The Lady of the Ring and her beautiful bald man arrived at the restaurant to find the other couple already seated and waiting for them. As they greeted each other, the Lady noticed that each of her friends wore a simple gold ring. The beautiful bald man noticed that his Lady was noticing the couple’s rings, and he felt happy in the knowledge that this would be an enjoyable evening. You see, the Lady’s beautiful bald man understood only too well the importance of accessories. Many an evening had been spent in the past sitting in a restaurant opposite a couple who had no rings, or who wore mismatched rings, or who fought over their rings. Sometimes the couples they met in restaurants bickered about whose ring was the most beautiful and the most right, and that was a terrible conversation to listen to while eating dinner.
As they all ate their food and sipped their wine, the Lovely Lady noticed a strange glow gathering around their table. This glow was coming from her friends’ rings, and for a lightning-quick moment the Lovely Lady felt sad that her friends’ glow was so warm and strong, while she had left her glow at home. For as the Lady and her beautiful man had left their home earlier that evening they had argued about something, and that argument had taken hold of their rings’ glow and placed it in a tiny comment box on a shelf in the study, hidden underneath a disorganised stack of bills, receipts and to-do lists.
When the Lovely Lady and her beautiful bald man returned home, they both ran into the study and raced towards the shelf where the little comment box was hidden. They rummaged through the scraps of paper impatiently, but soon realised that the box was missing and in its place was a little handwritten note saying: “Hello Mum and Dad, please come into my room even if I’m asleep. Thank you.” So they went into that room and looked down at the perfectly round little brown-haired head of a little girl who was lying in her bed fast asleep. One of her arms was tucked under a soft, pink blanket, while the other arm lay stretched out above her head, and clutched in her little dimpled hand was the tiny comment box. The Lady prised the girl's fingers away from the box and opened it, and as she did so a soft warm glow filled the small bedroom and pulsed around the room.
“I’m so tired,” said the Lady.
“I know,” said her man.
“I don’t have the energy to argue any more,” said the Lady.
“Did we argue?” asked her man.
“Are you being sarcastic?” asked the Lady.
“You’re just tired,” said her man.
“You’re right,” said the Lady, with a sigh.
Then the man plucked the box from his Lady’s outstretched hands and opened it. Inside the box was the tiniest pearl; it was the pearl of wisdom. He picked the pearl up with his delicate fingers and put it in his mouth and swallowed it. The Lady of the Ring looked at her man in dismay.
“You are completely mad,” she said to him.
“I’m mad about you,” he answered.
The Lady laughed and laughed and brought her lips closer and closer to his, until they touched each other in a jewel-encrusted kiss, and the glow which flowed from their kiss enveloped them in its sweet scent of the wisdom of two decades.
But that wisdom is a secret.