Today on our way down to the beach we passed Ben, the jeweler who made Chris' wedding ring. I don't know how anyone else picks out their wedding rings, but I thought a Wellfleet surfer was a mighty fine choice.
Ben was packing his surfboard into his truck and heading off as we arrived, and seeing him reminded me of those first few months of ring wearing. I was pretty used to it, since women get to wear a practice ring, but Chris fiddled and twiddled incessantly with his. It is now my way to spot newlyweds - men fiddling with bright shiny gold bands.
Back when we were first married, the house was arranged differently. Chris had the control room for the recording studio here in our living room. He had wires running down to the studio and both rooms were miked so they could chat back and forth when they needed to. It meant that Chris could do things while the bands were recording, or tuning, or girl-fighting. On this occasion, he was making an apple pie.
He was working on the crust and the flour made his hands slippery. The ring came off and bounced across the floor. I looked up and said something like "phew, it didn't fall into one of the man-eating cracks in the floor." He put his ring on and continued, until two seconds later it fell off again and, per instructions, fell through one of the cracks in the floor. He went ashen. He looked at the floor and headed to the stairwell. All I heard was thump thump thump thumpity thump as he ran down the stairs. And then through the speakers I heard another door open and more thumping, followed by the sound of tools being dumped out of a tool box and Chris saying "I am in SO MUCH TROUBLE."
More thumping, more doors, and he appeared in the kitchen with a crowbar. He set to work on the floor with admirable yet alarming gusto. "I never really liked that ring," I told him. "Look, this is me on the phone to Ben, getting you a new one," I said. "Please stop breaking our house," I begged.
I think about this as Ben pulls out of the parking lot, waving. I am pretty sure I've told him the story, but am likely to repeat myself anyway because he is a talented jeweler (and a surfer, for heaven's sakes), and I am always left stammering when I try to make conversation with him.
That's Ben in front. Photo's by Jonathan Wiggs for the Boston Globe and was taken at the Old Timers surfing competition. I registered for the Old Timers once but chickened out at the last minute, since, well, I can't surf.
Don't tell Ben. We'll have nothing left to talk about.