My mother has taught me two things (well, she has taught me a lot of things, but these two are the most important): How to work hard and how to treat oneself.
My mother’s treat of choice: jewelry; specifically, diamonds. Over the years she has amassed quite a collection and every once in a while, she will let me borrow something. Last weekend, when I was visiting, was such an occasion. She let me go home with a tennis bracelet.
Before I left she warned me not to lose it.
That’s a joke. I am her neat-freak, super-organized, type-A daughter. Sure I get drunk every now and again, but the only thing I ever lost of value is my virginity. Her bauble would never be safer.
Fast-forward to yesterday, and I am at the gym. I had come right from work and was still wearing the bracelet. I contemplated leaving it on, but I hate girls that wear a lot of jewelry when they workout. I was also afraid something would happen to break it. The problem was, my gym/work back is huge and small things disappear in it all the time. There is probably $47 in change floating between the lining and the leather right now.
As I stood there, torn between taking my chances in class or with my Bermuda Triangle of a bag a brilliant idea occurred to me. I took the bracelet off, stashed it in a secret, super-safe spot and then jumped on a treadmill.
The next morning, after my run and shower, I went to my dresser to retrieve my jewelry. The earrings and the necklace I wear everyday were both there, but the bracelet wasn’t. I didn’t panic because I remembered I never took it out of its hiding spot.
I then went to my gym bag, pulled my wallet out, unzipped the change department and discovered the bracelet wasn’t there.
Oh. Holy. God.
I looked again. Pulled all the change out and looked a third time. Put the change back in, went back to the dresser, and then looked in my wallet (which I was still holding) for a fourth time.
Now, on mornings following a crazy night of drinking, I typically experience 15 minutes of panic as I tear through my apartment to confirm I still have my wallet, phone, and everything I wore out the night before. Those anxiety attacks were nothing compare to the heart palpitations I was experiencing after I came up empty the fourth time.
If I lost my phone or my wallet, it would suck and going through the chore of shutting everything off and replacing it would be inconvenient, but I would manage. And I have already lived through the challenge of waking up without an item of clothing, but this? There was no living through this. My mother is still angry about a dent in her truck (that is no longer hers) that I didn’t put there but may have happened in a parking lot while I was borrowing it.
That was just a small dent. This was her tennis bracelet. I started emptying my bag and wondering if the gym was open yet. The worst case scenario running through my head was that someone saw me put it in my wallet and then took it. My best case scenario was that I missed the change pouch and it landed in my bag. Somewhere in the middle was that it landed on the floor next to my locker. Would someone have turned it in? People are good right? Or maybe it really was in my bag. I am a good person. The universe could throw me a bone on this one.
Then my sunglasses' holder tumbled onto my couch and my heart stopped in a good way (if that is possible). I didn’t put it in my change purse. I put it in my sunglasses' holder. Right?
My breath caught as I slowly opened the case. There it was. In all its glory and sparkle.
And thank goodness. Because otherwise, I would be writing this post from the lam.