When your mother and I were planning our marriage, we decided to get our wedding bands from the jewelry district. Downtown LA is an interesting place. The jewelry district is halfway between the ritz and glamour of LA Live and the tent-lined streets of Skid Row. You can go buy a taco, get a diamond ring, and then get yelled at by the homeless guy peeing on the sprinkler valve by your car.
We got a combo deal. Your mother, a nice band with diamonds set in all the way around. When she lifts her finger, it looks like a tiny window into a snow globe. For me, a thick band of tungsten. It looks like it was taken off a commercial dryer. The thing is burnished, distinct and manly.
But it’s also slightly big. I first found this out on our honeymoon, when I dove into the water off Playa del Carmen and the ring nearly slipped past my knuckle into the warm November waters of the Yucatan. Ever since then, I always take it off when my hands might get wet, like when I wash dishes or take a shower.
When this happens, your mother enjoys distracting me with fresh batches of cut kiwis and oranges. When I’m chowing down, she sneaks in behind me, steals my ring and hides it somewhere around the house. Sometimes it’s in a cup. Sometimes a mason jar. One time it was at the bottom of a fruit bowl, buried under the kiwis she had just used to distract me. It’s somewhere between an Easter egg hunt and the mad scramble for unfound car keys.
Last week, I was washing dishes and went to the bathroom. When I came out, my ring was gone. I immediately suspected your mother, who had been “napping” in the bedroom.
“Hey, where is my ring?”
“I don’t know,” she replied from underneath her cascade of blankets. “Where did you leave it?”
“You’re a terrible liar. I know you have it.”
“Where did you put it, Michelle?”
She grinned, and in her special teacher singsongy voice, said, “The fourth finger is the most important. If you lose it, it will never be found…”
I pulled her hand out of the blankets, and there, on her ring finger, was my ring. Riddle solved, ring found, I went back out to finish the dishes with your mother’s laughter echoing in the hallway.
She’s an adventure, Blue. We’re lucky to have her.