Many years ago I ran into an old friend. We were both at a concert being held at the lake near my home. As we sat and chatted, catching up, I couldn’t help but notice a cute oversized turquoise ring she wore. I told her I loved it. What she did next will be a memory I’ll hold onto as long as my brain will allow. She took it off her finger and told me to try it on. Does it fit? She asked.
Now, I didn’t know what prompted her to do that, but who I am to question the alcohol consumption of others? I pushed it onto my middle finger, silently daring it not to fit with the mother of all stink-eyes, lucky for the ring, it did and perfectly. I held up my hand and she simply proclaimed, “It’s yours.”
Reality hit me and I began to protest, but she stopped me with a story. She told me that several years before, her friend had been wearing that very ring and she had also complimented her. Right then, her friend handed it over and insisted that she take it. In fact, that is the way her friend had acquired the ring as well. The only condition was, when it was time, I too must pass it on.
How great is that?
I wore that ring for years. At first, I was worried someone would complement me and I would have to hand it over. Grotesquely selfish, I know, but, I didn’t want to. It was dangerously close to becoming my precious. The first time someone said they liked it I proudly said, and I quote, “thanks buddy,” as I walked briskly away, with visions of them following me screaming for me to give it up. This scenario repeated itself a few times before I realized, I didn’t have to give away, until… until I was ready, until it was time.
After a while I started wearing the ring less and less. One day I saw it sitting on my bedside table and I just knew. I knew it was time to pass it on. I started purposefully wearing it places I thought someone would notice it, public places, because I thought I wanted to give it to a complete stranger. But guess what? Not one person said a thing. I wore it two or three times a month for several months and still, not a peep.
Last weekend, my husband’s sister and her husband came for a visit and we planned to hit the theme parks. Do you believe that I wore that ring to Knott’s Berry Farm, again, with no success? The next morning we were heading off to Disneyland, but before we went we stopped for breakfast at one of our favorite places, Starling Diner in Long Beach (thanks Brent and Kristin for that).
I was twisting it around my finger, as I tend to do, when my mom, sitting right across from me, simply said: I really like that ring.
And the rest is history.