A Newlywed's Worst Nightmare

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Monday, January 24, 2011: And yes, I'm living it. 
Real-time.
Right now.
I hope I can blog tomorrow saying that all is well, because holy schnikers, this is uncomfortable, living my life today.
Let me explain.
I know that there are worse things that can happen, but as I told Terry as we walked back across the grassy median to our car this morning,
"I feel as bad as I could possibly feel other than if someone I love is hurt."

Ok - so here's what happened and is still happening. I married the love of my life (after quite a few colorful and very story-worthy relationships, lemme tell ya - I'm working on a book now, but back to the point) on May 22, 2010. My wedding day was the most relaxed, present, quietly joyful and zenned out day of my life so far - really it was quite fantastic. If I could only maintain that presence of mind every day, I would probably have reached sainthood by now! I actually blogged that morning (you can read it here) and followed it up with the play-by-play later, which you can read as well on my old blog here.

 Before our wedding, Terry and I each wore each others' rings around our necks for a month. I believe that objects hold impressions and emotions, when those feelings are strong, so we consciously imbibed our rings with our love, joy, and excitement inherent in making plans to bond to each other and spend the rest of our lives together.

 Let me just throw in the fact that I freaking loved my wedding ring. I picked it out myself, and was ecstatic when it arrived. Being man-made diamonds, as per my personal beliefs on the matter (outlined here, if you're curious,) it wasntt the priciest thing, but it was quite beautiful and so far, no one had ever been able to tell the difference (as if that would really matter to me anyway.)

But back to the nightmare... Yesterday we spent the afternoon on the beach, shivering (sunny but chilly weather,) talking, and generally enjoying the California weather since we won't be here for much longer (but that's another post...) I meditate in a variety of ways, but for one of them, having rings on is cumbersome. I took both my rings off and set them next to me on the blanket. No big deal. Later, after sungazing and more talking and enjoying the blue sky and the view of the Palisades, built randomly on one of the coastal mountains north of where we sat, we got up, packed our things, and went home.  

Nearly an hour later, I dropped what I was doing and may have said a four letter word (or two. Or three.)

I realized that I'd left my rings on the blanket. Terry'd shaken out the blanket before he packed it into our bag. So I threw on flip flops and we drove back down to the beach. Couldn't find a parking space at first (of course,) so we parked moderately far away and hit the ground running (seriously.) We were quickly losing daylight because the sun had already set, and I knew that if we didn't find the rings tonight, the chances would be slim that we'd find them the next morning. Soon my flip flopped feet started to bother me, so off my shoes came and I was running, flat out sprinting in fact, down the grassy median that borders Santa Monica beach, getting funny looks all over the place, and unabashedly praying for help.  

Finally we reached the place where we'd been sitting, sand still smooth from our blanket, and I kid you not, I walked right to my engagement ring, sitting there, half buried by sand. I picked it up, put it on - one down, one to go. So we spent the remaining hour or so's remnants of daylight literally on our knees, combing through sand with our fingertips (since my thinner wedding band would have easily slipped under the surface of the sand, especially because it was a windy day.)

My breathing was ragged.

My thoughts were racing.

"Please, please," I muttered and moaned as more ground was covered and no ring was found.

Eventually we just couldn't see anymore. We drove home, dejected, worried, vowing to come back at first light the next morning.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011:

We did return just after dawn on Monday morning, trotting across the sand just in time to see the big green beach combing tractor make circles right where our blanket had been. I may have said four letter words.  I also may have cried a lot little. Aware that the comber may have only kicked up the ring, we made lines of tracks in the combed sand, checking out each sparkle (just finding sand) and every circular shape (lots of little seashells on that beach), taking plenty of breaks for me to do a little crying on Terry's shoulder, and finally we gave up the ghost, returning home to search for a place to rent a metal detector. You'd think there would be more of them.

We found one business that agreed to open the office for us at 12:30, but we arrived at the address, a seedy apartment building with cardboard on the windows and a "Sorry we missed you" postal note on the door. Locked. The broken doorbell didn't produce anyone, neither did all the knocking we could muster. Terry tried the number again and I could have sworn I heard ringing coming from inside, but no answer.

Okay. I believe in signs (call me crazy - many people have, but my life has been quite adventurous because of this belief of mine,) and I'll tell you truly - I didn't feel good about this. So we gave up. I cried a little, railed at Santa Monica beach for taking my ring for me, and griped that afternoon as we sat on the sand with a friend that my ring was likely within an arm's reach, lost for perhaps a hundred years under the sand (or a couple weeks, til someone comes along with a freaking metal detector and picks it up. I've had some comfort because I found my engagement ring, but still. Still.

So that's that. It's gone. And I'm sad. And since my personal style has changed drastically in the past few months, I figured that perhaps I could get a more eclectic matching new wedding ring. Lots of things are changing right now anyway. New ring, new life, Terry keeps telling me. Okay. I'll do that. With a minimum of sighing and a maximum of reminding myself that our bond has not really anything to do at all with a hunk of metal and stones, and that any major mourning over just wearing an engagement ring is really just my ego. So we'll get me a small, simple ring at the moment. We're currently looking at puzzle rings.

  I'll let you know how it goes. And yes, eventually we'll replace the ring with a duplicate, but it won't be the same. I wanted to pass that ring on to my descendants. And now it'll be washed out to sea and picked up on a seashore thousands of miles away, provided that treasure hungers with beeping devices don't get it first. Argh. So that's my story. Not the best start to the week. That said, when these things happen they usually carry significant lessons, and often blessings, along with them. So I'll hold out for that. Who knows what will happen?

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