My wife’s wedding ring likes playing games us.
Now, many of you might read that and say that inanimate objects such as jewelry don’t play games, and that I’ve read “The Lord of the Rings” one too many times and have hobbits on the brain.
While the latter is probably true, I will attest that former certainly is not. Just last month, the ring hid for two weeks in the kitchen junk drawer, camouflaged with the old spare key rings and a dog chain. It had a lot of fun with us that time. We dissected the vacuum cleaner bag — much like our kids dissect owl pellets in science class — and took apart a couple bags of trash before it decided it wanted to be found. In the past, we’ve cleaned out drain traps, emptied cabinets and even moved furniture (maybe it’s just trying to tell us we need a good cleaning?).
My wife doesn’t always wear her ring. She’ll leave it at home when she goes swimming, and she’ll take it off at home whenever she’s working in the kitchen, or doing something like applying hand cream. Usually, it will stay in one place until she’s ready to put it back on, but on occasion, it’ll decide to be mischievous.
Drawers seem to be its favorite hiding place. Sometimes, it will slip off the bathroom vanity counter into a drawer and hide under a tube of toothpaste or my wife’s makeup bag, waiting to be found. It also likes my wife’s dresser drawers, where it hides under rarely worn articles of clothing — sweaters in the summer, shorts in the winter.
One of my favorite hiding places was the inside of the hat band of one of my wife’s ball caps. She’s got a few of them, and she must’ve set the hat down upside down, and put the ring in the middle — to keep it from getting lost. Somehow, the ring worked its way under the band, and it was quite a while before she grabbed that hat again.
I suppose the ring comes by its personality honestly. It’s actually a set of two rings, an engagement ring and a wedding band, that I got from my grandmother. They attached together with a delicate clasp, but we eventually had them soldered together — we didn’t want to lose one. The set is almost 100 years old. The engagement ring had a stone missing when it was passed to me (wonder where that one’s hiding?), and when my grandmother sent the set, she also sent another ring, not as nice, just in case we needed something “right away.” (We didn’t, but I will say that other ring is always much easier to find.)
Anyway, the ring was initially presented to its first would-be bride not on bended knee, but hidden in the bottom of a potato sack. Her family had to use the whole bag before she found the ring, and I’m sure that’s where it learned to play hide-and-seek.
I only know a little bit of the ring’s history between then and the time my grandmother sent it to me, and I don’t know if it played any tricks on anyone else. The groom-to-be who hid it in the potato sack became a professor at the University of Colorado, and he and his wife became surrogate parents to my grandparents when they were in school. They remained very close friends, and when the orginal bride died, she passed the ring on to my grandmother.
While I knew a little bit about the ring’s background, we found out about its personality the hard way. Shortly after we were married, my wife was at the local pool for a lifeguard recertification class. With the pool doors locked, she and several other ladies in the class left their jewelry on a bench beside the pool. However, another employee at the facility came and went during the class, and didn’t lock the doors on the way out. The ring took that opportunity to walk off, along with all the other jewelry on the bench.
The police had to become involved in that round of hide-and-seek, but the ring fortunately made its way back to us. The local paper quoted my wife as saying that she’d never take it off again.
But this last round of hide-and-seek, I’m afraid, was one too many. My wife said she doesn’t want to wear it any more, and would like to go shopping for a plain wedding band that she wouldn’t have to take off so much. She asked me to put the ring someplace safe.
I promise, I’ll take good care of it.
It is precious to me.
Will Morrow is editor at the Clarion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.