Times were tough with the economy teetering on the brink of depression. Jason worked in a factory that made car doors. He worked on a machine used for punching out internal panels. He wasn’t getting the hours from work he’d hoped. Thirty two hours a week was barely enough to make ends meet.
It was especially troubling because Jason wanted to do something extra special for his wife for Christmas. When he proposed, Jason promised Bella a life of adventure. They’d only been married four years, but those years were marred by turbulence and uncertainly. Despite their efforts to get ahead and start a family, they felt trapped in their one bedroom bungalow on the wrong side of the tracks.
Christmas inspiration struck on a snowy day in late November. Jason found a crushed ring in a coffee shop parking lot. He took it to a jewelers who confirmed that the stone of the broken ring was a third of a carat diamond.
Jason decided to create a ring for his newly discovered treasure. Being a man who was secretly an incurable romantic, Jason’s boss was eager to help. He let Jason use shop tools to finish the ring and kept the shop open so he could work after hours.
A leftover byproduct of their manufacturing process were thin washer-like steel blanks. Jason took one of the blanks, heated it in the furnace room and formed it into smooth ring. He then looked online at hundreds of diamond ring styles. After two weeks of trial and error, he became adept at forming tiny steel stems into an elegant setting.
Perseverance paid off when Jason finished the diamond and steel ring the Thursday before Christmas. He could hardly contain his pride.
On Christmas morning he presented Bella with a wrapped jewelry box. She opened it to discover his hand made gift. Bella gave Jason a look of pain.
“It’s… nice,” she said.
“What? What’s wrong?”
“It’s really pretty, but what I really wanted was a toaster.”