The Saga of the Ring
From the vault: Why sand, surf and Swedish husbands don’t mix… a cautionary tale for Valentines.
“… the Ring is trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found.”
It was the way he answered the phone. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.“Tell me, what’s happened?”
“I lost my wedding ring”, he confessed. “What!!!! How?” I asked, tears already building.“Surfing”. “Surfing?!”
Silence, before the storm. “What! You lost your Very Special Handmade Danish Designed wedding ring surfing?!”
Surfing. Bloody surfing.
At age 37 and without any prior experience, my Swedish Husband had decided that now would be a good time to take up surfing. At first I had been very encouraging, ‘give it a crack’ I’d said, my sister had bought him a board. But as the weeks passed and the bruising increased, I couldn’t help but wait for the day when he would put the ol’ board away and take up ping-pong.
You see, a few weeks prior to this I had also heard that tone in his voice. That was the time when he was in an ambulance, in a neck brace, on his way to emergency for a spinal scan. Surfing, you evil temptress. It’s all fun and whitewash until someone ends up in a wheelchair. Well, at least it was just a piece of metal and not his ability to walk, I thought to myself.
By the time I got home, he was in the fetal position. “I’m so sorry”, he said, one thousand times. “I’ve never taken it off since the day we were married, it’s kind of this thing I have.” Well maybe you should have thought through that policy of yours a little more clearly, especially before entering the Pacific Ocean. Slowly sitting up, he then launched through the long and sorry account of it; the strong rips, the sunscreen on his hands, the icy water, feeling the ring slip off his fingers, trying to catch it in the waves. The big waves. The pounding waves. The board was o.k though, he assured me. Thank God. “I looked for a landmark when it happened so I know where it is, it’s just under quite a few metres of water.” O.K. “I talked to the lifeguards” – they were on a first name basis with him by now – “and they gave me the name of a guy who has a metal detector and hunts for jewelry”. “What, does he come with a snorkel as well?” I asked. Well apparently he did.
A day passed but the fetal position didn’t, his eyes were wells of sadness. “O.K,” I said, “call the jewelry treasure hunter guy and see what he says”. I just couldn’t take seeing him like this much longer.
Phone calls ensured back and forth but within a few hours, things were looking more positive. “He seems to know what he is doing, he knows the beach well and has found stuff underwater before. He said that the ocean floor out here is very hard and unless there is a big storm, we should be able to find it.”
The day of the big hunt arrived. And so did the storm. We woke to find rain pounding down in a horizontal direction. More phone calls were made but the Treasure Hunter and his friend and helpful aid Scubaman, were on their way and still in positive spirits.
The Swedish Husband, the Treasure Hunter and Scubaman stood on the beach and all tried to look calm as they went face to face with Mother Nature. Come on boys, eye of the tiger.
Scubman started doing some test dives whilst the Treasure Hunter started his work in shallower waters. With headphones on, the rather rotund man headed in; splash, splash, splash. Immediately he started finding things and could identify them correctly, just from the blip, blip, blip. A submarine pin, an old can of Coke, a children’s toy. Immediately, he also started to drown. The currents pulled him under and TSH had to drag all 150 kilos of him back to shore. Huffing and puffing, headphones dangling, he suggested a rope be used. Using my husband as some type pulley system, he thought the next attempt might go better if he was fastened to him. TSH didn’t think so. “Maybe, we should call it off”, he suggested. “Nonsense!” scoffed the Hunter, “we have the lifeguards, that is what they are there for”. TSH didn’t think so.
Tally ho boys! They entered the water again. “I don’t think you should go in much further,” cautioned TSH, the wind whipping his cheeks. Again, the Hunter was sucked under and was being pulled very quickly towards New Zealand. TSH made it back to shore and looked back to find a sea of whitewash, headphones, arms and legs and a wayward metal detector. The rescue dingy was pulled out and the lifeguards rushed in. He was right, the trusty lifeguards were there, and they lived up to their name.
Recovering back on the beach,
TSH wondered if the Hunter was not having a heart attack. As he lay there, red in the face, occasionally spitting up salt water, he suddenly asked “Where’s Scubaman?”. Oh yes, the other 1/2 of the incredible rescue team, where had he been all this time? Searching the beach they saw a figure, face down in the sand, occasionally coughing, way, way, way down on the next beach.
Considering the hunt had nearly taken 2 lives, TSH thought it might be time to call it a day. The Very Special Handmade Danish Designed wedding ring would not be recovered, it would never be found.
That night we sat on the couch, glass of red in hand and lamented our loss. Towards the end of the bottle however we were somewhat cheered up when we received a text from the Hunter, with promises of a mini sub purchase and a second coming. That’s the spirit!
I ended up buying TSH a 40 buck ring from Prouds and told him I would replace it with the real thing when he had proven himself to be more responsible. I just hoped that it didn’t turn his finger black. Or maybe I did.
[Photos courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu ]