Thursday, September 24, 2009
What did you think I would do at this moment
This isn't exactly the greatest photograph in my portfolio (better known as my "albums"...maybe one day I'll be talented enough to have a portfolio). Perhaps my shiny new camera will take a better closeup photo of my most prized possession.
I know...I know. The camera story I promised you. I'll get there soon. Patience is a virtue, remember?
Anyway, back to the bling.
What you see is a pic of my wedding ring. Actually, it's not. Are you confused yet? Good. I have you just where I want you.
Let me start from the beginning.
On May 29, 1994, My Guy took me out for dinner to celebrate our one year dating anniversary. At some point during the dinner, he might have mentioned something about getting married. I humored him, thinking he'd had a couple glasses of wine and was a bit delirious and no he didn't seriously just propose to me cuz that is just be too good to be true. After we finished our meal, we went outside where he said, "You know, I was serious. Will you marry me?" Whoa. Really?!
There was no ring...for one simple reason. The proposal wasn't planned. It was really something that developed as we sat over dinner doing what we have always done best....talking. Looking back, I realize that our proposal was so perfectly fitting for us. Low key, un-fancy (there I go making up words again), drama-free, and sweet.
And so, over the next several months, My Guy scrimped and saved (without ever mentioning it to me). On Christmas morning, he surprised me with an engagement ring. Just like the proposal, it was perfect. More so because he had picked it out for me. It was gorgeous, with one diamond in the middle and three tiny diamonds on each side. It was set in white gold. And the best part? It fit! There was no need to have it sized. I don't have a clue how he worked that out.
We shopped for our wedding bands in the spring. He picked out a simple gold band with some design around the edges that give it a nice shine. I picked out a plain white gold piece to sit next to my beautiful engagement ring. It was a near-perfect match to my mother's wedding band and I'd always admired the simplicity of it.
* * * * * * *
Fast forward to September of 2002. We were invited to a picnic in the park area at Belmont race track with My Guy's family...brothers, cousins, wives, kids, etc. It was a warm day that quickly turned into a hot day. Luckily, we were mostly in the shade and that kept us cool enough.
When I dressed that morning, I put on a watch, a bracelet that My Guy had given me, my engagement ring, and my wedding ring. I briefly thought, "It's a little warm today. Maybe I should leave all of this at home." Apparently, I ignored that thought. Damn.
Over the course of the previous years, my jewelry had been frequently neglected. During my first pregnancy, my fingers swelled up to the size of kielbasa, making it impossible to wear anything. And once the baby arrived in 2000, I had no intention of scratching him with my diamond ring. Ditto for the second baby, who arrived in 2002. For a couple years, my rings sat in a box in my drawer and My Guy got accustomed to seeing my hands bare. So on that warm September day, I'm not sure what possessed me to break out the bling, but I did it.
After the family picnic was over, we packed up the truck (My Guy's work truck), and headed home. I vividly remember driving down Hempstead Turnpike when I decided I was suddenly so overheated and sticky that the jewelry needed to come off NOW. I took off the watch first. Then the bracelet. Then the two rings. I used the watch to hook everything together in a neat little package. I put this bundle of bling into the truck's center console, closed the lid, and that was the last time I ever saw any of it.
We got home, unpacked everyone, unpacked everything, and I forgot about the jewelry. (Have you heard? I have the memory of a sieve.) Over the course of the following week, I occasionally thought to myself, "Tonight I need to get my stuff out of his truck." I don't remember how many days it took for me to finally go out there, but it was all gone. Without telling My Guy, I looked in every nook, cranny, and crevice of that truck. Five times.
It was all gone.
It took me nearly 2 years to tell him.
I was angry, embarrased, sad, ashamed, and just a tiny little bit afraid of what his reaction would be. Finally, someone I confided in said to me, "What do you really think he's going to do or say when you tell him?" I had no answer.
When I told My Guy this horrible news, he said, "That's it? Holy s@@@....I thought it was something serious!" He was genuinely offended that I had been so afraid to tell him. He was more upset by that than the actual loss. "It's just a ring! It can be replaced! What exactly did you think I would say?" The more I tried to explain my position, the more offended he became.
* * * * * * *
Before I lost my rings, my attitude was very casual. They're just material things. The marriage is important...the jewelry is not. My attitude changed completely once they were gone. It didn't take long for me to decide that I needed to replace the wedding band. Together, we picked out a new ring....the one I wear every single day. It is simple and beautiful and there's not a diamond to be found. Just the way I like it.
Yes, at the end of the day, it is just a material object and it has no value to anyone but me. But that's all that matters, right? Every time I look at it (about 50 times a day), I'm reminded that there's someone on my team. Someone cheering for me. Someone who still makes my heart skip a beat.
Someone who couldn't care less about some lost jewelry....as long as he still has me.