On Tuesday 31 March around mid-morning, I got an email from Alan. He was having a semi-panic attack as he had lost his wedding ring. It had been loose for months, as he has lost around one hundred pounds since I first gave it to him. I had been nagging about having it resized for some time, but he kept putting it off, saying that his weight was still fluctuating (mostly downward). However, that morning, he suddenly realized something felt awry and noticed that his wedding ring was gone. He hadn't noticed it falling off or heard it hit the floor, though some of our house is carpeted or has rugs, so there might have been places that it wouldn't have been as loud as if the ring had hit tile or wood.
Alan searched the entire house on his hands and knees with a flashlight, as did I once I got home. I suggested random places - gods know I've put some of my own stuff in very odd places for no good reason, similar to The Boss who says that whenever they can't find the remote, it's always in the fridge - always
. The ring could not be found. Alan was coming closer and closer to accepting a terrible, near unthinkable realization that, based upon the activity in which he'd been engaged immediately prior, he had flushed it down the toilet.
We texted Matt to see if he could come help us unhook the toilet and search its depths plus the pipes immediately behind. He was willing, but replied that, honestly, the odds were very much against it still being in the toilet/pipe. But all was not lost because we have a septic tank, so it wasn't like the ring had washed miles away to the county water treatment plant. Alan called a plumber or two and a septic tank service company. The plumbers told him that they'd pull the toilet if he wanted but, similarly to Matt's advice, the odds were very bad. The septic tank company was willing to pump most of the tank and...uh...sieve the contents but (a) was quite expensive; (b) stressed that the odds of finding the ring were slim; (c) worst of all, would only pump the tank to the last foot or so of muck and then we were on our own to...uh...initiate search-and-rescue measures. For which we'd need basically HASMAT gear, not to mention the utter, odious repugnance of same - and they told him that even then we probably would not find it. It was hopeless.
Alan was morose and sad and mopey (which I completely understood) and lamented the loss of the actual ring even as we investigated obtaining a replacement. He asked a few times if I was mad, to which I replied honestly that I wasn't, but that I wished he'd had it resized once it got noticeably loose, particularly during a stretch when my car was in the shop and he drove me to work. The office right next door to mine is a custom jewelry design and repair guy
who is an incredibly talented artist, a true craftsman, one hell of a nice guy and more pertinently, 10 feet away from Alan for several days when we already knew the ring was too big. Such an avoidable tragedy. And it was
a tragedy mostly because of Alan's sentiment, but also because while the custom jeweler
from whom I'd purchased the original ring was fortunately still in business (yay!), it was an expense we could ill afford while still recovering from tree removal costs.
We couldn't locate the paperwork from my original order although I'm pretty sure I know where it is - during wedding planning we had this massive three-ring binder with sections and index tabs where we kept everything, called The Book Of Doom;
it's probably in there, but The Book Of Doom
is packed, along with a lot of other possessions, in a storage unit which we filled when we were setting up our house to show and sell. Ha-HA! The folly! But anyway, I think it's there but I have no idea in what box, so we were flying blind. For some time, Alan and Joe, the owner of Celtic Revival, have been emailing and calling back and forth trying to work out widths, what finish, new size required, trying to re-create the various options to get a replacement as close as possible to the original.
In the meantime, Alan had his very first routine colonoscopy scheduled, so starting last Thursday he was on an escalating series of dietary restrictions: first low fiber, then jello/broth/pasta, finally liquid only (laxatives throughout) and on Monday the procedure took place. All went well and Alan is fine. Once I'd got him home and he'd napped a bit, he was ravenous for real food so ignored his usual healthy diet for the day. He had Chick-fil-A for breakfast and lunch, and ate half a pizza for dinner. Who could blame him? He's been gradually returning to his normal diet while still occasionally indulging after his torture. Mid-morning today, he was preparing his healthy snack of pretzel chips and black-bean hummus. He saw something in the bag, which was this key-ring that he'd been wearing on his ring finger because his hand felt so nakedly wrong without his wedding ring, and that had fallen off because it also was too large, so he reached into the pretzel chip bag to retrieve it.
At which point he realized that the key-ring was still on his hand and what his fingers had just closed upon was his wedding band.
Alan's original Celtic knotwork custom wedding band.
On my thumb, not Alan's hand.
He's not wearing Easter-purple nail polish.