Call me nostalgic or just plain stuck in the past. Fine. But today, after nearly 17 months of intermittent searching, I found my class ring. It was in a safe place for when I moved to Manhattan, I was sure I didn't want to lose it. I had hidden it in a safe place and promptly forgot where. It made me wonder why this thing was so important to me.

It isn't the nicest ring; I remember others having rings with real diamonds. It isn't flashy but not dull either. The surfaces are jagged, almost sharp, as if the makers knew the amount of pain one could inflict on the top of someone's head with a turned-upside-down ring. Of course Adam and Wes could tell you all about the sharpness of my ring. When tears came I figured maybe it was better to leave the ring on for decoration rather than harassment.

There were a few people that borrowed my ring to wear at various points in high school. Fortunately, it didn't end up in the bottom of the lake or a ditch like so many. The tradition of high school sweethearts exchanging rings is a bit of a mystery. It almost serves as a stamp of possession or warning--stay away. Who could forget the clumsy looking ring pads the girls used in order to wear the ring or the necklaces used by the boys?

Funny thing about choosing emblems to represent yourself for the rest of your life as a high school sophomore. I barely knew what day it was mostly. The name "Chris" appears on my ring even though my high school name had been cemented in granite by the time sophomore year reared its head. If I could have known that 75 percent of the people in my life still know me and refer to me as "G.," I could have saved some confusion.

The football emblems certainly represented a significant part of my life since choosing that on my ring. It makes one wonder though if I was really supposed to be a football player (later a coach) or whether I was just trying to live up to the expectations I set for myself. Is there a point where one part of life feeds another or should a ring be looked at only as a symbol of a certain point in time? A circular snapshot if you will?

Then again who actually wears their high school class ring after high school? They are out there. I am one of them again and have met many people both young and old still wearing their high school class rings. Why? Does it represent fond memories? I can think of several students in my own high school class that either never got rings or would have wanted to chuck them out the window at various points during and after high school. Is it a symbol of the past, a creation of the future, or just a ring?

Till then, g

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