the archivist March 14, 2012

I haven’t seen my spinner ring in quite a while. I wonder where it is.

It was a silver ring with a band in the center that had a kind of antique-y looking braid carved in relief on it. It was from back when Kohl’s sold sterling silver that was actually quite decent for less than $10. Maybe they still do. I can’t make myself go in.

Kohl’s was my first “real” job, back in high school. I worked setting up the store before it opened, then was a cashier for 7 or 8 months, then got promoted to domestics lead and then area supervisor within a year or two. The moral of this story is that if you’re 18, literate, and usually show up, you can ascend the chain of retail middle management at light speed. Of course, the pay increase from my first position there to my final one was less than $3/hour. Anyway.

Before my soul had been completely crushed by customers and corporate-speak, when I was still a cashier, I was wearing the spinner ring at work one day. A young-ish couple was in my line discussing it, and I could hear them discussing it as I rang up the customers in line ahead of them.

“I like her ring,” said the woman.

“It’s… CELTIC.” He made it sound so important. And pronounced it with a hard K, of course.

When it was their turn I rang up whatever it was they were buying, pitched them the Kohl’s charge card (24% interest, why *wouldn’t* you want it?!), and then the husband/boyfriend leaned forward.

“We just wanted to say… We LIKE your RING.”

Was Middle Earth supposed to open up right there and swallow them, for having said that? Would they have wanted that? (Honestly, I don’t know much about this particular line of geekery, but as the year was 2001, I figured this to be somehow LOTR-related.)


It would have been an easy sale, perhaps, to tell him he could buy his very own “Celtic” silver ring on the $6.99 rack in the jewelry department just 15 feet away, but that would have killed the mystery. I couldn’t do that to him. Without the world of possibility, what do we have left?

kind of like it.