Ask Jo: The Thumb Ring

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days. Today I’m going to tackle a question that is off the beaten path…here goes. It’s about my thumb ring.

A blog reader asked:
I have to ask. Did you find your ring or is it a replacement? (left thumb). Just curious 😁

If you have been a long-time reader, you might likely have noticed that I wear a thumb ring. Apparently, it’s been something many people have noticed. I say this because I have gotten several comments about the ring. When I did a live video a bit ago I had some one notice that I didn’t have on my thumb ring and asked about it.

One day I was shopping at the thrift store and a lady came up to me and said, “You’re Jo Kramer, right? I thought it was you and then I saw your hand and you were wearing a thumb ring so I was pretty sure it was you.”

Oh, my word. Who knew my hands were ever anything anyone was looking at? The last thing I ever wanted to do was show my hands. Of all my body parts, my hands are likely my least favorite. I have the fattest puffiest hands ever.

Here is a little side note: About 15-20 years ago my husband and I were asked to be part of a social they were having at church. They were doing a “Newlyweds” game show night and they needed couples who were willing to participate. We said we would.

You might remember the show. They had newlyweds on the show. The guys were taken away and the wives were asked questions. Then the guys came back and were asked the same questions. If their answers matched, they got points. The couple with the most points won.

Before the event, I said to my husband, “If they ask what body part your wife likes the least about herself, say my hands”.

The question never came up in the game but it was totally true. I don’t like and have never liked my hands.

By the way, the night at church was so much fun. We all laughed and laughed and Kramer and I won!

…but back to my ring…

I’ve never been a jewelry gal…especially rings. As I said, my hands are chubby and not attractive at all. It’s not me slamming myself, it’s total truth. I love my hands for what they can do…but as far as looks go, I don’t like them.

To make matters worse, Kramer and I got married back in 1986. He had just gone broke farming. He had ZERO money. I was pregnant. We were getting married. He walked into the jewelry store to get a wedding set. He told them he wanted something cheap. They tried to upsell something to him and he said, “Look, I’ve gone broke farming and my girlfriend is knocked up. I just need a ring”.

He bought a wedding set for $125. It was my wedding ring and engagement ring and his ring. My engagement ring has a diamond chip. I hated the thing then…I still hate it now. It was gold. I’d have picked silver. Nothing was right about it. The ring was never picked for me. It was an end to a means.

My friends were getting married and showing off their diamonds. I was so embarrassed #1 by my hands and #2 about the dinky diamond chip and #3 about being pregnant and not married.

I wore it until my hands swelled up during pregnancy and put it back on but never liked it. I felt obligated to wear it. Then one day I was feeding calves at the farm, and my ring caught in the door of the calf shed. I ripped the back of my finger really badly. I never put it back on again.

After five kids and 10 years of marriage, I got over having to wear a ring. I never wore it again.

I went years not wearing any kind of ring. Kramer knew I hated the ring and asked a time or two if I wanted a new ring. I always said no. I really didn’t want one. As I’ve said, I don’t like the look of my hands and I didn’t want anything drawing attention to them. Besides, to me, jewelry just isn’t my thing. Another thing, I’m very active with my hands and I know I’d lose a ring or get it caught in something again.

Fast forward to 2018 or so. My daughter and I were at a vendor/craft show. There was a person there that made rings out of quarters. Unknown to me they had the guy make a 1986 (the year we were married) quarter into a ring for me. This was perfect. I loved this. It was WAY more me than any diamond ring. It was simple, practical, and bought with me in mind. I don’t think anyone could have purchased something more me.

I liked the ring and wore it…then in 2019, Kramer passed away from lung cancer. I lost about 20 pounds without even trying. I wasn’t making desserts or big meals like I did when he was living. I was walking the dogs more. The weight just came off. My ring no longer fit. I still liked it and still wanted to wear it…so I put it on my thumb and started wearing it as a thumb ring. I actually prefer a thumb ring. It doesn’t rub on my chubby fingers.

I ended up losing the ring. It just came off my hand as it was pretty loose…and I’m pretty active. I have no idea if it’s out in the garden somewhere or down the shower drain. It was gone. I was sad.

I missed it so tried to go online and find someone who made them. I ordered one but it was from a silver dollar and it too was too big. I lost it.

Then about a month ago, Kalissa made me go to the jewelry store with her and they measured my thumb. It was a size 13 1/2 (I told you I have chubby fingers). She ended up finding THIS MERCHANT on Etsy and ordered me a new ring. It’s a 1986 again. It’s on my thumb again. I’m happy again.

….and that’s the story of my thumb ring. It’s a humble ring…nothing fancy, nothing extravagant, not showy, something simple and totally me.

On my About Page, I write, “I’m just a simple girl with a simple life and I hope it always stays that way”. That is so true of me and my 1986 quarter ring given to me by my daughter that I wear on my thumb. It fits right into my simple life.

24 thoughts on “Ask Jo: The Thumb Ring”

  1. I use to babysit 3 little boys years ago that made one for me. They would sit there for hours with a spoon tapping the side of that silver quarter. We lived in south Louisiana and lost everything in a hurricane and my ring was one of the things I lost. Enjoy your Flosstubes and now your blog!

  2. Oh my, I, too have puffy hands; must be the Swede in us. My great grand parents also came from Sweden to America; my GGF first and then he went back 6 years later and brought his sister’s step daughter back with him. They married a few years later.
    I so enjoy your blog and videos, I don”t comment often, but I consider you “my friend in Iowa”.

  3. Oh gosh, I have always admired your hands, they look so young. I don’t like my hands, I think they look older than me. They are boney and skinny! Wish I could take the fat off my butt and put on my hands. My hands are like my moms, working hands.

  4. My husband and I went to a local jewelry store to get our rings. No engagement ring as he said we could have a wedding or I could have a ring, not both. As we couldn’t afford more So the plan was matching wedding bands. They were $18 each , engraving included, so $36 total. When they came in the jeweler tried to charge us more as he said the price of gold had increased since we ordered them. Bob told them he wasn’t paying a penny more then the estimate and the jeweler could just keep them if he wanted. Of course with the engraving with our initials and wedding date the chances of selling them to someone else was pretty minimal. So we have a matching pair that has served us well for the 53 years of our happy marriage, cost us $36, and has a funny story to boot. Many years later I also got a lovely engagement ring.
    I sure do enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for enriching my life!

  5. Your story is wonderful Jo! My hubby and I got married in 1980 under similar circumstances, 2 months pregnant at age 27 (but 2nd marriage after divorces, kinda broke) and I used my mom’s old plain band – until he totally surprised me on Valentine’s Day in 1982! Used our former wedding rings to have a jeweler friend create new rings for us! Truly a gift I will always cherish!!

  6. I never would have expected such a meaningful story from your thumb ring. Thanks so much for telling us, Jo. My dad and grandpa didn’t wear their wedding rings working around the farm because of the possible danger it posed.

  7. How very neat! I never noticed your ring before.
    I went to the site and bookmarked it – all kinds of neat stuff.
    You know, I was always thought it was illegal to do that with coins and even looked it up but it’s not!
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Love and prayers

  8. Such a beautiful story! Love reading your blog because I can relate, so simple yet inspiring! Keep on being you Jo!!

  9. Wenonah from Alberta

    “It’s not me slamming myself, it’s total truth.”

    I love this line. It made me laugh out loud! And I feel the same way about my big “man” hands!

    Love you Jo! Keep up the wonderful blog.

  10. You have done and made some wonderful things with those hands and fingers and I think they are amazing. I too love the story and the sentimental meaning behind the ring. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Hi Jo, I understand how you feel about your hands. I feel exactly the same way about my legs! I appreciate that they work and I have the use of them, and they’re strong, but I don’t like the look of them, and never will. Consequently I never wear shorts, even in the summer.

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