... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

My Father and Me and the Ring

That oldie but goody picture Dani shared yesterday with our Mother and Little Richard took me back. Way back. Made me recall a story about My Father and Me and the Ring. . .

I was a little girl when this story took place.Some things you never forget.

Dear readers, I’d just like to say that I hope you’ve been as fortunate as Dana and I have been to have had a father or role model who, despite his faults and idiosyncrasies (and who does not have them?), taught you the purpose of goodness and charity, instilled within you a certain uprightness and taught you morals to abide by.

This particular event happened while we were in San Francisco. Family vacationing with friends. There are certain elements of this story that are highlighted in my mind in color…fire engine red for example.

We had just hopped off a cable car and after walking about for just a short time, entered a huge, gigantic, gargantuan, muscle man sized store. Great big store. And in one part of this monster sized store there were counters, lots and lots of counters and it took every thing I had to stand on my tippy toes just so I could see what they held. There were rings. Thousands and hundreds and millions of rings, each one prettier and shinier and redder and bluer and pinker and greener than the other. And bigger.

Well, after a time we exited the store and hopped on another cable car.
After a few minutes, Daddy looked at my hand and said, “Where’d you get that ring?”

I silently looked up at him.

“Where’d you get that ring Tracie?”
He was mad.

Whenever Mama was about to get on my butt it was “Tracie Lynn!” but when Daddy said it, Tracie was all he said. It just had a certain unmistakable… effect, if you will.

“From the store,” I said.

“How’d you buy it?”


“I asked you a question goddammit!”

I didn’t!”

“Well then, how’d you get it?

If I had been big enough to say, “Jeez, Daddy you know how I got the damn ring, give me a damn break!” – it would have been at that very moment.

“I took it.”

“You took it. You mean you stole it!”

Silence from me. Silence from him.

I was candy happy because he’d quieted down – he had this thing about not caring who was around or where he was when he got the urge to raise his voice and yay! I got to keep my ring!

After a time we got off that trolley and got on another one. Before I knew it we were…standing outside that huge, gigantic, gargantuan, muscle man sized store. He looked down at me, released my hand and grabbed hold of my arm. Tightly.

“So here’s what we’re gonna do,” he said “We’re gonna go back in this store and we’re gonna find a saleslady and you’re going to tell her that you stole this ring, that you are very sorry, you want to return it and will never steal again.”

“What?! Daddy no! I swear I won’t do it again and I really didn’t mean it and…” He tightened his grip and almost dragged me back into that store.
He approached the nearest sales lady.

“Excuse me Miss. My daughter here has something to say to you.”

I really didn’t have anything to say to this woman so I didn’t. Daddy jerked my arm to help jog my memory. At the time, I didn’t understand the notion of choosing between the lesser of two evils. Mortified, I said it.
Good grief! I remember this like it happened just yesterday.

The saleslady was so impressed (or dumbfounded) that she said I could keep the ring. Daddy wasn’t having any of that. He instructed the woman to show us where the ring belonged and made me follow her – with him on my heels – to one of those great big shiny glossy counters so that I could have the honor of putting the shitty ring back. I stood in front of the counter, looked up at him, turned and looked up at the sales lady, and then I turned and faced all those thousands and hundreds and millions of rings. I didn’t bother standing on my toes.

I hurled the ring with all my might onto the counter, turned around and marched away towards the exit door of that great big huge, gigantic, gargantuan, muscle man sized store.

I am after all, my father’s child.