“Oh my God,” Lance whispered. We had just gotten onto an airplane, so the last thing you want to hear is any sort of concern or panic.
“What’s wrong?” I said, fastening my seatbeat. Maybe if I acted cool and followed normal procedure, everything would be fine.
“I can’t find my ring,” admitted Lance, patting himself down, reaching into pockets, digging through his backpack.
“What?” I asked, a half-chuckle, a half-WHAT??? “What do you mean, ‘you can’t find your ring?'”
“I don’t have my ring!” he said. Dozens of people were streaming past us, hefting their enormous luggage into the tiny overhead compartments.
I was, as usual, sort of confused. “Were you wearing it? Maybe you left it at home?” I offered. Lance often doesn’t wear his ring because his knuckles are enormous and trying to get the ring on or off is like attempting to free some kid who got his head caught in the bannister (see Full House, season 3, Episode 14).
“No, no, I definitely had it…” said Lance, trailing off as he retraced his steps in his head. We were on a flight to New Orleans for a sort-of family reunion, the first time Lance would meet my legendary aunt and paternal grandparents. Of course he was going to wear his ring.
“Okay, okay,” I said, the obvious filler word anytime you’re trying to calm down somebody whose fretting is building exponentially. “When’s the last time you remember having your ring?”
“I took it off when we went through security…” said Lance.
Um. This puzzled me. “Why’d you take your ring off to go through security?”
Lance shrugged. “I didn’t want the metal detectors to go off. I put the ring in my shoe to go through the x-ray…”
!!!, I thought. “But…what? It’s not going to set off the metal detector!!” In that moment, I was struggling to see the logic here, which manifested in my voice going from calm reassurance to accusatorial shrieking in the span of a sentence.
“How do you know that?!” Lance shot back defensively.
Ack! “If they stopped everybody who wore their wedding rings through the metal detector no airplane in the history of aviation would ever depart on time!”
Lance slumped down in his chair. Usually, Lance is much quicker on his toes in an argument than I am, and knows how to escalate and deflect quickly, which means he often wins just by sheer overwhelming force. This time, though, he was stumped. “Hrmph,” he resigned.
“Well,” I said, trying to backtrack a bit. It wasn’t like it was that expensive of a ring. “I’m sure you have it somewhere. It’s probably in a pocket or something you haven’t checked yet.”
It wasn’t. Lance really did lose it at the airport. The ring, from TeNo Jewelry in Soho, cost somewhere around $400 and was to serve as both an “engagement” and a wedding ring (we were going to engrave something on the inside for the wedding, which we’ve never actually done). Though, knowing Lance and his at-times diva tendencies, I suspect this was really his sneaky attempt to force me to buy a second ring.
We never did find the ring. I called the Lost & Found at Philadelphia International Airport (“It’s got a reeeeeally tiny diamond in it,” I described) multiple times, to no avail.
A few days after losing the ring, Lance admitted that there might have been another place where it could’ve been misplaced:
“…Wendy’s?” I asked, a little flabbergasted. Who loses their wedding ring at Wendy’s?
“Yeah,” said Lance. We had eaten at the Wendy’s in the airport’s food court before boarding our plane. “I think I might’ve put my ring on the tray while I was eating and accidentally thrown it out…”
So, there you go, folks. Lance probably lost his engagement ring while eating a loaded baked potato at Philadelphia International Airport. Ah, love.