"Please, please, please don't go out there."
Jeremy was doing a fine job of ignoring my pleas or maybe he couldn't hear them. In fact, it was raining so hard that he literally may not have been able to hear them.
That must be it.
So, naturally I turned up the volume. "You're crazy for going out there! You're either going to get struck by lightning or blown away by a huge gust of wind. This is not a smart move."
He was busy putting on his shoes at this point, but he did take a moment to glance up at me, give me "that look" (you know, the one that says, 'you're being ridiculous'), and tried to appease me with a hasty, "Oh, I'll be fine."
I was not to be appeased. He got up from the couch, picked up his jacket, and headed for the door. And of course, I did what any level-headed, reasonable woman would do; I grabbed hold of his arm and clung like a burr.
He sighed. "Katie, I'll be fine."
But I had a feeling that he wouldn't. Just one of those gut feelings.
It was just a summer downpour. I knew that. I knew that probably the worst that could happen was that he would get drenched and track puddles of water all over the house.
Or that he could get struck by lightning. Or blown away.
Reluctantly, I loosened my hold on his arm, and just like that, he was gone. Out into the thunderstorm. Risking life and limb. All in the name of...
...a tomato plant.
Our little garden was taking a beating from the summer storm. One of the tomato plants had collapsed with a particularly strong gust of wind. And Jeremy, my foolish hero, was charging into the breach to save it.
As I waited for him to either return or drown in the rain, I paced back and forth, rang my hands, twisted my hair. Minutes seemed to pass, then hours. My entire life was moving in slow motion.
He was back in less than five minutes, looking smug and completely soaked. We both went to look out the back window at his handy work, and it took everything I had to keep from laughing when we saw the tomato had already collapsed again.
Poor, smug, drenched Jeremy.
He had defied death, and his efforts had been in vain. He couldn't just listen to his wife and wait for the storm to pass. Nope, he had to save it then, in the middle of a monsoon, just to watch it fall over again.
After fighting the urge to tell him "I told you so" a couple of dozen times, we settled back onto the couch to watch television and enjoy the rain from inside. Ten minutes hadn't even passed since our short-lived afternoon drama, when Jeremy said, "Huh."
Still focused on the TV, I absentmindedly asked him what was up, to which he replied:
"My ring is gone."
Which was the cue for scene two of our increasingly dramatic performance to begin.
Yep, Jeremy's wedding ring was missing. It had come off when he was failing to save that poor, little tomato plant. It was now probably floating down the river that had replaced my backyard, never to be seen nor heard from again.
Now, in addition to being a bit of a drama queen, I also happen to be very superstitious, especially when it comes to symbols, especially when it comes to symbols that were supposed to represent the unending circle of our love, especially when it comes to symbols that cost a whole lot of money.
Logically, I knew a ring could easily be replaced, with a layaway plan and a good chunk of our savings, but I couldn't help but keep picturing that ring as the ring I slipped on his finger on our wedding day, the ring that meant so much to both of us.
After some cursory panic, some tossing of couch pillows and bed sheets to make sure the ring wasn’t inside the house, Jeremy rushed back into the storm to look for it.
He made two trips.
Nothing. And so, I did what any level-headed, reasonable woman who knows her husband stinks at looking for anything would do, I threw on a rain jacket and bravely tracked down that missing ring…after the rain slacked.
And sure enough, after five seconds of real searching, I located it amongst some blades of grass, waiting patiently to be found.
Next time, I feel sure that Jeremy will wait for the storm to pass before rushing out to save a tomato plant. Next time, I feel sure that he’ll listen to his wife.