Friday, July 16, 2010

Geary's Wedding Ring (Part Two)

With only five days left until the wedding, I was in near panic mode about finding a ring for Geary.   Nine years ago people still used telephone books.  Geary was with me at my apartment when I picked  up the Portland Area Business Directory and flipped through the yellow pages for the Jewelers listings.  Right after the "Jewelry-Retail" section I noticed a short section labeled "Jewelry-Wholesale."  The very first listing under that title was a small rectangular advertisement that said, "Large selection of gold and silver fine jewelry.  Open to the public."  I had nothing to lose so I dialed the number.

The man who answered had a thick accent but I couldn't tell from where.  I asked if he had any men's wedding bands and he answered, "Yes, many."  When I asked how much they cost he said, "We sell by weight so you will need to choose a ring and then I can tell you the price."  I had set aside $160, the price of the ring I thought I would be getting from the store in the mall.  I asked the man on the phone if he had rings under $150 and he laughed and said, "Oh, yes.  Come see!"  So I wrote down the address on a scrap of paper and Geary and I headed into downtown Portland.

Half an hour later we had already driven up and down the run down street several times.  We could not find the address and the man on the phone said we needed to be there before 6pm.  It was nearing 5:30 and my pulse was running high with stress.  "It's not here!  It's like the street just skips this address number," I complained.  Geary drove slower and that's when I saw it.  A tiny sign on the side of a building.  The address number and a thin arrow pointing down an alley.

"Should we go in?" Geary asked.  I could tell he was feeling cautious.  I didn't know what else to do so I gulped and said, "Let's see where it takes us."

We locked the car and headed down the alley.  Another sign pointed up a rickety staircase that led to a metal door on the side of the building.  We entered the building and found ourselves in a dingy hallway with nothing but the door leading back outside and a set of elevator doors.  We looked at one another with wide eyes and pressed the button for the elevator.

Inside the elevator there was only one button. Geary pressed it and the doors closed.  We slowly ascended but had no idea how many floors up we were going.  It wasn't a long elevator ride and when the doors opened we were in another hallway, although this one had slightly better lighting.  We also noticed two large security cameras aimed right at us.  Like the hallway below, this hallway only had one other door.  And what a door it was!

It was large and steel with enormous hinges.  There were at least 10 padlocks running down its right side.  And it had one of those sliding door peepholes, like in the Emerald City Gate in the Wizard of Oz movie.  To the right of the door was a nondescript doorbell.  Geary's eyebrows were raised.  My heart was racing.  Should we get back in the elevator and escape to our car?  For all we knew if we passed through that thick steel door we might wake up in Thailand with no kidneys!

But I was desperate.  We needed a ring!  Nervously, I leaned forward and rang the doorbell.  The sliding door of the peephole opened and was replaced by a set of large eyes.  "Yes?" said another heavily accented voice.  I stammered, "Uh, hi.  I, uh, called?  About the ring?  The men's, um, wedding? Ring?"   They eyes disappeared and the peephole door closed again.

Click, click, click, each padlock was unlocked.  Finally, the door opened.  The large eyes reappeared as a dark haired man stuck his head around the door.  "Yes, you want the white gold wedding band?  Six millimeters, yes?"  I nodded and he opened the door further.

I grasped for Geary's hand and together we stepped over the steel thresh hold.  We could not have been more surprised by where we found ourselves.  It was a beautiful showroom with amazing architecture.  Satin drapes framed each of the arched windows.  Glass showcases on marble bases were filled with black velvet forms draped with diamonds, pearls, and precious gemstones.  Gorgeous antique chairs and couches were set up in various nooks around the room.  In the background I could see a clean white workshop with shiny tools hanging on the wall and several scales on the counter height work table.

Behind the showcase directly in front of us there was another set of scales.  The dark haired man had a friendly smile full of white teeth.  "Come, come, the wedding bands are here."  He guided us straight ahead and then went behind the showcase where he pulled out a black tray full of plain, white gold, rounded 6mm bands.  I said, "Size seven, please."

The man then pulled out a caliper and measured one of the rings to prove it's width.  After that he dropped the ring on the scale behind him and then said, "This one is sixty dollars."  I am pretty sure my jaw almost fell off of my face.  But I recovered quickly and handed the man three twenty dollar bills.  He place the ring into a tiny zip-lock plastic bag and dropped it in my hand.  "Thank you very much, now we are closed."

He didn't have to say anything else.  Geary and I both thanked him repeatedly as he ushered us toward the large steel door.  We exited the beautiful showroom and entered the elevator as the multiple padlocks were still clicking.  On our way down to the first floor, I gasped.  "Oh, no!  You didn't even try it on!  What if it doesn't fit?"

Geary simply laughed and took the ring from me.  He opened the zip-lock bag and turned it upside into my hand.  I slid the ring onto the third finger of Geary's left hand.  It was a perfect fit.


  1. What an adventure! I like how the story parallels the start of a marriage, too: "Let's see where it takes us."

  2. Great story... you should be a writer... the way you tell stories is captivating!

  3. Okay, this is absolutely the cutest story of a wedding ring I've ever heard before, Jeana! Love it. :-)

  4. This story is one of my all time favorites! And not "you should be a writer" you ARE a writer! And your adventure continues. Love you.


Linharts love comments!