We had nothing except each other. Bisquick pancakes or biscuits for dinner, made in an electric fry pan. Minute Rice and Campbell’s soup. But we didn’t go hungry. Let’s get married, you said in the Montgomery Wards parking lot. So we did. Our wedding and the party afterwards cost $85.00. The silver rings we exchanged netted change from a ten-dollar bill. My ring is black now. Tarnished.
Just yesterday I sold the new ring you bought me for our 29thanniversary. I think you were already planning your wedding and the new ring was meant to throw me off the trail. A pawnshop wanted the ring. And the pearl and gold earrings you gave me the year our first child was born. Two hundred bucks. I'm glad to have it. But nobody wants the pearls. They’re real, I tell the woman at the jewelry store, the man at the vintage re-sale place, the clerk at the pawn shop. I think they cost six hundred dollars, I say. They smile, sad-eyed. The pawn shop girl takes a pearl between her teeth to test it and shrugs. Pearls aren’t a big seller for us, she says.
Nobody wants those pearls.