The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Flashback Friday!

Sometimes, the oddest things start me on a Flashback Friday! topic. The smell of lilacs. The sound of a kitten purring. My mind wanders through the maze and comes out in the most interesting places sometimes.

I say this because this Flashback Friday! starts out with "My watch died this week". Boring news, I realize. It was a cheap little watch I'd picked up to replace a much loved watch, which I'd gotten as a gift to replace one that was even more treasured. In any event, as I was sitting in the dentist's office earlier this week, waiting for a couple holes in my kids' heads to be filled, I started thinking about watches and decided that this week's Flash would be about just that.

As it went through my head, so, too, shall I recount it to you. (My apologies in advance.)

More than two years ago, I was involved in a car accident. I was driving to work one morning, and while checking for oncoming traffic, failed to notice that the rest of the traffic in front of me on the on-ramp had slowed dramatically. Sad to say, my Ford Taurus station wagon and I rear-ended a mini-van and hit it hard enough that it rear-ended an SUV in front of it. Not one of my shinier moments, I will tell you.

It was my first personal experience with the deployment of airbags. While they likely saved me from significant injury in this particular case, those things scare the HELL out of you when they open up. Another fact I didn't know until the time, they are filled with some kind of particulate that had me thinking the damned car was on fire after the accident.

That was not the case, however. There was simply a dust cloud rising inside the car. Now, bear in mind I'd just been in an accident, was a little disoriented and thought my vehicle was on fire. I made it out (and I'd grabbed my purse as well), so I was okay. I looked down and noticed my watch was missing. A much loved piece of jewelry, indeed.

I waited a second, mulling over whether I should risk getting back into a burning car to try to rescue the watch. Then, I did just that. I ran around to the driver's side door, threw it open and began frantically searching. Instinctively, I'd raised my left arm to protect my face at the moment of impact, and that must have been when I'd lost the watch. The cloud of "smoke" had become so thick that it was difficult to see inside the car, but somehow, I found the watch on the floorboard. It was in pieces and I scooped up all of them that I could find, intending to have it repaired at some point in the future, should I survive the car explosion I just KNEW was coming.

The watch had been a gift from my mother. Something I'd wanted for many months (since my last watch finally died). After my sister had been on a trip to Rochester, she'd returned and was wearing it. It was a lovely bracelet watch and I'd never seen anything so pretty. It was love at first sight, and I RARELY get that excited over anything. Especially jewelry.

She'd purchased me a dress on her trip and delivered it to me, but I wanted the watch, and in completely uncharacteristic fashion, I began begging her for it. Offering to buy it from her or trade her something else for it. She let me know that she'd only paid $15 for it and that she liked it, too. And she wasn't going to part with it (despite the fact that she had THREE other watches and I had none...oh cruel fate, thou art foul, indeed!). Which made me sad, let me tell you.

I began looking all over town for one. Never doubting that if there was one in this city, I'd find it. It would be mine...[insert maniacal laugh here].

The last laugh was not to be mine, though, as there simply was not another one to be had, even at double (or triple) the price. The delicate and simple little silver bracelet watch that I so coveted would remain on my sister's wrist and I was to forever live in envy. So, it was, for the next many months.

Until my birthday. When my mother presented me with a small box and upon opening it, I discovered that my mother had the capacity to be one of the more thoughtful and generous (and competent) people in the world. Yes, of course, it was "the watch". Not my sister's, as she was not parting with hers, but one of my very own.

Mom had contacted the store in Rochester, where she'd learned the item had been discontinued, and then she began a laborious search at each location of the store, nationwide, until she found one that had not yet sold. She'd had it shipped to River City and it became one of my more special birthday gifts. I wore it daily for years.

Until that fateful accident had destroyed it.

I may not have been so interested in my sister's watch in the first place, had my previous one not elected to croak around the same time.

My previous watch had been a beautiful silver Bulova watch that had been a wedding gift from my (then) husband. I helped him pick it out just days before our wedding. I loved it and wore it for about fifteen years, through several battery changes and temporary misplacements. It came with me to work every day and was equally at home on my wrist when I dressed up. It was with me through every important milestone, including when my children were born. Every time I looked at it, I felt like royalty. A little guilty, thinking I didn't deserve something so beautiful and expensive.

It was not ornate in it's composition, but it was elegant and stylish and I always loved the way it made me feel and the way it looked.

I was sad when it was accidentally dropped into the (empty) sink and became damaged beyond reasonable repair costs.

Both of these (non-functioning) watches are still in my jewelry box. Yes, even the one that is in pieces. (In fact, my Cinderella watch that I had as a little girl is in there, too.) They are important to me. They are special to me even in their condition.

You won't see me wearing a lot of jewelry. That's just not who I am. But I do love a pretty watch. And now that my little cheapie replacement one has given up the ghost, I'm thinking it's just about time for another very special one to enter my life...(Does anyone think he's gotten the hint, yet?)

Now, despite the fact that I have no idea what time it is, I can say without hesitation that I am deeply looking forward to spending some time with friends this weekend. In addition to our weekend plans, I have been notified that Girl Scout Cookies are coming in today. I've volunteered to help sort cookies for the troop this afternoon, so I'll be tied up with that. My girls are going for a visit with their Dad this weekend, and I will, of course, miss them terribly. But I'm sure the time will fly until they are back with me.

I hope all of you have a great one, too. (Especially those of you coming to visit!! See ya soon!!)



Blogger Highlander said...

Okay, I get the hint.

I'll buy you an airbag. ;)

2/23/2007 10:41 AM  
Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

I can so relate to the sentiment that jewelry holds. (and nice post, by the way) I don't wear much either, just the wedding band and a family heirloom ring (the watch is an old sport-jobbie (a necessary evil, at least for me) borrowed from husband when my old one died. But I have a few favorites tucked away. My grandmother always wore giant enamel pins and clip-on earrings, not the most sophisticated of things but when I was little, I loved them. She would often let me keep something I liked from among the ones she brought when she visited. Unfortunately through the years most of them disappeared. When she died, all that was left was the costume stuff (we think her caretaker made off with the valuable pieces - of which she didn't have many, but still...) It was a trip down Friday Flashback lane going through that box...I kept a couple of special favorites then passed the rest to my neices.

And it's a good thing your airbags deployed. I've heard of some that didn't.

2/25/2007 3:41 PM  
Blogger AaA said...

Ahhh, airbags. The gift that truly keeps on giving.

2/26/2007 7:59 AM  

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