Opinion: Two Tiny Points Of Perfection

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Norm Pattis

Christmas has come and gone, and I confess to a sense of child-like disappointment. Anticipation of the day, of the time away from the courts, of time with family, made the past few weeks fly by in a mad whirl of excitement. The day after Christmas is sort of like a hangover: sure, I'd do it all over again, but I always forget the sense of having been left behind once the holidays pass.

I was a romantic fool this year, buying my wife diamonds for the first time ever. It was a huge risk, actually. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but my wife is very much a woman of strong, if sometimes decidedly unromantic, tastes. You won't see roses in our house, ever. She doesn't like roses. Orchids? Now that's a different matter.

We searched forever for just the right wedding rings. They are simple, unadorned intertwined bands of gold and platinum. When I took mine off one day in a closing argument I expected to be emotional — I have a tendency to talk with my hands — the ring was nowhere to be found at day's end. I have a sneaking suspicion I know who took it, but I came home without my ring that night.

Off to the jewelers I was sent the very next day, to order an exact replica. I don't take it off anymore in court. If it slips off some day as I flail about, at least I'll know it didn't find a new home in some stranger's pocket, and I won't be searching pawn shops to see if it turned up in the vicinity of the courthouse.

I spotted a simple pair of earrings in New Haven several weeks ago. They looked perfect, small points of light reflecting the grandeur of the universe. I went back to look at them a time or two, imagining how perfect they would look on my wife. It seemed fitting, really, that these portals of light should adorn a woman who is the very light of my life. We've been married long enough for me to know that a marriage is work, sometimes hard work, but I know that I am blessed beyond any sense of just desert. I will never understand what I did to deserve this woman; I've learned to accept her, just as religious believers accept the grace of an unfathomable God.

But still, earrings? Isn't that the height of frivolity? I worried some that I'd been seen an even bigger fool than I am.

In the weeks before Christmas, I could not shake the thought of these glowing gems. Two days before Christmas, I went to the jewelers. I had the jeweler check them to make sure they were as close to perfect as they could be. I gushed like a newlywed to the salesman about the risk I was taking.

The last gift we exchanged was a tiny box. I watched my wife as she opened the box from across the room. Would she accept them? It was as though I were proposing all over again.

Modesty, a virtue regular readers will be surprised to learn I possess, prevents me from reporting her response. Suffice it to say that I spent Christmas Day sneaking glances at two tiny points of perfection adorning a woman who has been for me as close to perfection as human relations permit.

Christmas Day has passed. Yes, there is the letdown of a splendid event concluded. But I look forward to the time ahead. These diamonds delight me. They make her glow. I can't tell who got the greater gift, my wife or me.•

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