Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Adventure of the Ring

I was born from fire and shipped to a jeweler named Schooley's in an upstate New York city called Ithaca, some 40 years ago. 

Gleaming and gold, sitting in the display case I thought I was home. A few couples looked at me, but I was plain in comparison to some of my neighbors. I enjoyed basking in the bright lights of the display case during the day and then being safely locked up in the safe at night. Life was good.

One day, a young couple in their teens, barely out of high school, checked me out. And they found a mate from nearby that looked very similar to me, only smaller. They talked about a wedding, and tried us onto their fingers. But it was clear they had not nearly enough money to buy us both, but the nice man, named David, who ran the store made some size adjustments and inscribed initials and a date on us. Clearly, an important change was coming. The initials were RJD-CLM and the date was 8-9-75. Then he locked both of us away together in the safe. 

It was quiet and dark and I knew that something important had happened, but I was happy. A short while later, the couple returned and we were placed in a plush boxes and departed the store, forever.

A few days later, at a big ceremony, I was reintroduced to the finger that I had met a few months before. The finger belonged to Bob, and although I didn't know it at the time, we were going to be inseparable. My mate was placed on Chris's finger and we began our new lives as wedding rings.

Bob had some adjustment issues the first couple of days we were together. He was constantly taking me off his finger and putting me back on. It was weird. But over time, we settled in together and I am sure Bob didn't give me much thought. 

As a few years went by I was with Bob and Chris as the moved to different cities including Miami, Syracuse, and Denver. Life was busy and exciting. Small children arrived and we eventually found ourselves in Rome, NY. Bob was busy with his career and Chris was tending the children. 

One day, Bob was called out to do an important function and he had to take me off his finger for safety reasons. I was upset and so when the opportunity arose, I found a way out of his pocket and onto the active flight line at Griffiss AFB, NY. Bob didn't even notice me as I rolled away from him. I was free!

When I stopped rolling along the concrete I came to rest under a fire extinguisher near a B-52.  I realized that I was alone, cold, and had no ability to move.

I was afraid. Bob, it turns out noticed that I was missing and commenced a search for me. A big, burly Master Sergeant found me and we were reunited. I was happy to be back on Bob's finger where I remained, happy for another almost 36 years. 

During that time, we saw the world. We were never apart. He went to Japan, Korea, across America, all over Europe, and finally to his current home. He learned to dive, played racquetball, and learned most recently golf. I became covered with grease and muck when he worked on cars or in the garden, but we were always together and life developed a sense of normalcy. He has this weird habit of twisting me when he is thinking or playing games. It reminds him of how close we are and what I mean to him.

About a month ago, I felt the need to sample freedom again. Life, I guess, had been too good. 

I waited for my chance to head out on my own and it came one evening in Denver. Bob had a long day and didn't drink enough water. The combination of the cold and the elevation created a condition where Bob was very dehydrated--I saw my opportunity to  explore the world. While he was fueling the rental car, I slipped off his finger and he never noticed.

I was free! I had now wheels and could explore the world on my own. But I was on the floor and really couldn't see out the windows. 

I don't know when Bob noticed that I was missing, but I was in a car and driving around Denver without him.

Freedom came with a high price. I thought I would be happy, but I was cold. I had forgotten the cold of being alone. Bob's finger is warm. I missed Bob's finger, but was convinced that I would never see it again and so I began the prepare for my new life--whatever that would be. 

Would I be found and melted down into some other piece of jewelry? I hadn't thought of that before. Would I be discarded?  That would be terrible. 

Bob, it turns out, realized that I was missing the very next morning as he was preparing to board his flight at Denver's airport. He immediately called the hotel and the rental car company to report my loss and initiate a search.
Home, on Bob's Finger!

I can't recall exactly what happened while I was free for a couple of weeks in the car,  but after a while I was processed through an official looking place and placed into a dark package. The Fedex people over the course of about a week returned me to Bob, where I was happily reunited onto his finger. 

My traveling days are over. It was terrible being away from Bob. Although I was free, I missed my special place on his finger. When he slipped me back over his knuckle last evening, I knew I was home. I was back in the place where I belong representing 40 years of marriage and family. I'm glad he had not replaced me and never gave up hope that I would be recovered. 

It turns out that I am a bit thinner than when I first was united with Bob, as is my mate who is on Chris's finger, but I am happy to be back. One of Bob's favorite movies is the Wizard of Oz--and I remember at the end of the movie that Dorothy says that the next time I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.

And now, for the next 40 or more years!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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