After the dust settled and Da Ring was sitting happily on Lynn’s finger, she grabbed her phone and started punching in an address on WAZE.
“Where are we going now? The mission has been accomplished.”
She took a deep breath, grinned, and her eyes twinkled as she cried, “To the Dollar Store!”
“Whaaat? The Dollar Store? Really?”
“Well, yeah. We need supplies. After buying the ring, I’ll be shopping at the Dollar Store on a regular basis.”
“True. I can only imagine how much that ring set youz back!”
“Oh, you’d be surprised. Jeff, down at D.K. Gems International always takes good care of us. That store has been a family-run business for years and they were voted the best jewelry store in St. Maarten. Mary and Buddy have been buying there for a long time and, of course, they brought us into the “family”! Jeff knows our taste and that we’ll be back. We’ve become friends, like family, so we get the…you know, the friends and family discount.”
“Oh, you mean friends and family like that cigar dealer we met at DFW last week? The nice guy who sat with us at the airport bar? He was traveling to visit a lady-friend in Chicago. I wonder if he bought her jewelry.”
“Andi, yeah, Jeff’s friend. What a small world!”
“Yeah, I casually asked, as I always do, ‘so, where you from?’ And he says, ‘Oh a small island in the Caribbean,’ like we never heard of it.”
Lynn thought for a moment and said, “When he said St. Maarten, my jaw dropped. Turns out he’s a good friend of Jeff’s. I couldn’t believe it. And Jeff had just mailed my new ring so I could pick it up myself near Green Valley Lake. If we had known, Andi could have carried it from Jeff’s store and handed it to me at the airport.”
“And now we’re shopping at the Dollar Store?”
“Yup. You can find some great stuff if you keep your eyes open. Let’s go!”
Now, I’m big on the Dollar Store myself, but I am choosy. It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security and assume everything in the store is a bargain. Not so. Take a box of tissues for example. A buck for a box that you can get for seventy-nine cents if you buy a six-pack at CVS!
I guess, now that I’m a senior citizen, retired from real estate, I have time on my hands to shop the bargains. Lucky me. I live in a walking-distance neighborhood so I don’t spend money on gas to go to the bargain stores. Okay, Grocery Outlet is a bit far, but I time it so I’m not burning a lotta gas in traffic.
Lynn finds the nearest Dollar Store and we march in prepared to do battle. As we walk through the door, something shiny catches my eye. It’s a jewelry rack. And it has rings displayed. Big rings. Like an iron filing to a magnet, I am drawn to the display where I stand in front, frozen. My breath quickens, my nostrils flare, my pulse is pounding. I reach for the marquis “diamond” surrounded by little star-like round diamonds. I hope it fits, I hope it fits! I slip it onto my third finger, left hand. Perf!
Lynn turns to me with big eyes. “Are you kidding me? It looks real!”
“Yes,” I coo. “It does, doesn’t it? I must have it.”
“For a buck, I say it’s a done deal! I’ll buy.”
Now when we say “How goes it with Da Ring?” we can say, “Which one?” and laugh. Which twin has the Toni? Never dull with us.