The smallest visible thing near me is on me; specifically, on my right ring finger. It’s the sterling silver Claddagh ring I never take off; the only times it leaves my hand are when I’m doing something where it might slip off irretrievably or get overly messy (e.g. swimming, baking).
I purchased the ring at the Scottish Heritage Shoppe near The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, so long ago that I can’t remember exactly when I bought it. But I know I’ve had it since before January 1998, when Angel gave Buffy a similar ring. I remember at the time feeling a bit superior to all the girls who rushed out to buy one after that episode aired; unlike those wagon-jumpers, I’d known of the rings and their symbolism since before Buffy Summers got one from her undead boyfriend and then inadvertently turned him back into a soulless killing machine.
That symbolism is why I love the rings and why I hope to use Claddaghs as my future wedding rings. The heart stands for love, the hands for friendship, and the crown for loyalty; three of the most important qualities for any relationship, up to and including marriage. Wearing a Claddagh is also one of the ways I (literally) stay in touch with my heritage; genetically, I am connected to every country of the United Kingdom.
A particular oddity about my ring (which, by the way, is stamped “Made in Ireland” on the back of the heart) I noticed a few months ago is that the band is no longer a perfect circle; it’s flattened between the right hand and the middle of the band. Since I very rarely take it off, I wondered for a while how I could have hit my hand hard enough to flatten the ring without remembering doing so. On the other hand (pun not intended), the new shape fits my finger so well, I’ve now come to think that perhaps, over the last 13 or so years, the ring has just slowly morphed to match my finger…
I’m okay with that.