I had a conversation with a good friend that I will never forget and I know the experience is forever seared into his brain in a very painful way. It all started when he fell in love with a beautiful gal; let’s call her Jen (the names have been changed to protect the innocent). She was everything he had ever hoped for. He got up the courage and popped the question and to his delight, she said yes. He wanted to give her the biggest diamond he could afford as a token of just how much she meant to him. Then just eight years later, things got really ugly.
He was at work when his phone rang. He saw it was his wife so he answered in his usual loving manner only to hear Jen screaming and crying on the other end of the line. When he was finally able to get her to calm down just a little, the dreadful story began to unfold. Jen had been at the mall that morning and happened to walk by a well-known jewelry store. She noticed a sign in the store entry way offering “free ring cleaning” to anyone who would come into their store and look around. She hesitated for a moment, looking down at her beautiful diamond and then decided, “Why not?”
The store clerk, a nice gentleman, approached her and asked if he could help her find anything to which she replied she was just looking around but wanted to know how the free ring cleaning worked. He explained to her it would take only about 10 minutes for the cleaning and there would be absolutely no charge. After considering the offer for a few more seconds, Jen reluctantly slid the ring off her finger and asked the clerk if the cleaning might hurt the ring in any way. He assured her it would not – it was a very gentle cleaning process. As Jen handed her ring to the clerk, he gave it a quick once over and commented on how beautiful the ring was and added some comment about how her husband must love her a lot.
The clerk then disappeared into the back room. As the minutes passed, Jen started to get nervous, feeling uncomfortable about the fact she just handed her diamond ring over to a stranger who was in the back room doing who knows what to her ring. After what seemed like much longer than 10 minutes, the clerk reappeared with her ring but had an awkward look on his face. As he handed the freshly cleaned ring back to Jen, in a hesitating voice he said, “You know that’s not a real diamond, right?”
Jen wasn’t quite sure what to say – she wasn’t sure she had heard the clerk correctly saying, “Excuse me?” The clerk then repeated that it was a very beautiful ring indeed and how close it was to looking like a real diamond and that only a professional jeweler would ever know in reality it was a Cubic Zirconia. Jen replied once again, “What do you mean? My diamond is absolutely real!”
The clerk could see Jen was more than surprised by this revelation and things were starting to get a little tense. It then all came clear to Jen; this “free ring cleaning” was nothing more than a big scam. She knew the clerk had gone in the back room, taken her real diamond off her ring and replaced it with a fake one. Jen began to get very upset, raising her voice insisting the clerk had just stolen her diamond.
The clerk tried his best to calm Jen down and reassure her he never would have done anything as dishonest as switching her diamond. Jen would have none of it. She demanded to see his manager and wanted satisfaction immediately.
Unfortunately, the store manager was not able to make any more headway with Jen than the clerk was. Jen continued to demand the return of her diamond with a voice that was approaching screaming level, adding if they did not comply immediately, she would call the police.
When the clerk and manager were not able to convince Jen they were innocent, Jen followed through with her threat and called the police. By this time, everyone else in the store knew it was best to leave and within just a few minutes, a police officer came into the store wanting to know what was going on. By now, Jen was sobbing, not knowing if she would ever see her real diamond again. This is when she reached out to her husband and called him for help and comfort.
As my friend listened to his wife relate this devastating story, the blood drained from his face and he felt like he would both pass out and throw up at the same time. You see, he was the guilty party. He had wanted to purchase a big diamond ring for his bride-to-be but simply couldn’t afford it. The jeweler where he purchased the ring had suggested he consider a Cubic Zirconia, assuring my friend that no one would ever be able to tell it wasn’t a real diamond, with the added benefit of costing a small fraction of what a real diamond would cost. My friend made the decision to get the fake diamond and justified not telling his wife with the plan of someday replacing it with the real thing.
Well, that day had arrived in a very unpleasant manner. My friend didn’t share with me all that went on between him and his wife that evening but I do know that later that week, Jen was sporting a new big “real diamond”, larger than the fake one and my friend acted like a whipped pup around his wife for many weeks to come.
What’s the purpose of this story? It’s about my concern that most folks don’t have any realistic idea of what they really have by way of food storage or how long their storage will last should they need to rely on it. Having been in this business for many years, I’ve given hundreds of in-home presentations in an attempt to assist families with their food storage needs.
One of the questions I would always ask was regarding how much food storage they currently had. This question was often followed up with a quick inventory as we looked at their actual supplies together. Almost everyone I met with had some level of storage but in every case, the estimate I was given as we sat around the kitchen table was way off base. On average, I would guess that typically a family would state their food storage would last them three to four times longer than I knew it would.
This is a part of the food storage industry I still struggle with. What’s the benefit of over-estimating your current storage levels? Why would one want to rely on the absolute bare essentials when they have the option now to do something about it? The purpose of storing food isn’t to impress your friends or neighbors. It’s not so you can check it off some imaginary list and feel better about yourself. It should be about providing real food for survival for your family and loved ones. If it’s not the type of food you would want to eat right now, what makes you think your tastes will automatically change in times of stress or emergency?
I fear there will be far too many families that will suffer unnecessarily in times of need due to the lack of attention given to how much food storage they really have and if it’s the type of food their family will want to eat and be able to digest. Please take the time now to honestly evaluate your current level of storage and build up your preps beyond what you think you will need. I promise you, when the time comes to use your preps, you will be so very glad you took the time to make sure you knew what you really have.
Knowledge is power. Knowing what you really have in preps could save your life.