Yesterday, Mr. Bsag lost his wedding ring. He was working on the allotment and took the ring off because it was rubbing his finger when he was using the spade. Like the big idiot he is sometimes, he put the ring in the top pocket of his overalls which a) doesn't fasten closed, and b) has a hole in the bottom, though to be fair, he didn't know about b) until it was too late. The inevitable happened, and the ring must have dropped out of his pocket while he was spreading the huge load of horse manure we had delivered on to the beds. We went up to look for it, but it could be under several trailer loads of muck by now, so it was a fairly hopeless search.
I was surprised how upset I was by the loss of his ring. It's only a piece of metal after all, and the fact that he doesn't now have it in his possession or on his finger makes no difference to our relationship. But it still upset me. Our rings weren't just picked off the trays of a jewellery shop, but were made to our own design by a lovely craftsman jeweller based in Birmingham. They weren't expensive, but they were special and unique to us. At our wedding, I carried my grandmother's wedding ring as my 'something old', and it had worn very thin over the years of her marriage. I wanted our rings to wear thin too, but now only mine will do so, and that makes me sad.
In folk tales and ballads, when this kind of thing happens, the years pass and the man catches a huge fish at sea, which he gets his servants to cook at a great feast. The woman then cuts open the belly of the fish, only to find the lost ring shining inside. Our allotment is a bit far from the sea for that, but my faith in the narrative imperative is such that I'm fairly confident that -- some years from now -- we'll cut open a particularly prize specimen of a potato, which we have grown on our allotment, only to find the lost ring embedded in the flesh.
That, or we'll have to make friends with someone who has a metal detector, but it doesn't have quite the same ballady feel about it.