“Gem down!”

The women hit the floor and began to scrounge, combing the plush purple carpet with their long-nailed fingers. Someone might as well as said, “Man down!” for all the fervor they put into their task.

There a brunette, there a curly top, there a long-haired blonde. Hither, thither, and yon they scampered on all fours. Blue-jeaned women bobbing and weaving in a coordinated search for an ultra-fine diamond that had launched itself inadvertently from the glass-topped jewelry display case.

Just then I spied the redhead as she scrambled from behind the main counter on all fours. She whizzed by me in hot pursuit of the downed gem. I could tell that this had happened before; it was a well-coordinated team effort to latch onto that shiny, shiny stone.

Moments ago she’d been showing me my replacement tanzanite, a purplish-blue gem, unleashed from its well-creased, white paper wrap. Loose, the stone, outsized my diamond ring by several carats.

And, it was twice the price.

I’d just completed a series of deep breaths—four, I think—so I took this as opportunity to breathe some more. The gem was over my intended budget and yet, yet…

My loving husband of 40+ years had mistakenly told me to not “buy anything frivolous.” He’d just paid all our household bills (did I really need all those books from Amazon?), our annual property tax payment was due soon, and the checking account math was bad.

Frivolous!?! A replacement tanzanite was overdue. The one in my current ring was 25 years old, smallish, and cracked down the middle. This wasn’t a frivolous purchase, my friends. This was a necessity!

Within seconds one of the searchers held the diamond aloft: “Gem found!” The pale woman at the counter, whose desired diamond had launched, let out the breath she’d held during the entire episode.

The store clerk who’d previously shown me the gigantic tanzanite stone resumed her station across from me at the counter. She smiled a thousand-watt smile, tilted her head to one side, and said, “So—”

         “I’ll take it,” I said and handed over the Master Card. Priceless, as their commercials state.


Behold, my friends. My 44-year ring. Yes, my husband loves me. Priceless, indeed!