Monday, July 14, 2014

That time my bucket list activity was a complete bust

First of all, before I tell the story I have to tell you that I just googled bucket list (gotta do my research before I blog, ya know) and the movie immediately pops up. The description of it is a "comedy-drama." I'm no expert but I am pretty sure it was a lot less comedy and a whole lot more "stab you repeatedly in the cockles of your heart with pins made of nostalgia, regret, and reminders of mortality until your eyes are red rimmed and you have the salty taste of tears and snot on your upper lip."

Anyway, that's not the point of this story. The point of this story is I recently got to do something I have wanted to do for a long time. Use. A. Metal. Detector. That's right. I was that person. And I had accomplices. I only regret that I left my visor and fanny pack at home. Those would have really rounded out the look.

I was with some friends and we rented a metal detector. Unfortunately, we did not just rent it for fun. We rented it to look for a lost ring. My friends Forbes and Nancy got engaged and, in the excitement of the moment, Nancy moved a ring she always wore on her left hand to her right hand (can't be too flashy now and double up on the lefty) and it slipped off of her right hand. I was visiting them immediately after this mishap and we decided to be problem solvers and take our "I spy" skills to a whole new level. We were gonna find that ring if it was the last thing we did....

Forbes and Nancy live in a small town so we had to call a rental company a few towns over to rent the machine of my dreams. When we went to pick it up, a very nice lady with frosted blonde hair and American themed clothes helped us. "Are you looking for jewelllrrryyyy" she asked in a wonderfully thick southern accent. They relayed the story of the lost ring and she frowned. After a few 'tuts' and head shakes she assured us that the last two people who used this exact metal detector found the jewelry they were looking for. "Don't worry, hunny--- you'll have that ring back fast. Just make sure you keep the detector on the 'trash setting' so you don't miss it." (Foreshadowing event #1).

That's right. Trash setting. I was giddy.

On the way to the scene of the engagement I regaled my friends with stories of all of the things I have found over the years. Money. Credit cards. Tickets to events. iPhones. IDs. I am good at finding stuff, y'all. And I bragged that fact up. My past experience of finding lost shit only made me feel more confident that using a metal detector would help me find something absolutely amazing. I was thinking BIG. Like a cache of hidden jewelry that was centuries old. Or Jimmy Hoffa. Or somebody else's beautiful locket with initials- what's that--- my initials??--- how peculiar--- inscribed on it.  (Foreshadowing event #2).

We decided to make a quick pit stop before putting the metal detector to the test and swung by their house to make some mix drinks. You can't just go looking for a ring with a metal detector without a bourbon and diet coke. That would just be wrong. (Foreshadowing event #3).

We got to the site of the proposal and began looking. Almost immediately, the metal detector picked up on something. The three of us got down on our knees and furiously dug through the grass. A candy wrapper.

We all shrugged and moved on. There was a general consensus that we were likely to happen upon something wonderful (besides the ring) and this false positive kind of gave us hope.

The metal detector went off again. We all got down and started looking. A screw. Well, shit.

By the fourth "drop and dig" I realized how much we resembled apes looking for lice on loved ones. We were frantically pushing grass apart and picking up any fragment of anything that was kind of shiny. We looked like assholes.

Around the tenth false positive, we decided to relocate. Our spirits were beginning to deflate. Not only had we not found the ring, we hadn't even found anything of value. Not even a quarter. Nothing.

We retraced their steps of the night and, trying to restrengthen our spirits, moved onto a second location. "You never know. It could be here." "I mean if we don't find it, we should find something good at the next place." "Oh, we will find it."

The sun was starting to set as we got to spot number two and Forbes began his back and forth motion when the detector beeped. We all looked excitedly. A bolt. Forbes had not moved two feet when it went off again. We looked. A nail. Without even moving away from the spot, the detector beeped frantically. We wearily looked. Another nail.

I looked up at them from my squatting momma ape digging through grass pose. "I'm officially done with this shit." I took a seat and drank my drink and (kind of) patiently waited. Nancy soon joined me. Forbes was intent- this was the first great thing he could do for his fiance. I, however, was over it and let Forbes know. "Forbes- give up. Puhhhleasse. You're not going to find it. It's getting dark and I'm getting bitten. And I need a refill soon. Let's go out to the field where everyone went to watch the fireworks. We'll at least find some money or something." I gave a sidelong look at Nancy. "Sorry," I shrugged to her. She agreed. And we were off.

We made it out to the field as the sun set and Forbes pulled the metal detector out of his car one last time. We all knew better than to hope for anything, but we couldn't help it. This was going to be where the whole scavenger hunt came to fruition. We weren't going to have just wasted our time and money for nothing.

We walked behind Forbes as he detected.

WASP Handbook Entry #285: What to wear while metal detecting. Red shorts. Chocos. A button down shirt. Basically, casual wear. Any outfit you might wear while cleaning the attic, working in the garden, or any other activity that may cause perspiration.

So this big field of promise--- this field where just two nights before rowdy southern people had gathered to celebrate America--- had nothing. No random screws. No candy wrappers. Nothing. The metal detector was quiet as a queen's fart.

We were all done. Forbes put the metal detector up and we silently moped walked and enjoyed the view for a bit.... which turned out to be great.

So- moral of the story? While we didn't find true gold with the metal detector, we did find gold in the sunset and spent a great night with each other. And good friends are more valuable than gold.

JUST KIDDING. Just writing that made me throw up in my mouth a little.

The moral of the story--- don't put your hopes on the stories of a woman who is making money off of the fact that you lost your jewelry. Not that she was the villain- but she certainly inflated our hopes. Don't brag about how good you are at doing something that you have no control over (like finding random things). It's the same as saying shit like "don't worry guys- our team has never lost any game that I have worn this hat to." Finally, while drinks to go are ALWAYS wonderful, sometimes they weaken your focus on the task at hand. But that's really debatable and not a scientific fact.

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