It's raining, which is nice because it means that I feel no guilt whatsoever about watching Scandal at 11:30 on a Saturday morning.
Last night I went out for the evening. When I left the house, I was wearing two little hexagonal rings that I like to wear together on my middle finger. On the drive, I took them off and set them on my skirt so that I could put some lotion on my hands.
It wasn't until I got home at midnight and was putting my watch and earrings away that I realized that the rings were gone.
This has happened to me before. Two weeks ago, I was talking to an old man who was washing his car on the street (I wanted to know if I could just use dish soap to wash my car or I needed special soap; he told me where to find the good stuff for 1/3 the usual price), and fiddling with my rings. (I'm a fiddler.)
One of them popped away and disappeared, and this old man and his French wife ended up searching the driveway and the street and the grass with me for 20 minutes until we found it.
"You should get them resized," the French woman told me. "I can't take my wedding ring off. It's been on my finger for 33 years, and my knuckle grew as I got older, but I wouldn't want to take it off."
These are $10 brass rings we are talking about. Also, it didn't just fall off my finger. I took it off and messed with it. And I can't imagine how claustrophobic I would feel if I couldn't take these two rings off.
So last night, when I discovered that they were gone, I took my headlamp and went out to the car. I looked on the floor and in the pocket on the door. Nothing.
I made a snap decision, jumped into the car, and drove back to where I had parked five hours earlier. The only thing I had with me were my keys/wallet (attached to one another) and my headlamp. I was worried, you see, that if I waited until morning, someone would have found one or both of them.
The spot where I had parked my car earlier was empty, so I parked on the other side of the intersection and went back, headlamp in hand.
I found the first one almost immediately. It was just there, in the road, lying next to a hair tie.
It seemed like going at night might have been a mistake, though. It was hard to see anything.
A woman came up, in the road. "What are you looking for?" she asked.
"Oh, another ring like this," I showed her. "They aren't valuable, but I like them a lot."
"You got any change?" she asked.
"No, I don't think I do," I said.
"I have a flashlight. I'll help you look. Don't worry, girl, we'll find it," she said, and she did. A minute or two later, she found the second one, and we fist-bumped. I gave her the $5 in my wallet.
"You need to put those rings on a chain, like mine," she said, showing me her necklace.
"They didn't fall off," I told her. "I took them off to put some lotion on my hands and forgot about them."
"We found them, girl! God told me to help people who need help," she said. "Do you want to smoke a cigarette with me?"
I said no thanks, although thinking back, even though I don't smoke, it seems like a moment where smoking a cigarette on a warm summer night in the middle of a dark street might have been just the thing.