It didn’t start out as panic.
I merely had this feeling of curiously not knowing where such a familiar item would be. Normally, I carry it with me all the time. I wear it so much that it almost seems like a part of my body.
But on occasion I’ll take if off, to wash my hands, say, or when I’m working on a project that includes particularly gooey substances (making hamburger patties, or re-caulking a sink or shower).
If I’m doing intense yard work (like replacing a drain pipe) or doing some other project with my hands, I’ll take it off to keep it from getting in the way, or worse, getting lost.
My Supermodel Wife has warned me for years that taking off my wedding ring is a sure way to lose it. I, being the man, totally ignore her advice.
But after yet another day of not seeing it (and not really remembering where I put it) I began, in the back of my head, to wonder if she might be right yet again.
Still, I hadn’t really looked for it. I’m sure it’s in the bathroom somewhere, or up on my dresser. I promised myself that after work I’d track it down.
Of course I wouldn’t say anything to SMW. Why worry her unnecessarily?
But the ring was still missing after searching the usual places. Now I’m starting to get worried. Did I inadvertently drop it in the back yard somewhere? Did I perhaps leave it in the car after absentmindedly playing with it while waiting in rush hour traffic?
I searched all my pants pockets, as I sometimes slip it in there while washing my hands at work. But it was nowhere to be found.
The next day I checked my car and garage before going to work. No ring.
I scoured my cube and work station, my computer bag, all of my jackets and coat pockets. No ring.
By the end of the day, the panic HAD set in. The worst thing wasn’t that my Supermodel Wife might be right (she’s always right, so I’m used to that). What really sent the anxiety meter into the red was the realization that after 13 years I might have carelessly lost this symbol of our commitment to each other.
I lay in bed that evening staring at the ceiling retracing in my mind every step I'd taken in the previous few days. I examined every place I had looked, trying to determine if there was something I had missed.
I'd checked all of my pants, the couch cushions, the washer, the dryer...
Then it hit me. The one place I hadn't looked yet.
I bolted up and quickly but quietly made my way down to the laundry room in the basement. There, between the washer and dryer was a three-bin laundry hamper where we sort clothes.
I haphazardly toss the dirty clothes out of the bins onto the floor. First one, then the next and then finally, at the bottom of the third bin glimmering in the reflected florescent light like a gleam of hope at the end of a tunnel, a shining band of gold.
My long ordeal was over. The ring was safely in place on my finger. I went back to bed and slept soundly.
tagged: lost, ring, laundry, marriage, life