Tiny Black Box

Published in 1966, I own a book called “I Have a Turtle” by Kathy Bing and R.J. Davidson. When I was very small, my Mom would read it to me, I think, when she wanted to recover from a busy day and didn’t much feel like reading a long bedtime story to me. This one was, at best (even looking at the pictures) a 2 minute read. The story is simple:

I have a turtle

In my mommy’s hatbox…under my bed…

In the corner of my room…

In my house…

With trees all around.

And all the animals…

And all the people passing by…

Would never know…

Under my bed…in my mommy’s hatbox…

I have a turtle.

Recently we had our floors re-done. I could, at this point, turn this tale into a tirade about how much I hated the carpet that my partner insisted on having installed eight years ago. After all, he rarely vacuumed it. I did the majority of spraying carpet stain and odour remover on cat pukes, bloody noses from kids and spilled koolaid. I arranged once a year to have the carpets professionally cleaned. I dealt with the vacuum attachment breaking and became a regular at the vacuum repair depot. Yes, I could go on about it, but I won’t. We compromised on laminates after it was discovered that we could no longer clean the carpet, simply because it was cleaned to death and had almost worn down to the underlay in some places.

We arranged for the floors to be done. As luck would have it (on his end), the partner was out of town. I was left to empty out our bookcase in the bedroom and pack away 2 storage cabinets on the main floor along with a slew of other odd jobs.

Our bookcase is large enough; holding several shelves of books along with knickknacks that the children have given me, special trinkets from my mother, father, brother…and then there’s the box. A tiny, black velour box that has been opened a handful of times through the years when I’ve been dusting and whatnot-which tells you how much I dust… It’s then put back onto the shelf to sit alongside rocks the children painted long ago, a thimble from one of our son’s backpacking trips in Europe, a pocket guide to Italian (for when I visit one day), a sleepy cat made of rabbit fur from my Mom, and other bits and pieces of sentimental value. It occurred to me as I was packing things away, that this tiny, black velour box had a story much like the turtle book I owned as a child.

He proposed nine years ago. The ring was pretty. The setting was high though, and I repeatedly would scrape myself (usually when I forgot to take it off before bed) waking with a gash under my chin or a scratch on my leg. More than once I was abruptly woken to ‘Fuck! You just scratched me!’ from my disgruntled partner. We eventually, years later, decided on a whim to go into the jewellers and have it re-set. We ended up getting an entirely different ring that wasn’t a weapon. Along with the ring, we purchased a wedding band to match and also a ring for him.

Nine years ago.

We never set a date. We had things to do, 4 kids to attend to and getting married wasn’t the priority. And it cost money. And why would we get married anyway-we had both been through it twice already. And, and, and…

I think, as he was asking me to marry him, we both knew that he meant ‘Will you be my fiancé for the rest of my life?’.  He calls me his wife, even buys me “To my Lovely Wife” greeting cards. He wears a ring on his wedding finger. We own our home and another property together, pay bills together, vacation and sleep together-so, in essence, he’s my un-married partner, or just ‘partner’ for short. Partner sounds so much better than ‘Long Time Fiancé’ or ‘Guy Who Sleeps With Me’ or ‘Twice Divorced Guy Who Couldn’t Be Bothered’.

I wear my engagement ring (helps to keep all those men with proposals from banging down my door). But as for the wedding band…

I have a ring…

In a tiny black box…in the corner of my bookcase…

In my bedroom…

In my house…

With all the trees around.

And all the animals…

And all the people passing by…

Would never know…

In the corner of my bookcase…in a tiny, black velour box…

I have a ring.

 

(But I guess you do now). 😉

2 thoughts on “Tiny Black Box

  1. Awesome! ❤️

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 3:23 PM My Name is Margaret wrote:

    > margaretschmidtke posted: “Published in 1966, I own a book called “I Have > a Turtle” by Kathy Bing and R.J. Davidson. When I was very small, my Mom > would read it to me, I think, when she wanted to recover from a busy day > and didn’t much feel like reading a long bedtime story to me. ” >

    Liked by 1 person

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