I had a rather onerous task to do today, one that I was not relishing, but that I realized I couldn't put off any longer. Though I haven't written about the entire story, a week or so ago I saw Meg again, at my request. I needed to profess my love to her one more time, and I needed to know that she had heard everything I ever wanted to say to her. I needed to know without a shadow of a doubt that I had risked everything, had been bold in my pursuit of her and had done everything in my power to win her heart. I even went so far as buying her a very nice ring--not an engagement ring, but a ring that was a sign of my love for her.
As I suspected, and as I have alluded to in my blog, she said no again, but I could rest in the fact that I had done all that I could, that I had not cowered in fear, and that I had been bold enough to tell her exactly how I felt. By buying her a ring, I hoped to give her a tangible sign of how much I cherished and valued her. I felt that this was what was needed to truly write the last chapter in our story, and now I can say that the ink is finally dry.
As you can imagine, I didn't really want to go back to the jewelry store to return a diamond ring that I hoped would be residing on Meg's finger. There was a part of me that considered keeping it, but realized that hundreds of dollars were at stake and it made no sense to have a ring that was of no use to me lying around in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. I circled around the store a couple of times, took a deep breath and dove in.
There were three people working there: two women and a man. I was hoping to be able to work with only one person, and I hoped that it would not be the guy. I wanted to be as discreet as possible about the entire affair, but as I walked in, all three turned to me, and the guy happened to be closest to me and asked how he could help me. In my typical manner, I communicated through body language that I was there to regretfully return a ring, sending clear signals to anyone with any empathetic radar at all that this course of action was not desirable to me. The guy looked at me as if I was returning a shirt that had a coffee stain on it, and asked me, "was there anything wrong with the ring?"
Please. I told him no, and then in an exaggerated, verklemptish voice I said, "It's not the ring--apparently it's just that there's something wrong with me."
Awkward laughter all the way around, and it worked as I expected it to and stopped any further questions, allowing the transaction to proceed very quickly from that point on. They didn't even bother to count the diamonds, (of which there were over 30), and I think they just wanted the entire situation to be past them.
I didn't say that comment to them because it's what I believe: that there's something wrong with me. It was a quick response that I instinctively knew would allow me to get through the whole thing as quickly as possible. I am not writing this to communicate the belief that I feel that I'm "damaged goods," or something to that effect. I just needed a way to get through the damn transaction as quick as possible, but even so, as the words came out, they caught in my throat. I know that the very words I said were the very things that I have had to confront as lies in my own thinking for these past two years, and they worked. It helped bring a quick end to a squeamishly awkward situation. Never one to feel very comfortable with silence, and feeling a bit apologetic for making them go through something as uncomfortable as this, I said, "I suppose these are your least favorite transactions--the ones where the guy brings the ring back because it wasn't accepted."
She said, "Well, we're always just sorry to hear the reasons why, that's all." And with that, she handed me the receipt and out the door I went.