C'est La Vie

She’d been in Hawaii only two days and already she had burn marks along her shoulders where her swimsuit had rubbed off the sunblock, or ‘Sauce’, as her husband called it. People Sauce.

The weather was perfect. The ocean water was warm and relatively calm. The fish were plentiful, even if not so exotic.

She’d just lathered up with Sauce a few minutes ago, right before she got back in the water with her mask and snorkel in tow. Starting near the shore, she kicked off and worked her way in slow, small rows towards the reef. She took her head out of the water and looked for her husband or the rest of the family but didn’t find any near by.

Dipping her face back down, she noticed a school of Bluelined Butterfly fish and paused long enough to watch their passing.

She was listening to the sound of the water hitting inside her ears, the calm and fullness of the ocean, when she thought she heard someone say turtle. ‘Turtle! Here’s a turtle!’

She whipped her head up to find the direction of the yelling, hoping to get there in time to see the turtle, when at that same moment, her wedding band slipped off her finger. Quickly, she put her face back down and frantically searched the water. She spotted the ring, sinking, sparkling, about 4 feet away. She took a deep breath and prepared to dive.

Just then a large Rudderfish swam from stage left and YOINK ate her ring and continued swimming on. She followed him for a bit, frantic and in shock, but then he joined two others and they swam around and underneath one another until she didn’t know which one was which and which one contained in its belly her precious silver band.

She stopped swimming and wondered what she should, could do. And then it hit her. Nothing. She could do nothing and the fish was gone anyway.

Sadly, she made her way to the shore, mask lifted and arranged on her forehead, tears dripping down her face. No one was the wiser since the tears blended in so well with the drops of sea water coming down from her wet, haphazard hair.

When she got to the shore, she located her husband and made her way in the water to tell him the sad news. When she finished with her tale, he burst out laughing.

‘It’s not funny!’ she said. ‘Actually, it is quite.’ he replied, but tried to tone down his laughter in the face of her tears.

And now that it’s been a few weeks, she finally agrees.

12 Responses

  1. One day, she and her husband were celebrating their anniversary at a nice restaurant. They ordered a whole rudderfish to celebrate their special day. When the waiter brought out the fish, a silver ring was sitting on the plate.

    “When the chef prepared the fish, he found this in its stomach,” the waiter explained. Since you ordered a whole fish, we decided you should have the ring as well.”

  2. I’m finding a weird sense of relief that you at least know definitively what happened to it. You didn’t get back to the hotel and suddenly realize it was gone, you didn’t feel it slip off and couldn’t see what happened next. You know it’s in the greedy rudderfish and you know it’s swimming far and wide going on and on as far as the eye can see and farther, just like your marriage.

  3. There’s a story like this in Herodotus, I think.

    The fish eats a ring. The guy a long time later catches the fish with the ring in its belly, slices it open, and there is the ring!

    All the sailors are like ‘you are in for it!’ because the Greek view was that extraordinarily good fortune would be followed by extraordinarily bad fortune. Or something…Anyway, something terrible happened to the guy but I don’t remember what it was. So just be glad you didn’t catch that fish.

  4. Oh my GOD. I am so sorry you lost your ring- my heart would be broken too. But damn, what a story! 😀

  5. I was actually warned about that while honeymooning in hawaii about a zillion years ago. I was so tortured by the idea of taking the ring off, but more fearful that I would lose it and we’d fall straight out of love.

  6. I’m glad that you can laugh at this now! I would have reacted in the same way. Right down to following the fish, as if I could somehow coerce the ring away from him.

    I second Jenn, welcome back!

  7. Of all the countless ways people have lost wedding rings (my best man threw his into a panhandler’s hat with some change after he’d taken it off at an out-of-town conference–just rewards if you ask me) this has to be my favorite. Think of the sights your ring will see. It’s not like it was lost in a backyard, or eaten by a garbage disposal. No, this ring will live forever in a place so beautiful, people pay big money just to visit it. Lucky ring.

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