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Sy Rosen

When you've been married a certain number of years the word "rekindle" pops up a lot. How can we rekindle our love, rekindle the romance, rekindle our feelings? I started to hate that word, mainly because I was so bad at it.

Last week I finally figured out a way to turn back the clock and bring the romance back to our marriage. I remembered about twenty years ago there was an antique watch with a white gold band that my wife absolutely loved. However, it was $400 - too much for us at the time. Now I thought if I could find that watch I could recapture how we felt back then. And so my quest began.

I remembered the name of the place was Manteo's Antique Jewelry and I was pretty sure I knew where it was. However, when I got there it was replaced by one of those slightly seedy stores with a hand painted sign above the door, Psychic Palm Reading.

I was greeted by Madam Rosario, a lady in her early forties with a large red scarf draped around her large pale neck. She explained that Manteo's moved years ago and she was certain they were now located in Hollywood.

Since Madam Rosario was a psychic I figured she would know. However, she also said that I would marry soon and that I was a good Christian man. Being Jewish and already married I started to doubt her psychic abilities. When she told me I was going to lose twenty pounds I knew she was a fraud and decided to look up Manteo's in the yellow pages.

There was a Manteo's downtown right near the bakery district. As I drove to the store I was engulfed by the smells of bread and pastries. I finally found the jewelry store and met the Manteos, an elderly plump couple who had been married so long they had started looking alike. Actually they looked like two apple dumplings (okay, the smell from the bakery was still on my mind).

I explained about my quest and Mr. Manteo brought me to the back of the store where he laid a watch with a white gold band in front of me. It was exactly as I remembered. Mr. Manteo said it cost $600. This watch was a magical glowing symbol of romance and there was only one thing I could say: "I'll give you $400."

"$500" Mr. Manteo countered.

"But the last time I was here it only cost $400," I countered back.

"That was a long time ago. And can you really put a price on love?" Mr. Manteo asked.

"$450," I answered.

We shook hands and I wrote a check. Before I went home I went into the bakery next door and bought two apple dumplings.

That evening I excitedly gave my wife the watch. She looked happy but also a little bewildered. I explained that this was the watch she wanted twenty years ago at Manteo's Jewelry Store. She explained that the watch was beautiful but it was Santelli's Jewelry Store and what she wanted back then was earrings.

"Huh," I said, feeling like a complete dolt.

My wife then asked what that smell was and I told her apple dumplings.

"We haven't had apple dumplings in twenty years!" she exclaimed. As we gobbled them up we started talking about our life twenty years ago. The years drifted away and we recaptured how we felt back then. It was a glorious evening.

You never know where or how love will be rekindled. For my wife and I it wasn't expensive jewelry but rather an apple dumpling. That night as my wife slept I watched her. She looked beautiful and content and I kept thinking that maybe I could return the watch and get a full refund.

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