Coffee Shop Cynic and the Quest for Romance: or how Alicen almost chopped off her finger

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and honestly, Valentine’s Day is often something that slips my mind because A. usually I’m single and B. It’s in the middle of February which is my crazy cosplay deadline month. Last year my partner and I went all out but this year we’ve decided to just watch movies at home instead. That still didn’t stop me from trying to do something romantic. Yeah… that went well.

It started a couple weeks ago when I was looking at the Hot Topic website for jewelry for the secret cosplay I’ve hinted at before. Couldn’t find what I was looking for but I did find these adorable rings that would be perfect. It’s a ring set and they only come in one size: one ring is a man’s size and the other a woman’s. Well that got me on a whole rant about heteronormativity, but that’s a rant for another day.

I was mad that the Hot Topic ones only come in those sizes so I searched the internet for similar rings, unsuccessfully. Anything I found was either going to take too long to get here, was too expensive, or had the same sizing problem. I was about to give up until my friend, Vanessa, gave me a shred of hope.

I ranted to Vanessa about it and she suggested that I still get the rings because I can get spacers to make the big one smaller. One call to Hot Topic to get the rings set aside, and one amazon order of ring spacers later, and I’m all set.

The next day I go to pick up the rings, barely looking at them, while rushing to get out of Hot Topic before I A. spend too much money and B. have Star Wars mansplained to me again by the guy who works there.

I get the rings home and notice that the size 7 one is pretty small. That’s the one I’m going to be wearing and I have pretty big knuckles. I know once I get rings on past my knuckles they’re usually fine. So I get it over my knuckle and it’s way too tight.

No panic. I go grab the soap and attempt to get it off. Nothing. Grabbed the lotion. Nothing. Now I’m starting to get a little concerned so I text Andrea while I also google “how to get a stuck ring off”.

I found this article and started following the advice on it. Tried oil–nothing. Tried icing and elevating the finger and ring for ten minutes. Didn’t work. I was running out of options. I started joking with Andrea about just chopping off my finger but she wouldn’t let me. So instead I tried the last suggestion on the list that I could do myself. I slid dental floss under the ring and wrapped the end closest to the top of my finger around my knuckle to compress it while I slid the ring off. Or at least I slid the ring off in theory. It didn’t work… cue me hysterically laughing.

I was pretty tempted to just grab my biggest knife but I’m the only one who thinks that was a good idea so I grabbed my coat and started heading to the mall instead.

Once I got to Brentwood the first jewelers I saw was Michael Hill. I walked in there hoping they could help me and was sorely disappointed. The one woman didn’t even look up at me, she just kept asking me if I’d tried soap or lotion. The other woman started freaking out saying, “Oh my god, it’s so swollen! I don’t want to hurt you! I can’t even look at it!” I knew no one there was going to be any use to me so I kept wandering the mall.

There’s two more jewelry stores in Brentwood so I looked in both and walked into Rodan. The store was full of suave men who were more than willing to help me. I calmly explained the situation while one of the gentlemen cut off the ring. Okay, that’s a lie. I totally sounded hysterical while I was ranting the entire story at him. He just kept calmly trying to cut off the ring. At one point I remember saying, “And I just wanted the rings for cosplay!” and he just calmly replied, “I don’t know what that means, ma’am,” and kept sawing away at the ring. I’m sure he’s been telling his friends about the weird woman who he had to cut a ring off of who wouldn’t shut up about¬†heteronormativity and cosplay. Anyways, because the ring was cheap, he couldn’t put it back together and resize it but he did file down the cut edges for me and reshape it slightly so I can wear it.

I barely lasted two days before telling Julia this story. Forget surprising her for Valentine’s Day, this story was too ridiculous to not share. However, it doesn’t end there. Not long after I told Julia the story we were doing a trial run of said secret cosplays and I grabbed our gloves so we could put them on. It took me a moment but I looked down at our hands and started hysterically laughing. The rings were for nothing because we’re wearing gloves! Sigh. At least it makes a good story. Also, I’m stubborn as hell and we’re totally wearing the rings over the gloves.