Golden Advice

Go ahead. Ask Mary what day today is.

She’ll very likely answer, “Why, it’s October 1.”

Yes it is.

True story: Mary and Shop Boy were chatting as we strolled in the general direction of a Virginia Beach bakery, drawn by the smell of bread and butter.

Shop Boy: “Do you know what today’s date is?”

Mary: “October 1, right?”

Shop Boy: “Yeah. But something feels different about today.”

Mary: “What do you mean?”

Shop Boy: “Oh, I don’t know … isn’t it, like, our wedding anniversary or something?”

Mary had no idea. Shop Boy? Near hyperventilation. Wow, I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time.

She had forgotten our anniversary!

Now, guys, let me tell you something. When you’ve got one of these in the bag, you’ve got maybe a freebie down the road somewhere. Am I right?

No, I am wrong … or have you not been paying attention?

Mary: “I must just be so happy and comfortable with you that I haven’t been counting the years.”

Ooh. That’s slick.

Ask Shop Boy about Valentine’s Day 2002 sometime. On second thought, let’s not go there.

My point is that in 19 years (yup), Shop Boy has never removed his wedding ring. Oh, I used to worry that it’d fall off in the shower. But marriage changes a man.

As in … these days, Shop Boy has trouble sliding the gold band half an inch either way on his chubby finger.

Shop Boy: “I must just be so happy and comfortable with you that I haven’t been counting the calories.”

Ahem.

This makes our latest printshop edict a particular challenge. See, when you’re working with fast-moving machinery and gears that’ll grind your bones to make their bread, you want to keep the “you” parts from the “them” parts. Anything that could catch should remain at a clear distance.

So we mind our apron strings, roll up our sleeves, Shop Boy removes his wristwatch, Mary slides off her necklace, and we don’t wear earphones or anything loose while the presses are in motion.

Who’d have thought we’d get called out for our wedding bands? Turns out these symbols of everlasting love, we’ve been sternly informed, also can represent the ghosts of fingers and hands past. Even a ring sunken so far into Shop Boy’s flesh?

Only, apparently, if I want to keep that flesh attached to the rest of me.

You should see us now as we prepare to print a job. It looks like airport security. Street shoes off, shop shoes on. Watch off. Keys and cellphones out of pockets. Rings off and safely stowed for the duration of the “flight.”

Yes, it’s a pain. And sure, it’d be tempting to “forget.”

Not Shop Boy.

A vow is a vow. And true love — of printing, or of a maddening, inspiring, pretty and funny woman — is worth a little pain.

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2 Responses to “Golden Advice”

  1. Lou Says:

    Oh, now you’re making me feel bad. As I type, I’m not wearing my wedding ring, and haven’t been for three days, because I’ve printed two our of those three. Then forgot to put the ring back on. -guilt-

  2. Shop Boy Says:

    But Lou — you’ve brought your ring finger back from the printshop each of those days. Well done!

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