Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Long (Long!) Overdue Story Of The Mobius Bracelet

I've owed you folks this story for quite some time, but I didn't want to post until I had pictures of the final product.  Which in itself turned out harder than expected, as I took a bunch (along with my daughter's 6th birthday party) and then lost the memory card :(.  But I've got them now, so on with the story!

image0 (1)  Background:  A long time ago I got it into my head to get my wife a "Moebius" bracelet.  You're perhaps seen them, it's a neat little physical ring with a simple twist that - technically - makes it an impossibility, as it becomes a three dimensional object with only one side.  I like to call it an "infinity bracelet."  When I found such bracelets with Sonnet 116 engraved (close to 300 characters!) I had to have one, but I wanted my own quote.  Ideally sonnet 17, the one used at my wedding.  I can't recap the entire story here, but the long and short of it is that I thought that a personally engraved infinity bracelet was an impossibility, until I found a vendor in Arizona who said that they would do one for me.  Deal!

image4 (1)  When last I updated everybody, my bracelet had "apparently" arrived because we were on vacation and when we returned there was a note at the door from the postman saying that a package was waiting for us.  This was displeasing to me as I told them to send it to my office - I planned to hide it until the end of September, for my wedding anniversary.  But when a random package shows up at the house, I'm not a good liar.

We sign the slip and put it out for the mailman the next day -- no package.  We call, and are told "You have to wait at least 2 days."

Next day?  Nothing.  I call the vendor and ask if there is any sort of tracking on the package so we can verify that it is not lost.

image3 (1)  The next day I get a call at work from the vendor in Arizona, saying "I just spoke to your local post office, and they have it for you.  They're waiting for you to go pick it up."  I said, "Lady I work in Boston, an hour away from the post office, I can't pick it up!"  Oy, vey!  I call the post office to see if my wife can pick it up.  They explain to me that it was misfiled in certified letters, and no they can't deliver it, someone has to come get it.  But yes, she can come and get it.

So she gets it, does not open it.  To complicate matters, are you ready for this?  THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN.  We decide on the spur of the moment to take the kids to the circus, so I meet the family at a restaurant for dinner and head over there.  The package has waited this long, now it has to wait a few more hours.

At long last - maybe 10pm that night - I finally got to unveil it.  This is the first time I've seen it, as well.  I don't even get the opportunity to see if it came out good. 

image5 (1)  It came out *great*.  My wife loves it.  Totally doesn't understand it at first, but sits with me as I explain the whole gift:  She likes jewelry, I like Shakespeare, I wanted a gift that symbolized something that was important to both of us.  I could have gotten a canned, mass produced one with some generic sonnet, but I didn't want that, I wanted quotes that meant something to us, something that would make it unique in the universe.  It begins with, "If I could write the beauty in your eyes, and in fresh numbers number all your graces, the age to come would say This poet lies, such heavenly touches never touched earthly faces."  That's from our wedding, and that part represents the past.  Then we have, "I will swear I love thee infinitely," that's the present, that's how I live every moment of every day. I even verified with my experts that the character being quoted there means what he says, and I was told that they've got one of the best marriages in all of Shakespeare.  Lastly we have "We are such stuff as dreams are made on," from The Tempest, the first Shakespeare play that the kids understood.  That's the future.  Then it's signed, "Kerry and Duane, September 30, 2000", and it's back around to the beginning where it starts all over.  I call it an infinity bracelet.

I then had to say it all again, going over every character (something like 280 of them).   When we got to "We are such stuff as dreams are made on," she said, "That's not what it says."

"Excuse me?"

"It says a made on."

"Excuse me?"

"Right there, look.  We are such stuff as dreams a made on."

She's right.  There's a typo on my one in the universe hand made anniversary present for my wife I've been working on for two years.  OH I'M GONNA KILL SOMEBODY.

"You are so not returning this!" she said.  "I love it just like it is."

At this point I've spent so much time getting my hands on it that I have no plans to return it.  Still, it's a little upsetting.  I send a lovely note off to the vendor speaking of the typo, where I promise I used little profanity.  I dig through my archives, and I discover exactly where the problem occurred.  On the very last day we spoke, over the phone, I went over every character with her.  So I knew we had it right.  She then emailed me the final letter count and invoice, which I never checked, since I'd just spoken to her an hour ago.  And that email had the error.  So, whose fault?  Theirs for introducing it, or mine for not catching it?  The way I see it, it just adds to the story we tell :).

At this point that was...two months ago (my last post on the subject was June 30).  My wife has not taken the bracelet off yet, so I guess she likes it :).


Honestly, I'm very happy with the final product, and the vendor was nothing but nice for the entire process.  You have no idea how long it took me to customize this thing - from the individual infinity symbols between each quote, to lining up the spacing just right so the end of the last quote rolled right into the start of the first one.  They were perfectly patient and accomodating through the whole thing.  And the price was very reasonable!  They charge per character, with a pretty good discount the more characters you use.

The vendors are Marcia and John of http://www.mobiusproductsandservices.com/.  Tell them Duane the Shakespeare Geek sent you, and no hard feelings about the typo. :)


Alan K.Farrar said...

A comedy of errors? Like all good comedies, a happy ending.

And it's not a typo - its an accent: Imagine a clipped English voice delivering the line and all is well.

Griffin said...

Well yes, comedy of errors, but not even with an English voice. Possibly some regional accents like Nottingham or Leicester - maybe even Sheffield and points north. But in the south of England where I'm originally from... that would be a typo.

Still, I'm with your Mrs it looks fab and it's only that one line... and they weren't all that hot on correct spelling back then anyway.

Craig said...

Hey, there's a typo in the Lincoln Memorial. I wouldn't sweat it.