds removed and made into a bracelet for her or something.

I don't think it would be weird for your DH to give his old wedding band to his son--like someone else said, his son IS a product of that marriage. I don't think his son would see it as his dad holding onto old romantic feelings or anything. JMO.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:56AM
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we don't really have family heirlooms, not into that stuff. maybe grandkids can have the ring?..or make somehting out of it? i would ask brother and sister what they think. sorry for loss of your parents

my uncle (not blood relative) had big family feud and was estranged form his brother because they could nto agree who their mother's jerwerly belong to. not worth it

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:26AM
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"I tossed my wedding ring out the window of my car"

No emotion there, right?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 2:59PM
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"Some day one of the younger generation will want it because it's their grandfather's wedding ring."

If you're lucky. Also quite possible (sadly) is that someone will think 'Free gold ring? I want it!' and ask for the wrong reasons. IMO, wedding bands with a 'tarnished' history aren't quite the same as 'heirloom' engagement rings with good sentiment -- so it's not a ring I would want used for that purpose...

Honestly, I don't think there's a clear etiquette rule -- but I'm confident there's a pretty clear LEGAL rule, and that would be that the ring was part of your father's estate, which would then pass through will all of his other personal belongings. In that case, most likely, it would *legally* belong to your SM -- who would most likely have no personal interest in it and would gladly give it to you if you were to ask her for it.

And that's what I would recommend: Tell her exactly how you found it and ask if she would be willing to let you have it. (I'll bet she would.) Then do with it *exactly* as you please and only tell your siblings if they ask.

Since you have some experience at jewelry-making, I'd suggest that's what you do with it. Maybe hammer the gold into a fabulous pendant.

OR - Gold prices are very high now. If there's no positive sentiment, you might be able to get something lovely in trade, or simply pay off some bills.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 7:03PM
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After my husband died I traded in my wedding rings, my husbands diamond ring and our class rings and had a pendant made and our diamonds set in the pendant. I was told they don't reuse the old gold, it isn't suitable for making new rings. No one would have wanted wedding rings, but someone will love my pendant. I had it done before gold went up.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 4:07PM
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I threw my ex husbands ring into the woods. Literally. I had no need to keep it. He was a lying, cheating, worthless individual. When I got with my now husband he disposed of my old wedding rings. I didn't care and I don't miss them at all.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:49PM
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I'm very much attached to my wedding rings. We did, after all, have them custom made. That's why when my husband lost his, he has a habit of taking it off when working with tools, just a few months after our wedding, it really ticked me off. I've been bugging him to contact Juno, they were the ones who made the rings for us, and have a new ring made for him. He hasn't had a new ring made yet since it's a bit expensive but I'll keep bugging him 'til he does. I don't want him walking around bars without a wedding ring on him. lol.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Don't be too hard on your hubs, Cristy.

My cousin't husband has 3 fingers on his left hand because his ring got caught in some machinery.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 1:48PM
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I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here. Men and women should do what they're comfortable doing and their current spouse should try to be understanding. I don't even know if my husband has his old ring or not, I'll have to ask. I do have mine and plan to give them to my daughters soon. I just didn't feel right getting rid of them, they represented a marriage from which 4 children were created. I'm not saying that the person who threw their ring out the car window was wrong either, if that made her feel better at the time, good for her! Just don't dismiss the feelings of children either, whether they're adults or not. They didn't divorce their parents, and the marriage means something to them.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:20PM
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" I'm not saying that the person who threw their ring out the car window was wrong either, if that made her feel better at the time, good for her!"

LOL that was me, and yes it made me feel good i guess, but I am not a "her"....which is probably why I did it. Probably figured that's what Clint Eastwood would have done in that situation... Also, it was a cheap silver ring...if it were worth anything I surely wouldn't have tossed it, I'm not that dumb....lol.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 4:46PM
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