I am not a big fan of drama. And a year ago July I married a wonderful lady who doesn’t care much for drama either. Consequently it surprised both of us when we went to the annual Fiesta event “Celebración de Los Dignatarios” at the Santa Barbara Zoo last night and suddenly found ourselves with a sombrero full of drama.
The reason: Moments after we arrived I noticed that my wedding ring was missing.
I was quite anguished about it and needless to say our evening festivities ended before they had even started. My father has worn the same wedding ring for 55 years yet I managed to somehow lose mine after only 12 months. Good job Johnny!
Naturally my first reaction was to wonder how the gold wedding band parted ways with my fourth proximal digit. I remembered having worked on our vegetable garden earlier that day. Perhaps it came off in the gardening glove?
Hoping to narrow the timeline of the disappearance, we started looking at photos in my iPhone. As luck would have it there was a picture of me taken earlier in the week in the hills overlooking Santa Barbara during a beautiful sunset. In the photo my ring finger is clearly visible and, to my dismay, the wedding band was missing. In addition to not knowing where I lost it, I now had no idea when I lost it.
It was then that my wife reminded me that I had been swimming last Saturday at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort with relatives who were visiting for a family reunion. The adults in our group had been roughhousing in the pool for over 2 hours trying to keep a soggy football from my younger cousins. Perhaps my wedding ring came off in the pool?
I then remembered that the gentleman at Bryant & Sons in downtown Santa Barbara who sold us the ring just a year earlier had warned me about wearing it while swimming. He had said that fingers shrink when immersed in water for an extended period of time and that rings can easily come off. Unfortunately that valuable bit of advice had gone unheeded.
We quickly left the zoo and raced off to the Doubletree – it was our only hope. As we were driving to Santa Barbara’s popular seaside resort my mind continued to wander. Could I have really gone 6 days without noticing my wedding ring was gone? Was there a chance my wedding ring could be found at the bottom of the pool nearly a week after I was there? Do I have a diving mask in our car?
A few minutes later, fully decked out in our Fiesta garb, we ran across the Doubletree lawn and soon found ourselves next to a swimming pool full of families. The scene was not a lot different than it had been during my previous, much happier visit last weekend. With everyone splashing about it was impossible to see the bottom of the pool with any clarity. All my wife and I could do was stand there and stare.
We then decided to go to the front desk to see if Fess & Company had a lost & found. Even though the odds of my wedding ring being located there were slim to none, it was our only option at this point. Upon arrival I told our sad story to the friendly lady at the front desk who quickly did a search of the lost & found database on here computer. “I’m sorry. There doesn’t appear that anyone turned in a ring to lost & found,” she said. “Let me check in the back room.” My heart sank.
A few minutes later she returned, and to my complete surprise, I heard her say “There is a gold ring in lost & found. It was turned in last Saturday night by someone who found it at the pool. A security guard is going to bring it to the front desk.” I was stunned. This news was too good to be true.
I quickly filled out their lost & found form with my name, address, a complete description of the ring along with where & when it was lost. A few minutes later a kind gentleman in a security uniform walked up to the desk carrying a large clear plastic bag. He emptied the bag onto the desk and out plopped a small glittering object.
It was my wedding ring.
I didn’t know how react to such a big surprise so I covered my face with my hands and plopped my head on the desk right in front of them and stayed that way for a few moments. I then gave the security guard a big hug and gave the lady a big hug. Our little drama was over and, miraculously, it had a happy ending.
30 minutes later The Restaurant Gal and I were back at the Santa Barbara Zoo and began to celebrate, for entirely different reasons than when we first arrived an hour earlier. A million thank-you’s to the honest person who found my ring and to the Fess Parker’s Doubletree staff for safeguarding it for me.
Viva la Fiesta!