I don't have the biggest rock on the block. Not hardly. My ring cost Daniel $250 back in 2001, and we picked it out together in our caulking-caked work clothes. I could simply not put a price on its worth to me now. I don't ever want a second ring. If Daniel did buy me one, I would wear it on my right hand. My left hand has eyes only for her first love, this platinum and diamond little ditty:
"I never take it off," I insisted, "unless I am baking biscuits. Yes, I know I made biscuits this morning, but it isn't ANYWHERE in the kitchen, I've looked three times, and my pj's don't have pockets!!!" I was hysterical, crying and carrying on like a girl half my age. Daniel was trying to stay calm, but I could see the worry on his face too (though I'm fairly certain his was not a sentimental worry, but rather one that involved dollar signs, more than two hundred and fifty of them this go-round no doubt). When it looked like all hope was lost, in the middle of Daniel's consoling words, "At least we're still married," I spotted my robe laying over the chair. My robe! It had been cold when I first woke up and I had started the morning in my robe! My robe has pockets!
Sure enough. You can guess the rest of the story.
Speaking of stories, now is a good time to tell the story of my little ring, in it's entirety (for posterity sake alone, you understand). Let me see, I better take you back to the beginning, or almost the beginning.
It was the summer of 2001. Memphis, TN was as hot a place that July as any I had ever known. Daniel and I were college students, nailing shingles into tar paper for peanuts so we could have an excuse to do two things: show the love of CHR!ST to the folks in the inner city, and kiss each other on the practice field of the University of Memphis campus well after curfew (sorry, Coach, for the gray hairs we gave you that summer). We dated for 6 short weeks before my decisive boyfriend popped the question, and later that week I had to inform him that though I was the outdoorsy, low-maintenance, give-my-money-to-the-poor type of girl, I did, in fact, expect a ring.
So, with his most recent paycheck cashed and in hand, Daniel took me shopping for rings. We had spent the day in Little Rock,AR, where we met up with Shari and Sue-Sue, Daniel's mom and grandma, to announce the news that we were engaged and planning to live our lives out of the country (they had mixed emotions about our news, but I will stick to the story at hand). On our way back into Memphis we swung into the mall. Daniel had exactly $250.
The first jeweler laughed a little when we told her our budget, but then she saw that we weren't laughing and she lowered her voice and leaned in close so her boss wouldn't hear her say, "Go see my friend, Chris, on the second floor of the Oak Hall Building. He will help you out." We nodded our heads gratefully to Stephanie (that was her name) and we left, hoping we weren't getting into something shady. Nonetheless, we found ourselves at the Oak Hall Building the very next day, asking for a man named Chris. It was Half-Day-Wednesday at our job, so we showed up right from work, covered in caulking and quite out of place in his high-end shop. Even still, he was expecting us. With sincerity he expressed his desire to help people like us (meaning poor young kids livin' on love and a prayer, I guess) and he showed me four or five rings that he could sell to Daniel for $250. I picked the one you see in the picture, and the rest is history.
Coach (our boss that summer, the guy who's hairs turned gray on our account) later exclaimed something to the effect of, "It's the GOSPEL!! The only reason you got special treatment was because someone had spoken on your behalf! You were dirty and stupid and didn't deserve anything, but you got just what you wanted and more than you needed because someone had spoken on your behalf! Just like CHR!ST has done for us!" (you gotta know Coach).
So there you have it. This ain't just a ring, it's the GOSPEL, and it's back on my finger where it belongs. And yes, Baby, I haven't forgotten your consoling words. Ring or no ring, we'll always be married, and don't I know by now that a marriage like ours is just what we want, more than we need, and far beyond what we deserve. G0D is so good.