Monday, January 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Watches

It was the best of time ... no, I can't do it. Anyway, a long time ago, in a land called "The Eighties," I was married to a crazy woman, though that's really another story. The point is her parents were nice. For example, they brought me back a watch from a trip to Switzerland. Because they knew I would like one. It was perfect. An Omega self-winder, water-resistant, simple, analog, easy to read, luminescent hands, and appropriate for any occasion.

I loved my watch, and wore it virtually every day. Alas, watches like mine are mechanical, and things wear out over time. After a while, watches don't hold their value well enough to justify the cost of continued repairs. Sort of like people. So when my Omega started to betray my habitual punctuality, I started stepping out, going through a series of cheap Swatches and flashy Indiglo's. But nothing could really take the place of my beloved Omega.

Nothing, that is, until Biscuit presented me with a Citizen Corso Eco-Drive for Christmas one year. Or maybe it was my birthday, I forget, but I loved it. It was everything the Omega was, and more. Titanium case and band, scratch-resistant mineral dial window, and driven by light. How can you not love a watch that's driven by light? And while the Omega's style was great for the 80's, the Citizen's look is perfect for who I am now.

Titanium, just like the SR-71 and my King Cobra driver

Everything was great with my new watch until I lost it. One day it just seemed to vanish. I racked my brain for months, trying to come up with any clues to its whereabouts. I searched the car, moved furniture, and looked in places too small for it to fit. I even cut the bottom fabric and looked inside my favorite club chair, which has eaten two Swiss Army knives, one phone, a lot of change, and countless M&M's over the years. No luck.

After a couple of years, once it was obvious that my watch was truly gone for good, Biscuit took pity on me and presented me with a replacement this past Christmas. I was planning to bake bread all day on the 23rd, and we were driving to see family on Christmas Eve, so we exchanged gifts on the evening of the 22nd. I was excited to have my new watch, and since it was identical to the old one, it lessened the sense of loss.

I jumped up early the next morning and made breakfast, as I had about a half dozen full size loaves to bake, as well as sixteen mini chocolate loaves for family presents.* I decided to put on my apron, which was also a present from Biscuit, and wearing it reminds me to check on things every now and then. I forget to wear it most of the time when I'm cooking, but I had one loaf rising, one proofing, and one in the oven pretty much all day, and I tend to get distracted, so anything that helps keep me centered is, well, helpful.

Good advice when I'm cooking

I had the apron on for about five minutes when I noticed there was something in the pocket. Why, what could it possibly be? Infrared thermometer? Tiny measuring cup? Muffin ring? Why it's ... okay, at this point you should be feeling almost as uncomfortable as I was. Even before I got my hand in the apron pocket, I had a premonition of what it was going to be ... my other watch!

For a second, I seriously considered not saying anything, and maybe hiding it in a drawer against the day that I lost the new one, and I could replace it without saying anything. But that's not really the kind of relationship we have, and besides, I felt way too stupid to get away with this. Biscuit was incredibly gracious and good-humored about the whole thing, partially because she's always relieved to find something good to buy me, but mostly because she's really nice.

I walked within six inches of this several 
times a day, the entire time it was missing.

We talked about sending back the new one, but given my track record, in the end I thought it was probably wise to keep them both. Plus, I feel like some sort of country gentleman with matching watches.

So the next time you think you couldn't possibly feel stupider about something, remember that it was a far, far dumber thing I ... nope, still can't do it.

* I don't normally give bread to people as if it were a real present. It's bit of a long story, but the important thing to know is that each loaf came with a bottle of champagne.


  1. Ok, so...why is bread not a "real" present?

  2. Good to know other people do bone-headed things like this -- I have a few of these provided the explanation when you said we get easily distracted...we are thinking of far too many things, right? Dang, where is MY bread and champagne? That sounds like an excellent gift! I think I like the new watch the best and you're right it's always good to have a back-up....

  3. I sure as shit would double up them watches.