You learn the strangest things in the strangest places. Although I try to keep up with nonverbal communication, an article in a recent Dear Abby column taught me something I didn't know about--the Divorce Ring.
Apparently some women, after divorce, wear a "divorce ring" on their right hand. As I think about it, the ring seems to have lots of advantages and communicates a variety of useful messages: I'm divorced. I'm not ashamed of being divorced; there is no stigma. I want others to know I'm divorced. I'm available for a possible relationship. And it provides what some people have called "free information"--information that another person can use to start up a conversation. It serves the same purpose as wearing a "save the whales" button or carrying a textbook on campus--it gives another person an easy way to open up a conversation with you--I like your "save the whales" message; it would be nice if more people were concerned or I see your taking Interpersonal Communication--my favorite course :-)
At the same time, it makes a useful (and often overlooked) point about relationships and that is that not all relationships should last and, in some cases, it's a good thing when relationships break up. And there is no reason to not celebrate the breakup of a bad relationship; it seems on a par with celebrating the start of a good relationship. From what I gather, men do not wear divorce rings; they should.