We ordered our wedding rings from a local jeweler, and when he let us know they were in a week earlier than expected, we stopped by his store on the town square on Saturday morning to take a look and see if we liked the rings as well in person as we did online. I situated my flowery blue and green mask so that it sat snugly beneath my glasses and happily hopped out into the sunshine.
At first, it seemed the store was closed because of the unlit neon sign and the front door’s darkened glass. I tugged on the handle anyway, and the door opened. The jeweler greeted us and brought out our order, summoning us to a side counter near the door.
He pulled the ring for me from a small plastic bag.
“Ooo, that’s cool!” I exclaimed. I slipped it on, adjusting my mask again. I had a hard time seeing the ring’s intricate pattern because my breath was fogging up my glasses, as happened when the mask sat too high on my nose.
The ring was a little tight when I tried to remove it, still admiring its beauty as I laid it on the counter.
“Can I see the other one?” I asked, referring to a ring I’d seen on our first visit to the shop. The jeweler pulled it from another small bag. He set the circle on a dark cloth.
I’m really having a hard time seeing this one, I thought.
Jeff stood nearer the door, through which bars of sunlight evaded antique amber door frames.
“Here, switch me spots,” I said.
Jeff glanced sideways and shifted left without a word. I took his place. The move didn’t help. I still couldn’t see the ring at the counter. I lifted it off the cloth and turned sharply into a door frame’s shadow.
“I still can’t see.”
I twisted to the right to steal into the sullen sunlight.
“Maybe it’s because you still have your sunglasses on.” Jeff’s voice floated down through the fog of my confusion.
I looked up at the door frames. “Oh!” I reached up and combed my sunglasses through my bangs.
Suddenly, the sunlight wasn’t so moody. The store became joyful and light.
“I thought I was wearing my glasses!”
Jeff reserved his merriment and turned back to the counter.
For the last couple of weeks, I had been wearing my spectacles more often than my contacts since I only have one pair of disposable contacts left, and I need them for the wedding. I was wearing my glasses the first time I wore a mask to the grocery store, and my breath had fogged up the lenses. So when I walked into the jeweler’s store and the lenses became foggy, it made sense that I was wearing my regular glasses.
I forgot that I had put on my sunglasses.
After we’d made our decisions and walked out to the car, Jeff said, “There’s a scene in Blues Brothers where they’re getting in the car, and they say, ‘It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.'”
And he let out all the laughter he’d been saving from the jewelry store.
“You never cease to fascinate me, Elise.”