That sounds like a simple statement, doesn’t it? Put things where they belong. Take care of your stuff. Make sure you put one thing away before moving on to something else.
Easy lessons to repeat; hard lessons to learn.
I learned them this week, Dear Reader.
Let me start by saying that I have very sensitive skin, and I do not wear my wedding and engagement rings every day. They’re stunning, and I love them, but if I wore them all the time, I’d have a constant red, itchy rash on my ring finger. If I leave them off a couple of days per week, I can avoid the rash and avoid having to shell out seven gazillion bucks having the rings remade in platinum. It works for me.
When I take my rings off at night, I always put them in the same place – on the neck of a bottle in the bathroom.
What’s that, Dear Reader? Why don’t I put my rings in my jewelry box?
Well! That’s a great question with a long and lousy answer. There’s a huge box o’ crap sitting on top of my jewelry chest, and I can’t open it. The short answer – I need to clean my room.
Anyway, back to the story. I always put my rings on the neck of a certain bottle in my bathroom. That’s usually the last thing I do before I go to bed.
Except one night, I didn’t.
One night, I took my rings off somewhere else. The next morning or the morning after, I didn’t see them on the bottle, and I didn’t put them on. The morning after that, no rings. The morning after that? I’d fallen out of the habit, and I didn’t even think about them.
I don’t know how long I went ringless. It could have been a couple of weeks, or it could have been even longer.
Last Thursday, I realized that I hadn’t worn my rings in a while, so I went to my special spot and looked for them. They weren’t there.
I thought I’d gone into my bedroom, late at night, and put them on my nightstand. They weren’t there. I convinced myself that they should have been on the nightstand, so I looked under it, next to it, behind it, and inside it. No rings.
I looked under the mattress and under the box spring. I picked everything up off the floor of my bedroom, shook it out, and looked underneath. No rings.
I took every item of clothing out of my laundry chute, examined them, and shook them out. No rings.
I cleaned my room. No rings.
By this time, I was having a full blown anxiety attack, and I was approaching tears. Joe helped me look. We tore things apart. We picked things up, moved furniture, and looked through trash cans.
Three hours later, I could not think of anywhere else to look. I had exhausted every place they could possibly have fallen, be knocked, and rolled. I realized that Gracie or one of the cats could have gotten ahold of them, and they could be anywhere in the house or even outside.
Distraught and defeated and crying, I sat down on my couch to share my pain with some girlfriends on Twitter. I chatted for a few minutes, and then got up to head upstairs for dinner.
And there were my rings – hanging on the tail of a cat statue on top of the cabinet that my television sits on.
I paused for a long time, just staring at them. I wondered if they were a mirage, created in my mind. They weren’t. I was really looking at the rings I’d torn the house apart searching for.
I only vaguely remember putting the rings on that cat’s tail. I don’t remember why I put them there or what I was doing.
The next time I take my rings off, I’m going to put them back where they belong.
Wait, do they belong in my jewelry chest or do they belong on the bottle in the bathroom?
© 2009, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.