Back in September, I was at one of our writers group meetings with Lilibeth and Lucy, and we had this interesting conversation that I thought I’d share with y’all. As Lucy, Lilibeth and I talked, I jotted down notes so it would jog my memory later because I didn’t have time to write the whole thing out right then, or the next day or even the next week or two weeks after that. So, when I finally got back to my notes and tried to decipher them, I was all like —
because they really didn’t make much sense at first. As I began remembering, most of our conversation came back to me. Anyway, I filled in what I didn’t fully recall with my version of how I remembered it. So, I’ll just say this post was “based upon” a real conversation.
Otherwise, I’ll hear from both Lilibeth and Lucy dinging me on my accuracy about what was said according to how they remember it. And then each of them will have their own versions, and none of our versions will match — because that’s just how events go. No one remembers the same event exactly the way it went down (well, maybe those of you with eidetic memories do), but mere mortals without that superhuman power don’t. And the three of us don’t have that kind of recall. Of course, the moment I ask either of them, “Well, how do you remember it?” The answer will be, “Well, I don’t really remember, but I know that’s not how the conversation went.”
And there you are. Sigh.
So: Lilibeth and Lucy — unless I messed something up so egregiously that is extremely relevant to this post (and this post just isn’t that relevant to begin with) — just deal with it. ‘Kay? If you want to blame someone for getting it wrong, we can always blame Kelly. I haven’t blamed her for much lately, anyway, even though I’ve had plenty of opportunity. Besides, I don’t want her to feel like I’ve forgotten her. So this is a perfect time. Kelly, if you’re reading this — just know — whatever I get wrong, I’m blaming you!
Anyway, our discussion began with how Buddy, the sulfurious farting dog, ate my wedding ring. If you’re not familiar with that story, you can find it here. Then our conversation quickly evolved. So, here’s how this conversation went down — more or less.
Lilibeth: “Well, what exactly are you going to do? Is David getting you a replacement?”
Me: “We’ve talked about it and I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to happen. Maybe. I mean, it isn’t like the ring was super expensive or an heirloom or anything. It’s just a plain gold band. Still, I’m sure that it’s going to cost a couple of hundred. I mean, he would have gotten me something more expensive, but that’s all I wanted when we got married. I’ve never been into frou frou jewelry. I’m much more practical. I told him before we got married that I didn’t want fur coats or expensive jewelry because I wouldn’t wear either. I’d much rather the money go into maintaining the house, etc. So, I guess that was a good call on my part, because the ring’s gone now! And I gotta tell you, I do miss my plain ol’ wedding ring. I really feel naked without it. So if push comes to shove, we’ll mosey on over to Sam’s and order me a new band. Though, you know, I’ve kind of re-thought the plain wedding band over the years and I vacillate from time to time. I mean, if he wanted to get me something a little more expensive — I probably wouldn’t say no. But then again, I’m just fine with what I had. Yeah, especially with the dog around, I probably need to just stick with a plain gold band.
Lucy: “Well, now that it’s lost, I guess you’re lucky that it wasn’t too expensive. That reminds me of when I married my first husband (Lucy’s in her early 80’s and has been married three times.) He told me he hoped I wouldn’t be too disappointed but that I shouldn’t expect a fancy ring.
Me: “Really. And how did that go?”
Lucy: “What do you mean?”
Me: “I mean, it’s one thing if you’d insisted that you didn’t want a fancy ring, but for him to insist he wasn’t getting you one regardless — I mean, what did you say to that?”
Lucy: “Oh, I didn’t say anything. I might have said, “Oh, okay.”
Me: “Huh. Well, if it had been me, I probably would have said, ‘That’s fine, but I hope you’re not too disappointed when I don’t cook dinner for you.”
Lucy: “I wish I’d thought of something clever like that to say,” she said laughing. “He was a good husband, though, even if he never got me an expensive ring.”
Me: “What’s the story on your wedding ring, Lilibeth?”
Lilibeth: “Well, you know, Kevin and I just celebrated our 50th anniversary at the beginning of this month. And you know, my real wedding ring is in a drawer. I never got it fixed after I had to have it cut off.
Lucy: “You did what?”
Lilibeth: “I thought I told this story before.
Me: “Uhm, no I don’t think you have. The fact that you had to have your wedding ring cut off would have been memorable. So, what happened?”
Lilibeth: “Well, there’s really not that much to tell. We’d been married a long time and I never took my ring off, but then it became too tight. It started feeling like my finger started growing around the ring and I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Kevin and I tried lotion to get it to come off and nothing was working and I started panicking. So we called a jeweler to see if I could come in and he could get it off. Once he found out that my wedding band and engagement ring were soldered together, he recommended that I go to the fire department. He said they have helped a lot of people in this situation. Anyway, Kevin took me up to our local fire department and they had to use one of those tools — oh, what do you call them? They use these things to get people out who are stuck in their cars — they’ll cut through just about anything!
Me: “You mean The Jaws of Life?!
Lilibeth: “Yes, that’s it.”
Me: “Wait a minute, you had your wedding band cut off your finger with The Jaws of Life? Are you kidding me?”
Lilibeth: “No. I told you, we tried lotion and nothing was working and I couldn’t stand it being on my finger anymore. I felt like I was suffocating, so they had to cut it off my finger. The fire department does this all of the time.”
Me: “Huh. I’ve never heard of that before — but yeah, sure, that makes sense.”
Lucy: “So, was the jeweler able to fix your ring so you could wear it again?”
Lilibeth: “No. And it’s still in my jewelry box. It’s kind of out of style anyway. If I ever were to get it fixed, I’d want them to put the stones in a different setting. I think a square shape would be nice.”
Me: “Well what are you wearing now?”
Lilibeth: “Oh, this is just a nice ring that I like. However, when Kevin’s mother passed, he’d asked his dad if he could have her ring and his dad gave it to him and he gave it to me. I used to wear it on my right hand, never as a wedding band. But then Kevin’s, well, she’s his ex-sister-in-law now — well, she saw that I was wearing it one time when we had gotten together and she asked me, ‘Where’d you get that? Is that a new ring?’ But she knew exactly where it came from. She was just jealous because she’d wanted it. It is a pretty ring, it has a solitaire diamond and it probably cost around $7,000. Anyway, I stayed evasive and told her, ‘Oh, Kevin gave that to me.’ But I would never say that he got it from his dad. It wasn’t a conversation I wanted to get into with her. I eventually gave it to my daughter but she doesn’t wear it either. Knowing her, it’s probably sitting in some drawer or a box somewhere. But compared to the wedding ring she has, it’s no wonder. You should see the ring her husband bought her when they married. It is very nice and very expensive. I don’t think she even knows how much he spent! I remember when she was in town before they got married and she and I went to a nice jewelry store to look at rings and find out her ring size. Her fiancee, husband now, wanted her to look at rings and let him know what she liked and what size she wore so that he’d know what to get her. So she found a beautiful ring for around $3,800 and she got all the information together and wrote it on a piece of paper and gave it to him and he looked at the price and told her, ‘This is an insult. It’s only $3,800. This is going to be the ring I want you to wear for life! This is important!’ Anyway, he ended up getting her a ring, and while I don’t know the exact price, let me tell you, it was expensive. I know it cost him at least $30,000 because he got it from Tiffany’s and I looked up the ring he gave her on the internet and that was the starting price. But he had it customized, so I’m sure the cost went up from there. I wouldn’t be surprised if her ring didn’t cost him around $40,000. But there you are, different people have different priorities. And for him, this was a priority. Of course, they could afford that.”
Me: Holy cow! I can’t even imagine looking at a ring that expensive much less wearing it! Wow!
Lilibeth: I know. It really was a wow. I think they both would have had heart attacks if some damned dog ate her ring.
Me: Well, I’ve never had a super fancy ring like your daughter, not even a $3,800 ring, but with my first marriage, my grandma gave me the wedding band and engagement ring her husband, my biological grandfather, gave her when they married — it was gold and had diamonds. Not huge diamonds, but it was nice. I never had it appraised but it was special to me. And it’s funny that you mention heart attacks because that’s what my grandfather died from, so my grandparents’ marriage only lasted about 21 years. Of course, my first marriage didn’t last very long either, only 8 years. I still have the ring. I was going to give it to Lauren, if she ever decides to get married. But I don’t know. That ring seems kind of jinxed at this point. I suppose I could pass along my mother’s ring to her if she wants it. Dad gave it to me when Mom passed. I don’t know, though. If she ever lost it or if one of her dogs ate it, I’d probably kill her! Still, what use is it sitting in a box?
Lucy: “Exactly. That’s where mine are.”
Me: “Ya know, it’s weird about jewelry. It’s kind of like that essay you wrote, Lilibeth, about how our things outlive us. And jewelry’s one of those things that we want to pass on. They really do become heirlooms. Anyway, I was getting a pedicure the other day, and the woman who does my nails, Raquel, she’s amazing by the way — she suggested that I just get a metal detector and go out in the backyard and find my ring. And I hadn’t thought about using a metal detector, but, I mean, why not? So I’ve been looking at renting one and they run about $30 a day, which is way cheaper than having to go get a new ring, even if it does mean I might have to do a little cleaning. Even my blogging friends have reached out and suggested just disinfecting my ring, even if it’s kind of icky to wear a ring that’s gone through Buddy’s digestive system. But, it’s not like I haven’t had to clean a lot of shit in my life. So, I suppose, it would just give my ring more street cred — because that’s what I want from my ring — street cred.
Lilibeth: “Well, maybe you could take that ring and your mother’s ring and your grandmother’s ring and have a jeweler combine them all and make something special just for you.
Me: Now that’s a thought!
Lucy: “Well, it makes sense. Otherwise, you’ll end up like me with a bunch of rings that you’re not going to wear. Of course, all of my husbands were wonderful!
Me: “And you’ve just celebrated your 50th and you’re not even wearing your wedding ring. My parent’s would have celebrated their 52nd if Mom hadn’t died. And if I’d stayed married to the first husband, we’d be celebrating our 34th year in October. We got married way too young. I was only 19. Matter of fact, two weeks after I married, I came down with the shingles.
Lilibeth: “Oh, that’s terrible! Those are so painful!”
Me: “You’re telling me! I thought it was a spider bite at first, but then it just got worse and my mom took me to the doctor and I remember him asking if I’d been under any undue stress because I had shingles. My mom looked at him and said, ‘Well, she got married about two weeks ago, could that be the cause?’ And he just laughed and said, ‘Yes. I think that mystery’s solved.’ Anyway, even after my shingles healed up, throughout the rest of that year and well into the next, anytime I accidentally touched my ear lobe, I had a shooting pain, kind of like when you hit your funny bone on something — only sharper. Almost like a bolt of electricity. Eventually, it went away! Thank God! Anyway, I think that was an omen of things to come. I should have listened to my body and ran while I had the chance because nothing good came from that marriage!”
Lucy: “Well, it couldn’t have been all bad!”
Lilibeth: “You did produce two beautiful children and I bet you’d go through it all over again just for the sake of your kids!”
Me: “Well, okay. You’re right about that. Damned straight I would! But truly, my kids are the only good to have come from that marriage!”
Lilibeth: “Well, yeah, but it only goes to show you and it’s like I always say, “behind every cloud, there’s always a silver lining. Sometimes you just have to look for it.”
Me: “Yeah, yeah, I know. Always a silver lining, which is kinda like finding a gold ring covered in dog shit! I know it’s there, I just gotta find it first.”
Lilibeth: “Well, yeah, I hadn’t thought about it that way, but…sure!”
Lucy: “And now I believe we’ve come around full circle!”
UPDATE: So I thought for sure that we’d find my ring out among the ivy and dog shit. (The featured image is of my two brave men, David and Ryan, looking for the damned thing during a relatively quiet, rain-free autumn day!) David rented a metal detector and he and Ryan gave it a good go looking for it, but I guess you have to have the flat part of the machine much closer to the ground than they could get it. Unfortunately, a good portion of our backyard is covered with English Ivy and Asian Jasmine and we’re still not quite sure whether poison ivy is also lurking in there somewhere as well. So not all areas of the ground were covered and they never found it. After that adventure in futility, David and I went by Sam’s Warehouse and it took a minute, but finally someone in a green vest came to help us by the jewelry counter. Green vest said, “You know, you could just order a ring by yourself over the internet, don’t you?” I said, “Not really. Plus, I have no idea what size of ring I need. You can’t help us?” And he said with hesitation, “Well…yeah, I guess.” And I said, “You know what? Just forget it. I don’t want your help. We’ll go somewhere else.” Now I remember a day, when if you said anything remotely like what I said to this salesperson, that salesperson would be begging your forgiveness and doing whatever he could to be helpful. Not this asshole. He didn’t say another word – just walked off heading in the opposite direction of the way we walked off. Lazy, motherfucker! So as it stands, as of this date, I remain ring-less. And I’m just going on record right now, if David loses me to one of the many guys hitting on me who don’t know that I’m already taken because there’s no ring on my finger, well, all I can say is that he should have put a ring back on it while he still had the chance. His loss!
Dammit, David. Quit laughing! I’m being serious.
Hope everyone has a great week and a safe and fruitful? Halloween! Happy hunting trick or treaters! Not that I mean we should hunt trick or treaters. That would be wrong. So don’t do that. I think there should be a comma between the words “hunting” and “trick” on that sentence. Or not. Your preference! Bwahhahhaahha!
P.S. Glad to hear that my friend and the leader of our writers group is recouping nicely from her back surgery!
We are missing you Cheryl! Please make a speedy recovery! We are thinking about you and praying for you! You’re one tough broad, you know that? ~ M