I'm convinced of this. We lost power during Irene because of me. Theseus is a little bit responsible, too.

It started about a month ago, when I misplaced my wedding ring. (!)
Before you get all judge-y, remember that I was (sort of) recently pregnant. For the last three months of the pregnancy, my hands were too swollen to wear my rings, so I kept them in [an undisclosed secret hiding place]. After Austin was born, I was still unable to comfortably wear them until he was about 3 months old: so, not that long ago. Even now, there are mornings when I wake up and the rings are too tight - because of the way I sleep, all my life I have had issues with hand-swelling some nights in the summer, so I always take them off before I go to bed. A few times I've forgotten and have woken up in excruciating pain from a too-tight ring cutting circulation off to my finger. In the fall/winter, it's fine - sometimes the rings are actually a little too loose, which is why I don't just get them resized.

So anyway. One morning about a month ago, I put my rings on in the morning and found them a little too tight. I was standing in the dining room, near [the undisclosed secret hiding place]. I remember taking them off, distracted as I was on my way out the door for work. This is all I remember.

In the week that followed, I was busy preparing for and attending my unit's annual training, so I just wore my "back-up" ring - a single silver band. It's the one I have for when I know I'll be doing dirty things like handling rifles or crawling in the woods. After the training was done, I looked for my "real" wedding set. And couldn't find it.

At first it was just annoying. The rings were not in [the undisclosed secret hiding place], which was odd, because that's where I always keep them when I'm not wearing them. I looked next in all the pockets of my uniform, thinking maybe I'd stuck the rings in there on my way out the door. Nothing. Then I checked the bathroom - maybe I set them down by the sinks? No. The other bathroom? Also no. My bedside table, the snarly mess on the kitchen table, the desk, the side table by the television - all no.

Then I started getting worried. I checked all the plausible but unlikely places, thinking maybe I'd been really distracted that morning and put the rings somewhere totally unusual. I checked the baby's bedroom, the spare bedroom, the kitchen (haha because I don't often go in there), around the television, in the couch cushions, in the bookcase, and rechecked all the places I'd already looked. No rings. No rings!

As the weeks (!!) went on, panic set in. What if I had shoved the rings in my uniform pocket, and they fell out? I've lost countless quarters that way. Or what if I'd left them on the edge of the kitchen table and the cats batted them onto the floor and into one of the uncovered floor grates? I rechecked and rechecked and rechecked every place I could think of in the house. I tried to clear my mind and remember what I had been doing that morning, and I kept coming back to the dining room, specifically near the china hutch we use to store cookbooks and shot glasses. I looked in every single shot glass, even though in my heart I knew I hadn't dropped the rings in one. I had a nagging feeling about the dining room, though, despite the fact that Theseus had reorganized all the china (all weird stuff - and shot glasses) while I was at annual training. I looked in every part of the china hutch, all the drawers and on top. NO RINGS.

Then, Irene. By now I was beginning to think we'd have to buy a new wedding set, and it was killing me. How could I lose them?? But Irene was a welcome distraction, if you can believe that.

We lost power early Sunday, around 3 a.m., and it stayed out until about 1 p.m. We rejoiced - that wasn't so bad! But three hours later - 4 p.m. - it was out again, and stayed out for the rest of the evening, and was still out the next day when we woke up. Theseus and I moped around the house all day (I didn't have work), dreading the coming dusk. After a tasty dinner of grilled veggies (seriously, so so so so good, especially the carrots), we glumly gathered the candles again and set them up in the back room of the house, which stays sun-lit the longest.

I was looking for a small glass vase to put a cheesecake-scented candle in (it was a gift, ok? a gift) when Theseus, trying to help, reached up to the entryway between the dining room and the back room and pulled down two small glass tea cups. I told you he'd reorganized? Part of that was making a nice display of some of our weird dishware on the shelf above the entryway. So the two tea cups already had tea lights in them and had previously been on the main part of the china hutch. And in one of them was my wedding set.

So you see - if we had not been looking for a place for the cheesecake candle, if we had not been without power for 27 hours at that point, if Hurricane Irene had not come through NJ and knocked trees down over power lines and onto transformers, my rings would have sat in that little glass tea cup probably until the end of time. Had I not misplaced the rings, Irene probably would have roared up the coast and missed our street entirely.

Oh and the power? It came back on about an hour after we found my rings. I'm not even making that up.

- Antiope

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