If you follow me on Facebook, you saw a post this morning that read simply, “O Lord! I think we’re going to the jewelery store. Someone save me!” The follow-on comment predictably read, “My God! What have I done?” which is a fitting quote from my favorite Talking Heads song, Once in a Lifetime. After several inquiries, I felt an expanded explanation was in order. No humans were harmed in the making of this blog post.
First a little backstory
My bride and I just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. We treated ourselves to a few days retreat at The Secret B&B. We relaxed. We ate. We talked. Several of those conversations were about how my lovely bride desperately wanted a new wedding ring. She had lost her first in an unfortunate surgical accident where the ring was literally cut off. The replacement band with 13 diamonds I bought some years ago somehow shrank over the years.
During the intervening week, she and I have looked at dozens of rings on websites far and wide, but we both secretly knew she wanted something built around her mother’s old engagement diamond. She made some calls around town and discovered that our local Zales store had a master jeweler on site today. Today only!
Did I mention how desperately she wanted a new symbol of our love? Boy, she sure did.
I found a ring on the Kay’s website that we both really liked. Though she wasn’t feeling up to it, I gave her an incentive to get going today. I told her, if she would go with me to make sure the size was right, I’d buy her the Kay’s ring today. No need to say it twice. I think there is a burn on the carpet between the bed and the bath.
We went to Zales to see what they had and/or what the on-site jeweler deal was. We knew we had Kay’s as a backup. I showed the lovely crew at Zales a few old rings and we were presented with a white gold setting. It was pretty enough, but had a broad, flat wing shape on one side which just overpowered the 1/4 carat solitaire. The jewelery designer quickly explained that it was perfect because that ledge would be cut out and as many diamonds from the old band as possible would be clustered in the newly cut channel. Well, OK. How much for the custom job? Zero? Done deal.
I guess the journeyman master jeweler was paid for. It didn’t matter if he made one ring or twelve today. He was there to do whatever was necessary. It was fascinating to watch him work. Within an hour he was done. There was my wife’s newly-minted, custom-made wedding slash anniversary ring. White gold with 13 recycled diamonds from the old band and her mother’s engagement solitaire bezel set on top.
While we were waiting and watching the creation of the new ring, my wife pointed out some earrings that were on sale, but I told her she would have to settle for the ring. Upon completion, there were tears and neck hugs for everyone in the store. I think a few innocent bystanders even got hugs.
As we drove out of the parking lot, I reached in my pocket and handed my wife another jewelery box and simply said, “Would you hold this while I drive?” Of course, she opened the box to find the ear rings.
So you’re wondering why this happy story is entitled “Making Toast in the Bathtub.” After 27 years, I’ve discovered that’s what marriage is. It’s more precarious than politics. It’s more dangerous than war. Love and especially marriage is a precarious balancing act filled with compromise and joy. It is like making toast in the bathtub. One false move and you’re dead. But if you’re careful, really, really careful…you get to eat a sandwich in the bath.
Or something like that.