Freak Out Faux Pas

My beautiful, wonderful wife took me to St. Louis last weekend for my birthday. She booked a nice hotel room, bought us a pair of awesome all-inclusive, close to the glass tickets to a Blues hockey game, and planned lunch the following day at my favorite barbecue restaurant in the city! (What a woman!)

Everything went wonderfully. The weather was cool but nice. The hockey game was great even though our team lost in a 9-round shootout. And the ribs were delicious.

Jaroslav Halak, goaltender for the St. Louis Blues

Pappy's Smokehouse - Don't forget the sweet potato fries!

But the moment of panic hit us when we went to leave the hotel.

We did the standard check-out routine, where you just leave the keys in the room. We took the elevator down to the parking garage level and proceeded to leave, quite satisfied with the excellent weekend that she had orchestrated.

However, a few seconds after pulling out onto the street and stopping at the first stoplight, I glanced down at my hands on the steering wheel – and my heart stopped. I managed to mumble out the words “where is my wedding ring?”

The only thing on my finger was the permanent indentation where the ring should go – but there was definitely no band of gold.

She asked if I had left it in the room, but I had already muttered the only piece of information that my brain could process at that moment, so I just looked at her blankly (which, to be honest, is a pretty common expression for me). Very calmly, but quickly and with purpose, she instructed me to stop the car and said that she would jump out, run into the lobby of the hotel, and have them let her back into the room to look for the ring. My job was to stay in the car and navigate my way through the streets of downtown St. Louis back to the hotel to pick her up.

So that is exactly what I did.

(It is best in those kinds of situations to just do what she says. She keeps her head together much better than I do.)

So I drove a large irregular rectangle through the one-way streets and pulled back up in front of the lobby. I rolled my window down and explained what was happening to the greeter who had approached to see if I needed valet service. I am sure I offered him far more information than necessary because he simply nodded and walked back to his podium before I could get the story all the way out of my mouth.

I decided then that instead of just sitting and waiting, I would get out of the car and at the very least pace nervously – and at the most attempt to look through our luggage to see if I had misplaced it there.

But as soon as I stepped out of the vehicle and put my hands in my pockets – something I do when I am nervous, checking to see if everything is in its place; Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Chapstick? Check. Uh Oh… That’s when I felt the ring resting peacefully next to my pocket knife.

*Homer Simpson voice*: “DOH!”

It was on my person the whole time.

When the wife exited the elevator with a frustrated look on her face as if to say, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t find it”, I help up my left hand so she could see the ring. We simultaneously shook our heads, rolled our eyes, and sighed.

“Let’s go” she said.

And we did.