14 July 2006

The art, and gift, of time...

You can file this one under strange and bizarre.

Almost exactly two years ago, my Movado wristwatch, which was a gift from someone I used to know, stopped working. Of course, I was upset because I loved that watch. I always have loved Movados and when I received this in July 2003, I was thrilled. So when it stopped working in August 2004, I took it back to the Whitehall Jewelers, where it was purchased, and was told they would inform me if the "problem" was still under warranty, and what it would cost, if anything, to repair it.

A few weeks later, I heard from the jeweler and he informed me that the problem was not under warranty and that it would cost $450 to restore it. This didn't make sense to me and, of course, I argued (nicely) the point, but he was adamant and said nothing could be done.

I thought about it and decided that as much as I loved that watch, I wasn't going to spend $450 to fix the problem. I brought it back home and every time I would see it, I would wonder why this really good watch decided to stop working out of the blue. (Ok, so I did swim with it a few times - I have since discovered the difference between the terms "water proof" and "water resistant" but still, it was a freaking Movado we were talking about here.

For some strange reason, and maybe not so strange because I am nothing if not tenacious (stubborn), I took the watch back and tried again. Could they send it to wherever they send sick Movado watches and check again to see if it was under warranty? Please? Fortunately, I dealt with an unsuspecting new sales woman, and I didn't bother to go into the history and questions surrounding the "warranty". She took it, noted the name it was bought under (my former fiancee), and said she would call me when it came back.

Weeks passed and weeks turned into at least three months. One day I took a call from the new (and improved) manager of the jewelry store who was full of apologies, because it would seem the watch had been overlooked and never made it to the Movado Sick Watch Hospital/Factory. He profusely offered his regrets and said, because of the time this watch spent sitting in his store, it would be sent to the manufacturer and repaired free of charge, even if it was not a warranty covered item.

Yesterday, when I was stealing a couple of hours in the pool, I suddenly thought of the watch and wondered where it was and if it missed me. A few minutes ago, my phone rang and, though I didn't recognize the number, I took the call anyway (rare for me). It was the manager from the jewelry store, pleasantly informing me that my watch was ready to be picked up and was "as good as new". I wondered if I should even ask, so I gingerly inquired, "And I owe nothing, correct?".

"That's right, this was our mistake and all you have to do is pick it up.".

I broke out into a huge smile. Yes!!!! I am so excited to be rejoined with my watch! On the way to work today, I shall swing by the store and remove my trusty, reliable (but not elegant!) Seiko Mickey Mouse watch, and return to my wrist one of the few pieces of really nice jewelry in my possession. I have also practiced repeating many times in the last few weeks, "Water resistant ISN'T the same as water-proof." No more swimming or showers for this watch. I don't even think I'd take it out in a rainstorm!

Now, it should be noted, that I am not a jewelry aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. I can appreciate nice stones and intricate pieces and lovely diamonds, but it's not something I've ever really pined for. I have received some very beautiful diamond earrings, birthstone rings, and a couple of interesting bracelets over the past ten years, but to say jewelry is a passion? No, not at all. Books are my addiction, no question.

Having said that, for some strange reason, I have always appreciated Movado watches and I'm not sure why, other than they strike me as elegantly understated. Maybe it's because they have no numbers on the face and allow you the option to decide..."is it really ten past one or ten past two?". I have no idea. I just love them. Not quite as much as I might love a shopping frenzy at Barnes and Noble, but close. Definitely close.

The really weirdest part of all of this, and I can hear Vanessa saying in her "knowing" sing-song voice...(she sees the good in everything!), "Everything happens for a reason." You see, this watch ceased operation, two years ago, within a week of meeting the person who very soon will no longer be my husband...(it sounds better than "ex", don't you think?). In fact, he was with me the first time I returned the watch to the store and was told, a few weeks later, that it would cost $450 to repair. I don't think he was too disappointed that it couldn't be fixed, given that it was a gift from a former relationship, but I was - though not enough to fork over the money to repair it.

And now, within weeks of making the very difficult decision of ending this marriage, the watch I had nearly given up on, is being returned to me, free of any repair charge and fully functioning. It is operating on all cylinders, and so am I.

I can't help but see some kind of parallel or a mystic, ticking sign. Naturally, it could, and probably is, purely coincidental, but maybe it IS about letting me know that I am doing the right thing. I think I'll go with that.

And now, I will go and get my watch and look forward to some "time well spent".