I swear I met the clone of Eddie Haskell the other day. And I’m ashamed to admit I came very close to allowing him to talk me into doing something that would have cost me a lot of money.
For those of you who are too young to recognize the name of Eddie Haskell, he was a character on the old TV show, “Leave it to Beaver,” and was known for complimenting and flattering everyone to the point of being completely nauseating. The worst part was he didn’t mean a single word of anything he said.
My “adventure” began a few days ago when I visited a jewelry store because I wanted to have one of my rings resized. The moment I entered, “Eddie Haskell” practically leapt over the counter to greet me and then went into action.
“Hello, lovely lady!” he said, smiling so widely it was amazing he didn’t injure his face. His gaze fell to my green jacket. “How did you know that green is my favorite color?”
“I want to have a ring resized,” I said. I extended the dainty ring to him. It wasn’t a very expensive ring, but it held a lot of sentimental value for me.
He completely ignored the ring and instead, stared at the two rings I was wearing (my engagement ring and an onyx one with diamonds). “Oh, what bee-yoooo-tee-ful rings!” he gushed. “Can you take them off so I can see them up close?”
Like a fool, I removed my two rings and handed them to him. I was too clueless to realize his true motive...to hold the rings hostage and force me to become his “captive” audience.
“Exquisite!” he said, briefly examining the rings. “Here, let me clean them for you. It’s free, and you’ll be amazed at the difference. They will sparkle so brightly afterwards, you’ll need sunglasses!”
As my rings were being cleaned, he asked me if I was married. I didn't feel like going into any personal details about my being a widow, so I just answered yes. When I did, he said, “Well, I guess then, so am I.”
I looked at his naked ring finger. “You’re a jeweler and you don’t even wear a wedding band?”
“It’s being cleaned,” he said.
He made it sound as if he’d sent it off somewhere to be cleaned and it wasn’t back yet, which made little sense, considering he was the one who was cleaning my rings at that moment.
When my rings came out of the cleaner, he picked up a diamond-testing device and pressed it against my engagement ring. His smiling expression instantly transformed into one of shock - the sort of expression you might see on someone's face after he just caught his wife in bed with his best friend.
“It’s a Moissanite!” he gasped.
I just stared at him, fearing that my diamond had some rare, diamond-eating disease. “What’s a Moissanite...and is it contagious?”
“A fake diamond!” He clutched his chest for obvious effect. “You have a fake diamond!”
Before I even could open my mouth to respond, he excused himself and rushed off to assist another customer – a petite, attractive young woman. She inquired about having a medallion personally engraved for a male friend of hers.
“Well, aren’t you just as cute as a button!” Eddie Haskell said. His eyebrows arched. “Are you sure this guy is only a friend? This is a pretty expensive medallion!”
The girl ignored his question and looked undeniably uncomfortable when he added, “Well, if you don’t have a serious boyfriend, you can always have me!”
I was beginning to understand why the guy didn’t wear his wedding band.
“I don’t have time for a boyfriend,” she said, neither smiling nor amused. “Now, do you want me to write down what I want engraved?”
After he took down all of her information, he finally returned to me and my “fake” diamond. “Maybe your stone was real at one time,” he said, “but if you’ve had the ring serviced over the years, someone could have switched the diamond on you!”
I shook my head. “Impossible. It’s never left my sight.”
“Look, I’ll get my wedding ring out of the cleaner,” he said. “I know the diamonds on that are genuine, and I’ll show you how this device reads REAL diamonds.”
He retrieved his band, which had a row of diamonds across the front of it, and pressed the testing device against one of the diamonds. The meter landed on Moissanite. I nearly burst out laughing.
“Dumb machine!” he muttered, giving it a few vigorous shakes. “I paid over $200 for it and it’s a piece of junk!”
He then put a jeweler’s loupe up to his eye and studied both of my rings.
“They’re real,” he finally said, sighing. “But the prongs are so worn out on the engagement ring, you are in serious jeopardy of losing the stones! I’m surprised they haven’t already fallen out, the prongs are so bad.”
“Really?” I asked, genuinely concerned.
“I can replace the prongs for you with nice new, solid ones. They will protect the stones, too, because they’ll be thicker and will prevent you from accidentally hitting the diamonds against anything.”
I found myself agreeing to the prongs. After all, I didn’t want to have my diamonds fall down the toilet or wind up in my cake batter.
“Well, I feel generous today, so I’ll give you a discount,” he said in a tone that told me he fully was expecting to earn my eternal gratitude. “Normally, it would cost you over $325, but I like to make my customers happy, so for you, it's only $285.”
Before I could find my voice, another female customer walked in.
“Well, today must be my lucky day for having beautiful women in here!” he immediately said, moving toward her. “I love that coat you’re wearing! Blue just happens to be my favorite color! Oooh! What a stunning ring you’re wearing! Can you take it off so I can get a closer look at it?”
By then, I was so frustrated with myself for even considering doing business with such a creep, I began to wonder when someone had removed my usually logical brain and replaced it with oatmeal. So while the jeweler was busy delivering his phony spiel to his newest victim, I snatched my rings off the counter, where (fortunately) he had set them down on a drying cloth, and made a quick exit. I didn’t even bother to have my inexpensive ring resized – the original reason for my visit.
So I must warn everyone who’s brave enough in the future to eat something I’ve baked...you are at risk of cracking a tooth on a diamond that might fall out of its dangerously worn-out prongs on my ring.
But to be honest, considering how truthful the jeweler was about everything else I witnessed him saying and doing during my visit, I suspect my prongs probably still are strong enough to support a bowling ball.
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