Put a Ring on It

For the first time ever, I needed to go to a place that would buy a gold ring. This is something I’ve read about in books or seen in movies. It didn’t seem like the kind of behavior that I would aspire to. Still, I had a ring that I needed to dispose of.

Gold isn’t something I have hanging around the house on a regular basis. But at my part-time retail gig in 2015, I found a gold wedding-type band on the sales floor. Company policy says that associates are to turn found valuables over to management, and if the item isn’t claimed in a year, the associate gets the property.

Well, I guess someone was at the end of a bitter relationship, because the ring went unclaimed and in 2016 I became the owner of the symbol of their love. I totally wept…with joy. I don’t know anything about the value of gold but was expecting the metallurgic value would yield enough money to pay my cell phone bill or buy me a cheap lunch. Love is so beautiful.

But first, I had to find a place to buy my wares. A jewelry shop would buy back a ring, but the internet said a pawn shop or buy-sell-trade shop would give me a better return. I opted for the “better return” and I quickly thought about super-sizing my lunch.

The place I found “American Trading Company: The Original” did not inspire confidence. Were there really non-original American Trading Company’s out there? Color me skeptical.

ATC (See, I just made them seem cool) sits in a grim building just a block behind the shiny CVS behind a sign made from self stick letters that were pealing. That’s pealing, not appealing. Except that the guy behind the counter wasn’t a kooky-eccentric, like in the movies, the place seemed instantly recognizable and regrettable. Probably part of the guidebook for setting up a buy-sell-trade store is to make it look sketchy. I saw right through what they were doing. They wanted to look like they couldn’t afford to pay me top dollar. One look at the sign and the building was supposed to be a clue that these folks were barely making it themselves. They were psychologically preparing me not to angrily demand higher pay outs.

That in the shop full of new and used guns allowed me to immediately think, “I’ll just take what they offer and get the hell out of here.”

The guy said the wall of automatic weapons were mostly new items, as were the handguns in the display case. The wall of shotguns were mostly pawned. Guns made up the bulk of merchandise in the small, dirty shop. While he weighed and processed my precious find, I fantasized about buying a handgun, as one does when in a handgun-based establishment. I picked out the only one that would possible fit in my hand, a gun so small that if I shot someone, it would be an inconvenience more than a life threatening event. Still, a girl can have Clint Eastwood sized dreams

Mr. Pawn/Buy-Sell-Trade offered me $38 for my ring. I’m sure I couldn’t buy a wedding band for $38 but I sure as hell can buy a decent meal.

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