Putting My Finger On It
too early to try and
figure out exactly what it is -- I've only been awake for eleven
minutes, and ten and a half of those minutes have been spent here in
the shower, lathering/rinsing/repeating/lathering/rinsing/repeating --
but something is definitely *off.*
I just can't put my finger on what
I squirt another
dollop of shampoo into my hand -- I've lost track of how many
'latherings' I'm up to, frankly: I probably won't have to wash my hair
again until Labor Day -- and that's when it hits me. The thing that's 'different' this morning is my naked left ring finger.
wedding and engagement
rings are gone.
awake. How can my RINGS be
missing?? I never take them off, ever! That's been my policy since the
day that David and I got married: as proof of my undying love and
devotion and anal-retention, I, SecraTerri, will NEVER
Except when I'm making
that's only because I
don't want to end up with salmonella or botulism or whatever the heck it is you can get from raw meat. Grandma
always used to take her wedding band off before she made meatloaf: in
fact, I think that's the only time I ever saw with her without it. She
would set her gold wedding band on the kitchen windowsill, as she
smooshed the meat and the eggs and the Campbells Tomato Soup together,
and then as soon as she was finished packing everything into the loaf
pan to congeal, she would wipe her hands on her apron and slip the ring
right back onto her finger. ("Don't tell your grandpa," she'd say to me
with a wink. And then she'd give me the meatloaf spoon to lick.)
that's what happened.
Maybe I took my rings off while I was making meatloaf, and I simply
forgot to put them back on afterwards.
that we haven't had
meatloaf in six months.
hurriedly rinse the shampoo
out of my hair, turn off the water and kneel down in the tub, poking my
finger into the shower drain and swirling it around ... just in case
the rings slipped off my finger while I was
lathering/rinsing/repeating. But there's nothing in the drain. (Nothing
except for half a spider, a misshapen sliver of Zest Deodorant Soap and
a big clump of really really clean hair, anyway.)
is so weird. I swear, I
never ever take my rings off, except when I'm
Or when I'm applying
"sunless tanning lotion."
hate sunless tanning lotion.
I really do. In spite of the 21st Century marketing/packaging/price
tag, it's still just QT in a groovier bottle. ("What do you
you go to bed with QT?" "Orange sheets!") But I use it anyway,
although only on the three inches' worth of
tan-resistant/lily-white leg visible between the hem of my Spandex
Capri pants and the tops of my cycling socks. Otherwise my legs look
like bowling pins. I've learned, through painfully
embarrassing experience (see: Wedding Day 2001) that if I don't take
off my rings before I apply the sunless tanning lotion, I wind up with
a messy, tell-tale orange stripe on my ring finger.
Maybe that's what
happened. Maybe I took my rings off while I was applying sunless
tanning stuff, before a bike ride, and then I walked off and forgot
that I ran out of
sunless tanning lotion last August.
yank my bathrobe on, tiptoe
into the bedroom where David is still snoozing, and check the oversized
coffee cup that sits next to the bedroom TV. The coffee cup is where I
toss keys, spare change, flotsam from the bottom of my purse, odds & ends of jewelry. Maybe I threw my rings into the cup
last night, while I was changing out of my uncomfortable work clothes.
I frantically poke through the mess, hoping to uncover the missing
rings ... but the only "treasure" in the cup this morning is one pearl
earring, a UPS InfoNotice and the key to my wind-up chicken.
Now I'm starting to panic,
ever-so-slightly. What the hell did I do with my rings?? I NEVER
take them off, except when I'm making meatloaf, or when I'm using
sunless tanning lotion.
Or when I'm washing the
I take them off
before I wash the dishes ... mainly because both rings are getting too
big. (Do people actually lose weight in their hands? Or does platinum
stretch with wear?) I'm terrified that one of these days, when I'm not
paying attention, one or both rings are going to slip right off of my
Palmolive-slick hands and disappear down the garbage disposal and get
mulched with the next load of coffee grounds. That would be a bad
thing. Plus I don't want to wind up with another detergent rash. For
the first few years of my first marriage -- the "Diaper Years," as I
refer to them -- I never removed my $60 Jafco wedding band. Over time I
developed a bloody, itchy rash on my ring finger that never completely
healed: you can still see the outline of it, like a rose-colored
shadow, twentysome years later. Just to be on the safe side I've gotten
into the habit of taking off my rings before I put my hands in contact
with cleaning products.
Maybe that's what happened! Maybe I was getting
ready to wash the dishes, and I took my rings off and stuck them away
that *I* don't actually
do the dishwashing in our household: David does.
now officiallly freaking
out. I NEVER take my rings off, except when I'm
making meatloaf, or when I'm using sunless tanning lotion, or when I'm washing
Or when I'm coloring my
Or when I'm putting on a new pair of pantyhose.
Or when I'm
changing a fax toner cartridge.
Or when I'm scooping the guts out of
Or when I'm sorting the recycling.
Or when I'm ...
hell. I'm ALWAYS
taking my rings off, aren't I?
sit on the edge of the bed,
head in hands, attempting a quick mental regroup. I've looked in all
the most obvious places. I don't have time to look in the UN-obvious
places: I've already lost fifteen minutes of precious Getting Ready For
Work Time this morning, and there is no more time to fritter away.
Today is Day Three of "All Drive Cylinder Density Reports/All The Time"
Week at The Dirt Company, and I need to at least take a running stab at
getting into the office on time. I lift my head from my hands, resigned to going to work with a naked ring finger ...
... and there on the
floor at my feet are my engagement and
Right where I dropped them over the edge of the bed the
night before, apparently.
you: I have no conscious
memory of doing this. (A premature *Senior Moment* brought to you, no
doubt, by those two tablespoons of Benadryl I took at bedtime to help
me sleep.) Breathing a noisy sigh of relief, I slip the rings onto my
finger and head to the kitchen to pour a cup of caffeine. Time to get
my day rolling in earnest.
all I have to do is find