The situation starts out easy enough. Ben states that he would really like for us to go in and basically clean up our bathroom. I'm not going to go into the layers of filth that are in there. I think I have mentioned before that cleaning isn't really my life calling and if it isn't a public area and it gets a good swiping every year or so then were doing great.
So in the attempt to clean the vanity, first I must remove everything. Jewelry box, hair products, doodads, hairpins, and various and sundry other little things that always seem to get scattered about. I'm moving decorative boxes and tossing clothing tags and storing those extra buttons that always come on your clothes when I grab a yellow piece of paper. It's the back copy of some receipt I'm guessing when I notice the word "pawn" on it. Pawn?! We haven't been to a pawn shop in ages. I'm thinking oh great, I bet he got another hunting rifle, like he needs another one of those. Or worse yet another guitar!
I open in up and see its from a pawn shop in Arkadelphia where we attended college. That's odd because the last time we spent any lengthy time in Arkadoo, besides the obligatory gas and bathroom stop on the way to Texas, had been well over a year ago. Well within our last bathroom cleaning mind you.
On further inspection I see the word "jewelry" after the word "pawn". My thoughts race to the fact that my birthday is coming soon; could he have found some awesome antique piece he knew I would love or even for our anniversary in a couple of weeks? That's not usually his style but I can give him the benefit of the doubt.
Then all of a sudden things started to click. I noticed the date. May 11, 1998. A mere 12 days before our wedding. I looked at the price. Then I knew for sure what I was holding.
Back in May of '98, we were two kids finishing college, scraping together a wedding, and expecting a baby that fall. We had never been big on spending a lot of money and were really excited that we happened upon a Mother's Day jewelry sale at the local pawn shop. 50% off. You can't beat that.
Now I have always prided myself in telling people how much we didn't spend. He got my engagement ring at a sale on a sale at Penney's. It was what I wanted and, when the sales lady found out it was to be my engagement ring, she said to come back a few days later and she would make sure it was there for him on the sale day. But we still needed to get our bands so the happy Mother's Day half off sale was the ticket. He got mine for a steal at $12 but because his was bigger I had to pay twice as much. A big whopping $26.66 with tax. There may not be a lot of monetary value in them but the story more than makes up for that.
And to think that I found this two days past 15 years from when I purchased his ring. We have no idea how the receipt was buried under piles of junk on our vanity. I can only guess it was in one of the old small hatboxes I had sitting out. They still have mementos in them I've had for years and they are the only things old enough.
Yet it amazes me that through all these years. All our houses (we've moved a lot). That it's been with us. And even though it's really just a scrap of paper something that should have been thrown out years ago, I like what it says at the bottom.
And that's what we are. We're final. There's no going back or exchanging for something else. I like that.