Tuesday, February 9, 2021
THE SEVENTEEN-YEAR ITCH
I can hardly believe that it's been nearly seventeen years since The Sensitive Guy married the girl he first met and immediately fell head-over-heels in love with at someone else's wedding. The Sensitive Guy, you ask? Yes, that's what Ivaan called him. Never great at remembering names, Ivaan could remember a face he'd last seen in Grade Two, but his series of strokes only added to his trouble recalling names. So when we started making an engagement ring and a pair of wedding rings for Peter and Gina in 2003, Ivaan was very touched by something Peter said: that he wanted a wedding ring with which he would form an emotional bond as a piece of art, a little sculpture, quite independent of its role in symbolizing his soon-to-be status as Gina's husband. Ivaan could recognize Peter's face instantly, but whenever he mentioned him to me, he couldn't come up with a name. He did, however, remember what Peter had said, so he dubbed him The Sensitive Guy, and to this day the ring Peter chose as his wedding ring is called The Sensitive Guy ring. In due course, we finished all the rings, and Peter and Gina were married, and Ivaan never forgot them. He remembered who referred them to us (a really nice couple called Lou and Kerri), he remembered funny details about them such as Peter's elaborate surprise proposal over dinner. He even remembered that Peter worked with highly specialized light-reflecting concrete. And that turned out to be important. Seventeen years later, the underside of Peter's wedding ring was worn to a frazzle - probably because of all that concrete - and Gina's rings, which she had cared for beautifully, were nonetheless in need of a cleaning and polishing, and while we were at it, she was hoping they could be enhanced with a sprinkle of little gemstones on the shoulders. So even though I had told myself I would never undertake any jewellery projects, I felt strongly that Ivaan would approve. I used the gold of Peter's original ring and added some more, and the new ring came out beautifully. My photography doesn't do it justice. But The Sensitive Guy is good to go for another seventeen years.