Tonight I considered changing yesterday's entry. Not really changing it as in changing the whole thing, but I thought I could perfect the child story. However, on second thought, I like it the way it is, so I'm leaving it. May change it another day, though.
Tonight my dining partner pointed out to me that I have a very bad attitude. Well, not in so many words, but what she said made me realize that I really do have a bad attitude. And, it also occurs to me that the exchange with the mailman the other day may have been completely warranted. I need a major change. I need niceness.
I want to write about how we look up to people. About how we look to people for guidance. Sometimes wittingly and sometimes unwittingly. How we seek certain people out. And how certain people just know when we need them and then they're there. It's a large subject. I haven't seen anyone write anything about how after September 11, 2001, how certain people from the past came to our emotional rescue. Well, I guess this is just a reminder to write about it later.
Because first I want to write about something else. Old loafers and expensive pearls.
I was just reading an article in the technology section of the New York Times on-line edition written by a gal who threw out her husband's treasured ten-year old green nubuck Mephistos. A/K/A loafers. She didn't say she was stricken with guilt, but I'd like to imagine she was. Anyway, upon her husband's discovery of the missing loafers, she rushed to her computer to see if she could replace them. And that she did. To the tune of about $245.00.
Her story is nothing new. I already did this. Only better. Not with loafers. And not with something that I threw out. But something else that someone else sorta threw out. The item? A very valuable string of heirloom pearls.
About a year ago my oldest nephew got married in Hawaii. For whatever reason, Doug and Nora didn't go. And for whatever other reason, Carol and Garry did go. Nora thought it would be special if the bride wore Nora's pearls for the wedding. Nora entrusted the pearls to Carol for transport to and from Hawaii. These weren't just any ordinary pearls. They were Mikimoto pearls. And they weren't just any old Mikimoto pearls. They were sentimental. Nora's father had brought them back from Japan after World War II. Which I suppose makes them an heirloom.
The Saturday morning after Carol got home from the wedding, my youngest daughter asked if she could call Carol to get the scoop on the wedding. Sure, I said. A short while later, I happened to pass by my daughter who is on the phone. She looks up at me, shrugs, and mouths that Carol is crying. Whoa! My sister? Crying? This has got to be a first. So, I get on the phone. Not only is she crying, she's sobbing and gasping for breath, and incoherent ta boot.
Finally, I get her to calm down sufficiently enough to tell me what has happened.
Without going through all the hysterics, this is the basic chronology: The bride wore the pearls. The necklace was a couple inches longer than she would have preferred, so Carol helped her choke them up a little. Hence, the word, "choker," I guess. Anyway, a good time was had by all.
Friday, departure day, Carol and Garry had about a six hour wait from the time they had to check out of their hotel to the time their plane was leaving. So, they decided to go shopping. Well, truth be told, I suspect Carol was probably the one who decided they would go shopping. Carol, being the security conscious matron that she is (ha!), thought it would be best not to risk checking the pearls with her luggage, so she decided to keep them in her purse for the trip back to the mainland. Carol, continuing in her security conscious streak (ha!), decided that instead of hauling the pearls around in her purse while they went shopping, she would lock them in the glove box in the rental car. Yeah, go ahead and laugh.
After an afternoon of shopping, they head over to the airport. But first, a stop off at the car rental place. They park the car in the designated lot. Turn in the keys. Then walk over towards their departure gate. About halfway to the gate, it hits her. She had left the pearls in the rental car. They do an about face and rush back to the car rental counter. They tell the guy, who happens to be the manager, that they left something in the car. He grabs the keys and they all head out to the parking lot. But, of course, the pearls are gone. Not only that, the car had been cleaned and vacuumed out in that short period of time. Company policy. She tells the car rental place manager that the something she left in the car was a very valuable set of pearls. He offers to fill out a missing property report and tells her he'll call her if they show up. Just like that.
Carol and Garry get on the plane and go home. Pearlless.
There's a whole history of pain and suffering between Carol and Nora which at one time I had written a story about. Unfortunately, that story was inadvertently deleted off my old hard drive. Anyway, Carol was devastated. Not only about the pearls, but also because she was going to have to face Nora about the missing pearls. This is big stuff around these parts.
With Carol on the line, I go on the Internet and start my search on Google. It didn't take much effort at all. I located what appeared to be an identical set of Mikimoto pearls at a little shop in Maryland. The very nicely designed web page said they were for sale for the sum of $2,200.00. Carol immediately thinks that these are the pearls that she left in the car in Hawaii. Possibly, but I doubt it.
At my sister's request, I call the shop lady. Yes, she still has the pearls for sale. They are from her private collection. I tell her I'm in the Midwest and I'm interested in purchasing them. I negotiated the price down to $1,800.00. I tell her I want to discuss the purchase with my "partner" before finalizing the deal. She says that's not a problem and tells me I can call her any time. As much as I wanted to relay the entire story to the nice shop lady, I didn't. My sister had insisted that I keep it secret, just in case these turned out to be the missing pearls. Yeah, okay.
So, I call Carol back and relay my conversation with the stop lady. Together we scrutinize the photos of the pearls that the shop lady has on her web page. Carol is positive that the clasp is identical to Nora's, but she can't be certain about the size of the pearls. After a short discussion, Carol agrees the $1,800.00 is well worth it. So, she gives me her credit card information and I call the lady back. The lady agrees to ship them to "my partner" the following Monday, insured and overnight.
Tuesday morning, Carol received the pearls. They weren't identical, but they were pretty close. She wonders if Nora will know the difference. I convince her that it's best to just be honest so she can put this chapter behind her.
Surprisingly, Nora received the news really well. Together, Nora and Carol took the pearls to a local jeweler to have them appraised. The appraised value came back at $4,500.00.
Prior to this ordeal, I had never even heard of Mikimoto pearls.
Dedicated to the memory of John Bunting, purchaser of goods on the Internet. Son, brother, uncle, friend, Forensic scientist, collector, very sharp 40 year old guy. April 30, 2002. Nite nite , John.........
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