What's the difference between her hiding her diamond and me stowing my band? I suppose a smile on the train doesn't pose as much opportunity or risk as an evening on the beach. Her target might get off at the next stop—doors open, and he's gone. No harm, no foul.
Thirty-four-year-old Summer, who is dating again after a divorce, understood my ring removal perfectly: "We don't want to deny ourselves the breadth of human interaction. We want to invite it all and make choices about what we get, not limit it from the beginning." Indeed. And never are we more intent on sucking the marrow out of life than when we travel.
In Mexico with Maddie, the plans that kept us from the beachside grill party that evening were to seek out the locals' salsa night we had heard so much about. We made the right choice. A six-piece band blared salsa music as waves crashed nearby and the moon and stars looked on. There was no husband to worry about taking care of: no "Honey, can we dance?" or "You feel uncomfortable? Are you okay? You're going for another drink?" Instead, I focused on letting go of my own inhibitions. Our mission was to have fun.
Walking toward the beach and wooden dance platform with drinks in hand, we whispered an agreement: "If someone asks, we should dance." We barely hit the sand and a hand was proffered. Before my natural shyness could take hold, I shoved my drink at Maddie, took the hand, and mounted the stage.
What a night. We enjoyed the attentions of many talented partners, and our skills grew by enormous proportion, from salsa novice to turns and dips! Only in company of a great friend who knows your secret insecurities and who can be your greatest cheerleader can you let loose like this.
But would we have had this opportunity with mates in tow? How about if our get-ups included wedding bands?