On Being Deliriously Happy
And this one has no manuscript stats attached because it's just not writing related. Too bad. Not everything is.
This update goes out to anyone who's ever grabbed me by the left hand and said, "Oh no! Where'd the stone from your wedding ring go? Emergency! Nobody move!" and got my sad-eyed puppy-dog-faced story of how it's actually been missing since December 2005, on a Friday that began with an hour and a half of periodontal surgery, continued with me lying all miserable in bed, and ended with me half-heartedly helping my husband paint the bathroom and move books around. After which we discovered that my ring was without stone.
It's a unique ring. It's got a History. It started out as half of a $5 pair of one-size-fits-nobody hematite bands bought at a vendor table in the New Orleans French Market. A diamond-tipped Dremel bit for etching Meaningful Runes into each ring before exchanging them at the altar brought the total cost up to about $15. Well, hematite being what it is (brittle), my ring broke about a year or so later. I was wearing it when an automatic grocery store sliding glass door stuck halfway open as I tried to leave. I slapped at the door to make it move, and the ring flew off in three pieces. A couple years after that (and a couple income brackets higher), we brought the etched piece to Hurdle's Jewelry where Keith Hurdle accomplished the daunting task of setting it in a white gold band.
An uncharitable eye might liken the effect to that of a mood ring stuck on Bleak Despair And Sadness. But that wouldn't be fair. Mr. Hurdle really did a beautiful job. Nothing else walking out of a jeweler's shop looks quite like it. I'd get asked about it all the time. Heck, the periodontist asked me about it on that fateful day while we were waiting for the anaesthetic to take effect.
And then the dang stone went missing.
I took our bedroom apart, bared it to the walls. I looked all over the tarp I'd sat on to spray-paint the bathroom fan cover. I looked under and around the bookshelf I'd helped John set in order. No little arc of hematite showed up. I went over the carpets with a fine-toothed comb before vacuuming. I then went through the contents of the vacuum bag with my bare hands, and in a household containing two tabby cats and two long-haired humans, that's not for the faint of heart. Still no stone. Could it have come loose as I bussed home from the dentist office that morning? Could it have popped out during the fan-cover-painting project and rolled right off the balcony? Bleak Despair And Sadness!
Between recovering from surgery and hitting other scheduling obstacles, somehow we never got around to searching the guest room more thoroughly. Then, a few months later, we had a friend move in. I asked him to keep half an eye out for it in his travels. In the meantime, I tried to convince myself that it wasn't gone forever--it was safely in the guest room somewhere just waiting for us to find it.
Our friend moved out about a week ago. With the room suddenly uninhabited, John and I decided it was high time we painted those four walls. (We've been painting at a rate of about one wall per six months ever since we bought the place in August 2000. We hope to finish the job before we finish paying off the mortgage.) So today we emptied that sucker of all furniture and wall fixtures. This included the bookshelf that I was helping John reorder at the time the stone got lost. My pet theory was that the stone popped loose while I was trying to shove more books onto that shelf than reasonably could be expected to fit. I think my hand had been sandwiched between a C++ Primer and a Chemistry textbook at the time.
We proved that theory tonight. Blessed, blessed be!--we found that stone.
I was carrying one of the cement blocks from the guest room to the kitchen when I saw the little arc of hematite lying on the living room floor. It must have been stuck to one of the blocks, or sitting inside it, and then fallen off as the block was being transported.
After a year and a half, my wedding ring is complete once more.
I have to keep telling myself that every fifteen minutes. Bleak Sadness And Despair gets to be a habit after fifteen months, y'see. I have to keep reminding myself that we found the stone, I have it back, and that the proper emotions are in fact Delirious Joy And Happiness.
The stone and the ring are in a sandwich bag waiting to be taken back to Hurdle's for reassembly. I may also finally ask to have my engagement ring assembled. The ring is a gift from both of our mothers: John's mom gave me the band, which had been her mother's; and, seeing that the original stone was long gone (strange how generations fall into parallel), my mom, a most knowledgeable and obsessive collector of gemstones, gave me one of her tanzanites to crown it. It's about time I had the stone set and the ring sized for actual wearing. And yes, it's kind of unusual to wait until one's ninth year of marriage to start wearing an engagement ring, but what's one more unconventionality, more or less?
My wedding stone came back. We found my wedding stone. Hooray!
This has been the best Saturday ever.