My Mom was really proud of the gift she'd found for my birthday. I wondered about that, because normally she pesters me with "What do you want?" requests but this time nada. And that's fine. I've been a homeowner for fifteen years and frankly I have too much stuff already. My bedroom consists of bed, dresser, two bookshelves and a home theater with just enough floor space to service the above. There's really nothing I need, but my family likes giving presents. And we like celebrating each other.

My mother has retired from a career in politics and public service. Right now she has a hobby of buying items at house/estate sales and reselling them on eBay. And she'd found me a watch. An Omega Seamaster. I knew Omega made pretty good watches, but jewelry is not a subject of particular interest. I once had a very serious relationship with a jeweler, and my disinterest in rings, watches and pendants is probably a decent part of the reason we split up. She once told me "You'd look really good in an Ebel watch." She told me that with her discount, she could get one for only $1,500. I told her there wasn't a watch on Earth worth $1500.

I probably shouldn't have said that.

But now I have this lovely gold colored Omega watch my Mom found at an estate sale. It's self-winding, so I have to wear it. But I work with tools. And one day up in a ceiling the pin popped out and off came my watch. I slipped in my pocket so I could get a new pin.

And then I forgot to take it out of my pocket when I put my pants in the laundry.

Homer Simpson has nothing on me.

Turns out the local watch repair places won't touch it. Apparently, only Omega can work on Omega watches. I get the idea that fixing this thing is going to be really expensive, like $500 to a thousand bucks. That, to me, is more then any watch is worth. But my Mom gave it to me and she is so proud of it. So I have to fix it. So off I went to the local Omega dealer to hand it over so it can be sent off for repair. My salesperson took it to her watch person. They held a long conference which seemed intense. Another salesperson walked over, and the watch lady held it up my watch for all to see. I could tell that something was happening, but wasn't sure what.

So she comes over and asked me how I got it. I told her my mother gave it to me as a birthday present. Their eyes got bigger and I could see looks exchanged. The next question was "Where did your mother get this?" So I explained that my Mom likes to frequent house sales.

Their eyes expanded to proportions seen only in DeBeers diamond ads. You know the ads, where the man gives his significant lady some kind of diamond and her action makes it clear that no matter what her policy is, tonight he's getting a blow job. The watch specialist leaned over and both and asked and asked me, "Have you ever had this appraised?"

I shook my head. If it were set of Krell monoblock amplifiers I'd have a clue. But this is jewelry where I am innocent as a volcano virgin. But now the sales staff is gathered together telling each other "He has no idea." And I'm standing there like an idiot. The watch lady leaned over and told me, "You might want to have it appraised for insurance purposes."

So I ventured a sentence. "You're telling me it's pretty valuable."

All three nodded as if they were one. "Ballpark figure?" I asked.

The watch lady gathers her breath before she speaks. "It's a legacy model, and it's made of solid gold. The whole thing is 18-carat gold. At the very least, it's worth $8,000. I've seen Omegas like this valued for as much as $50,000."

Fifty thousand dollars? Holy Fucking Shit!

Oh, I don't believe it but it finally sunk in that I've been wearing a watch on a ladder wiring boxes that's worth more then my car. It might be worth as much as my house!

Holy Fucking Shit!

I won't be wearing it to work any more.

At that point my eyes must have grown to saucer size. My buddy Chris was with me and he's on his cell, calling his wife to tell her the whole story. I feel sort of numb, trying to comprehend this little bit of news. But the process kept moving as the watch lady explained to me what would happen, and that I should expect an estimate of at least four to six-hundred dollars, and they'll call me and let me know what it needs. And I am the guy who once told his very serious girlfriend that no watch on earth was worth fifteen hundred bucks. Am I fixing this one? Hell Yes I am!

My mother knew she bought something good when she found this one at the sale. For a couple hundred bucks tops she probably scored something worth five figures. Mom, I gotta tell you that you had every reason on Earth to feel proud of this present. You outdid yourself.

The cost of repair turned out to be $1580. Yikes!