A fan/friend told me that she relishes the tales I write from life…
The two females of this tale have that heritage luck, as if four-leaf clovers were tattooed on their innards. ‘Cept the Irish lassies married Italianates to become Paula Utaro and PJ Colando, respectively.
Tis the saga of newlyweds feted in our home. Their entire families resided in the Boston area and wouldn’t spring for airfare. My husband, Larry, was Ray’s workmate and a stand-up guy and, since the young couple’s chapel wedding would occur on our 7th wedding anniversary, we volunteered to stand-in. The luckiness of coincidence, the brilliance of fate, the quiet and prevailing spirit of God collided with kharma in triune.
June 4th was a Friday, the better to party up the block. I hurried home from my public school job, leaving as soon as faculty was allowed, a half-hour past the final bell. I scurried to the market on my drive home, rifling the produce for the best lettuces, freshest beets, potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. My husband would arrive just in time from his traveling sales job to change clothes, wash hands, grill the steaks and select wines.
My mission impossible, in a couple of hours, was to unearth the Lenox Eternal china, crystal goblets, table linens, and silverware to align on our dining room table, a dinner for ten. Rifle the candles to assure that we had two unburnt ivory tapers to place in the silver candlesticks unused in years. A gift from our wedding years ago, eager to glow.
Check the bathrooms for fresh towels and full toilet rolls. Plump the pillows on the couch. Check for cobwebs in all corners, high and low.
Idaho potatoes to be pricked, oiled, and placed in the oven and – as I was washing my hands for the chore, I turned my ring around. Holy Setting, Batman, the diamond was not sparkly aperk. It was gone, prongs and all!
Never in my life had I left the school building early, a whirling dervish of lists, and performed so many tasks in two hours. I was known to linger an hour to achieve closure from the busyness of the day. Work-aholic I was called; intensely scheduled by others’ demands, I’d say. Not a perfectionist – a pleaser.
Never had I lost something of such high value. On our anniversary! With guests due at our house! I felt as if the stock market had crashed.
I re-rifled the dining room cupboards and drawers, reviewed every uncobwebbed corner, checked the toilet paper rolls. I ran my hands over the carpet in the closet, where I’d hastily changed my clothes. No ring.
I raced back to the market, conversing wildly with the produce manager, who obliged me by sweeping the floor throughout the small place. No ring!
Finally, I called Cam, the vigilant, diligent school secretary and friend of mine. She immediately stepped to the school announcement system to commandeer the school custodian. The idea was to assiduously sweep my work area and check the vacuum cleaner bag, never mind that, as an SLP, I’d walked throughout the school during the day.
The sole remaining teacher on sight was already running to check the trash bins…
As Cam laid the phone down on her desk to pickup the intercom, she looked down. Holy Eyesight, Batman. The ring twinkled against the bland, flat napped carpet by her desk. Her shriek rang in my ear.
Camilla Sartor, another Italianate by marriage, became my Lordess of the Ring. She put the diamond in the school safe, and I carried on with the dinner. The lost was found – now let’s party down!