Oh noooo! I lost my ring!”
“What? What ring?” Jerry asks puzzled.
“My anniversary ring.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m very sure. It was here with my other rings and now it’s gone.”
Jerry looks at my rings carefully, one by one, to make sure I didn’t overlook it among the others. “Is this it?” he asks holding up a cheap costume ring, which by the way I got on sale for a very good price.
“No, that’s not it. You remember it, don’t you? You bought it for me for Christmas because I had wanted it for our anniversary and you didn’t buy it then. We made payments on it for a long time.”
Wells Fargo Bank still celebrates the day we took out a loan for my ring.
“Let’s look for it,” Jerry says. “But we only have a few minutes because we have to hit the road if we’re going to make it to Prescott by 3 p.m.”
We have a dinner engagement with my family in Prescott. So I understand the need for us to leave, and to be on time for the dinner. But I won’t rest until I find my ring.
“Think back, retrace your steps,” Jerry says.
“I was right here, and then I put my ring right there, and now it’s not there.”
“It’s got to be in the house.”
“Jerry, I think I dropped it. And remember? You swept the floor. I bet you dumped it in the garbage. Oh no, my ring is in the garbage! Or it fell down the drain! Or maybe it somehow got into the wash and it’s somewhere in the washing machine.”
My mind spun with possibilities. For all I knew the washing machine sucked it into the sewer system.
“If it’s in the drain, I’ll tear the trap apart when we get home. And I did not sweep it up. I would have seen it and I didn’t see it. I can assure you.”
Jerry gets a flashlight and peers under the dishwasher and refrigerator.
“Not there,” he says.
“Well this ruins my day,” I cry out.
“Well don’t ruin MY day over this!” Jerry says.
Now I’m ticked off. Jerry is more concerned about his day and his happiness than about my sadness over the loss of my ring.
Cruising along the freeway, I ponder all possibilities of where my ring could be. Jerry notices my silence and says, “Look, if we don’t find your ring, I’ll buy you a new ring. I’ll get you whatever you want. Okay?”
I feel a little better by his offer. I also feel inclined to forgive him for his don’t-ruin-MY-day comment.
“Jerry that ring was special to me. It’s my anniversary ring. Besides, I own very few things of value. Actually the ring is the only thing of value I own.” Although I don’t mention, I also value my blue ceramic eyeball the size of a tennis ball, the one my son (whose name I may not use in my blogs) made in his eighth grade art class. That’s my only other valuable possession. My ring and my blue eyeball. My son’s art teacher even called me to ask if she could place the eyeball in an art show. I said no because I worried I may not get it back. I love that eyeball.
“You own a grandfather clock,” Jerry reminds me. “That’s valuable.”
My thoughts drift back to the day I bought the grandfather clock and then a wonderful idea pops into my head. While in Prescott for the weekend, I’ll go to the custom jewelry shop called the Artful Eye and gaze at rings. Maybe I’ll find one to soothe my sadness. I have a check coming in the mail, reimbursement from credit card points. I’ll buy something just to tide me over until Jerry buys me a new blinged-out anniversary ring.
A few days later, Jerry and I pack up to leave Prescott. I mention my need to stop at the jewelry store. Jerry drops me off while he heads off to do some shopping of his own. The store owner unlocks her glass case and sets rings on the counter. The diamonds fire thunderbolts of glittery white light. Jewelry stores know how to make rings look so dazzling with sparkle, they hypnotize you into an obsession of desire. Then once you buy it and step outside in natural light, the sparkle suddenly dims a thousand watts.
The price tags on the rings display a long row of numbers with so many zeros my mind can’t cope.
“I need something less pricey,” I say.
“You might like to look at our stacked rings in our half-off case,” the owner says.
I like the idea of half-off and soon I’m trying on the stacked rings. I like how the rings look on my finger and before I know it, the owner is ringing up the sale of a gold and silver band, each with etched design and a diamond in each. Nothing like a good ol’ credit card to help pay for it.
On the drive home, I’m humming inside. Not out loud because Jerry might get suspicious of my happiness. He only knows I bought two rings and doesn’t know the price. He may think the rings are covered by the forthcoming check from credit card points. But that check won’t cover the cost and so I keep my secret.
Once we’re at home, Jerry searches for my ring. There’s no way he wants to shell out thousands for a new one. I check the washing machine to see if my lost ring is in there. It’s not.
I look under the couch and discover a whole other world going on. Puff balls jiving with catnip toys while pennies and paperclips do backflips. I witness a spectacle even Katy Perry would have a hard time dreaming up. I look in corners, nooks and crannies, pockets, under rugs. No ring.
If only my anniversary ring had a ring tone and I could call it like I do whenever I lose my cell phone. Just last week I lost my phone, called my number and Jerry hollered from the garage, “Your phone is ringing under the front seat in your car.”
Taking a break from my search, I settle on the couch and flip the TV on. Jerry putters around in another room. Suddenly he bursts into the room, slaps my lost anniversary ring on the TV tray next to me and shoots me a wild, crazed zombie look.
“Where did you find it?” I ask.
“You owe me big,” Jerry says with a wild, zombie expression. His eyes glowing with haunting dark shadows. The kind of eyes that say ‘I suffered’ to find this.
“Why? Where was it? Did you have to tear the sink apart to get it?”
“I found it on the kitchen table.”
Ohhhh! I didn’t think to look there.
“And you owe me big.”
He deserves compensation for the mental anguish I caused, the distress and worry over purchasing a new ring, the concern for my lost ring, and the loss of happiness over the whole ordeal.
The next day, Jerry hands me an invoice for his time in searching for my ring. It reads: “Hunt for lost wedding ring, 1/2 hour.” Well, Jerry, it’s an anniversary ring, not a wedding ring. To Jerry I suppose it’s all the same.
“What are your hourly rates, Jerry?”
He doesn’t answer and I realize I forgot about thanking him. “Thank you for your help and for finding my ring,” I say. I’m not sure that gets me off the hook and if I still owe him for his trouble.
I recall a sign at a pub in Prescott. I had stopped to take a picture of it. The sign’s wording seems appropriate at this moment. Posted by the front door of Lyzzard’s, the sign states: “Sense of Humor Necessary.”
Humor is not only necessary for the customers of Lyzzard’s but necessary in life. Sometimes we can make a big deal out of something, way more than is necessary. Sometimes we have to stop and see the humor, and not take things too seriously. Even so, I got two new rings out of the deal. The thought pleases me in an amusing way. Now if I can only get Jerry to smile…