The band is made of metal, which is my primary criterion for liking a watch. My only criteria, actually. And, somehow, I feel bad for having it. It’s because it’s a returned gift. Well, the first watch was returned and traded in for this one, this all-metal, blue-faced replacement for something that I didn’t first care very much for.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like it—the original one was a nice, thick leather-banded watch. But it was uncomfortable on my wrist—I couldn’t move my hand with it on… it was like wearing a manacle or a nuthouse restraint. So Jill took it back the next day, braving the returns crowd and walking back through the store, the watch section, and selecting a new one.
She brought it home to me, and I opened the box, her standing in front of me smiling. She asked, “Did I do good?”
I put the watch on and looked at it, at the band, the shiny metal band, its cold comfort wrapped around my wrist. I thought to myself briefly—Jesus did not get one of these. Ever.
I sat down with the watch, Jill following me to the couch and I set it to the right time, the face staring back at me, aligned with the world. I grew curious about the three spare hands decidedly not spinning, so I took out the instructions and discovered that I have a stopwatch, too. I pushed the lower button and the second hand sped around the face and stopped at the 12 second mark. I pushed the top button and the stopwatch function sprang into slow action, the tiny minute hand and the tiny hour hand inside the wider circle of the primary clock taking their time, eventually meeting their destinations and continuing to their next.
I looked at the face, watched its parts move and shine in their newness.
“Yes,” I said. “You did good.”