Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wearing our rings

We finally got the rings. We didn’t realize when we chose them that they had to be made. In a US jewelry store they simply go into the back and find the right size and you pay your money and you leave with your rings in a little bag. Not here, at least not all the time. On the other hand, our rings are hand made. Not exactly one of a kind, but definitely not something that we will see hundreds of other couples wearing wherever we go. And they were made for us.

I have a clear picture in my mind of the person who made our rings and the place it happened. This is Italy, where time hasn’t necessarily stood still but it has slowed down quite a bit. I imagine a dark basement workshop with small leaded windows covered with intricate and sturdy iron bars. In some ways it resembles a mad scientist’s lab, with the flames from the wood furnace reflecting off the surfaces of mysterious tools and precious stones. It is a slightly chaotic atmosphere that inspires the genius that works there.

The jeweler is naturally short and slightly bald with a magnificent handlebar mustache, wearing a vest with a watch chain spanning his stomach. He wears glasses that magnify his eyes. He is an intensely focused person. He is an artiste.

The reality is probably far different. I’m sure our rings were made in a highly efficient, brightly lit lab-like atmosphere. They probably work the metal in one of those boxes that looks like a baby incubator with the rubber gloves attached and all the gold shavings are gathered up so there is no waste. My jeweler probably wears Levis and converse tennies under his hazmat suit.

But I can’t be certain, so I think I’ll stick with the more romantic and improbable vision I have in my mind. Everything about our romance has been magical, I think the rings and the person who made them must be magical too.

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