Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The (Almost) Horrible Event

I was standing at the podium of gate 12 at San Jose International Airport talking to a ticketing agent when it happened. My eyes quickly flitted down to my hands and I immediately noticed the terrible thing. The horrible, unthinkable, instant urge-to-throw-up thing. My left ring finger was missing something very important...

My wedding ring was gone. Just plain not there anymore. Poof.


It had been fitting loose for weeks. Like, really loose. I kept thinking, "Gee Patty, maybe you should take it off until you get it resized so you don't lose it... Nah, I'll just be careful." I failed miserably at being careful.

I lost it at the beginning of a loooong, nightmarish day of traveling to Maryland. My initial 6am flight had maintenance issues resulting in us passengers boarding and de-boarding several times. I was sure the ring was on my finger the first time I got on the plane. SURE of it. The lady sitting next to me said she was sure she noticed the ring when we first sat down. By the time I had de-boarded, walked 30 feet in a circle around the gate area and gotten to the gate agent, it was missing.

PANIC!! I started frantically searching around the gate area, retracing every step I had taken. I walked up and down the jet-way scouring every nook and cranny to see where I could have dropped it. With the help of my airplane-neighbors, I disassembled an entire row of seats looking for where it could have fallen. I had security run my bags through the x-ray machines again to see if the ring would magically present itself. I crawled through the gate area on my hands and knees looking under each chair. I'm sure I looked like a certifiable crazy lady (although that was the least of my concerns). This was the first time I was GLAD to have a flight be delayed 3 hours so that I could keep searching. And searching. And searching.

By the time our flight was ready to go, I had to admit defeat. The ring was gone. Picked up by someone who found it, swept into some hidden, unknowable corner of the universe, fallen through the teeny tiny hole between the plane and the jet-way and run over by an airplane, who knows. Just gone. Thanks to even more flight delays throughout the rest of the day, I had 13 long hours to sit and think about the fact that I had lost my (uninsured) wedding ring- days before my husband deployed. Awesome timing.

Corey's a saint, so he wasn't all that upset when he finally picked me up at the airport late that night. We mourned the loss of the ring he proposed with and spent hours days picking out on his own, the ring that saw us through the last 4 years of our relationship. We also mourned the loss of thousands of dollars (Ring insurance. I guess it's kind of important after all...). Then we brushed ourselves off, decided we'd maybe think about getting a new one next year, had a perfect weekend together and put the horrible event behind us.


A week later, my mom suddenly called out my name from the other side of the house in a very urgent, disconcerting tone. I wondered what could possibly be the matter until she burst into my room exclaiming, "Patty, what is this?!" In her wonderful, wonderful hand was... MY RING! After minutes of bouncing up and down, squealing like a school-girl and general jubilation, I calmed down enough to ask where she found it. The answer? At the bottom of her purse.

Now, how in this strange, strange world my wedding ring ended up in the bottom of my mom's purse will forever be a mystery to me. First of all, the woman sitting next to me on the airplane and I were apparently both hallucinating when we swore up and down the ring was on my finger the first time on the plane. Second, I couldn't even tell you what my mom's purse looks like. I've had no occasion to go into her purse since I've been here and can't fathom any reason I would have handled anything in there.

That leads me to 4 possible conclusions:
1. My mom stole my ring for a week. Motivation? Drama. She's not teaching this summer and got bored. Unlikely perhaps, but how well can you really know a person? I'll have to keep a very close eye on her from here on out.
2. I did drop my ring at the airport, and someone picked it up planning to steal it. Then this person had a change of heart after seeing a panic-stricken lady crawling around the terminal for hours trying to find her beloved ring. This person then either hacked into the airport computers to find my information or found my baggage tag with my info on it. In an attempt to mask his or her thievery, he or she stalked my mom until it was possible to slip the ring into her purse without her noticing. I mean really, how could this not be what happened, right? ...
3. This is all a dream. I haven't actually found my ring yet. Maybe I never lost it. Maybe I'm not married or haven't even met Corey and I'll wake up as a 12 year-old having dreamed up my whole life.
4. The ring fell off my finger while I was hugging my mom saying goodbye at the airport when she dropped me off, and it just by chance happened to fall into her open purse.

I guess we'll never know.

Anyway, all that matters is that the ring is back on my finger where it belongs. The whole time it was missing, I kept telling myself how silly it was to be so upset. It's just a thing. Things can be replaced. I don't need to wear a ring while we're separated in order to feel the strength of our marriage. I know these things logically, but I guess I've grown more attached to this particular object than I had realized. Maybe I'm overly sentimental and/or materialistic, but I love this ring. I'm so, so, SO ecstatic to have it back.

It is now resized, soon-to-be-insured, and resting firmly on my finger. And there it shall stay.


Steph T. said...

OMG, Patty! I am so glad you found your ring! You lived my worst nightmare, and survived. ;) What a huge sigh of relief. Yay!

Marianne said...

This makes me so HAPPY!!! Yes, a ring is just a "thing." But it's not a house key or a cell phone or a credit card. It's so much more important than that. I'm thrilled for you!

Barbara said...

Sounds like you need to keep an eye on your Mom :-) Best to you both,

Leela said...

YAY!!! SO glad this story has a happy ending. I remember when I knocked the ring dish off of the bathroom shelf while simultaneously flushing the toliet (skill, I tell you) and was convinced I flushed both of my rings down the toliet. I looked and looked and was shaking and sobbing until I realized they'd fallen on the floor in a very sneaky place. And that was *with* my E-ring is insured. Fun times, for sure.

Anonymous said...

What a crazy story! It is a beautiful ring, so happy you got it back!

Michelle said...

What a scary thing! I'm so glad you found your ring. Someone is looking out for you!!! :)

Capt DDS said...

i love this post!!!

so crazy how it ended up in a place you never stuck your hand - maybe this is all a dream - and i'm not even real, i'm just a figment of your imagination. if thats the case, keep on dreaming because i'm having a good time over here :)

Pete 'n Stephy said...

oops - signed into hubbys account - the above was from me!