I left my ring in the airport bathroom and was on the plane before I noticed. I’d just given the flight attendants my usual assurance that if they had an empty seat to fill in First Class, I was more than willing to help them out by changing seats. This always makes them laugh, but it never actually works. The line in front of me was stalled, so I had to then stand there next to them, waiting to move, which wasn’t happening. It was awkward.
When I looked at my finger and gasped, the flight attendant noticed. “Oh my god,” I said. “My ring.” She told me to run and look for it; she said I had time. She pulled my carry on back into their work station and said they’d watch it. I think she was relieved to be rid of me.
It was three restrooms back, not the closest, and one of the moving walkways was out of order going in that direction. I was wearing the fuzzy sweater I’d worn almost every day of the trip because it was the warmest thing I’d brought, and it was already tending toward the oily side. I ran, past the wine bar I hadn’t gone into on my way to my gate, past the Hudson news where I’d bought tampons about 12 minutes earlier, accepting a knowing eyebrow-arch from the woman who rang me up.
“It only came because I’m traveling,” I said to her.
“Mmmm hm!” she said back. “You’re not the only one, there’s been a lot of these today.” I laughed; she didn’t.
I ran past the toddlers walking in large swerving lines with their little colorful pull-along suitcases, nearly knocking into one as he started a new direction in his swerve.
When I got to the bathroom, I ran in, screeched to a halt at the sink where my ring sat by the faucet, right where I’d left it, grabbed it and ran back. On my way out I heard a woman say to another “I was wondering what that was doing there!”
As I ran back to the gate, horribly out of breath and sweating into my fuzzy sweater, so much, I whispered thankyouthankyouthankyou to all of the women who hadn’t taken my ring. Then I thought, People are so good.