When I stand at my dresser in front of my open jewelry box every morning there’s a brief moment or two when I must decide what reminder to take with me that day. Shall it be the small gold cross that my husband gave me when our youngest son was born? Or perhaps the bracelet my best bud Karen gave me? It’s a magnetic shimmering little bit of a thing and it’s supposed to help if you have arthritis. Which I do and it’s most pronounced in my wrists.
Ever since I was a teen I’ve loved wearing other people’s things. It could be because we were so poor and hand-me-downs were the order of the day. Mom would get boxes of clothes and shoes from well meaning relatives and we’d plow through them to pull out the gems. And I got it in my head that other people’s belongings were somehow more trendy, expensive, tasteful – whatever – than anything we owned. I remember one dress I wore all the time in high school. It had a paisley pattern in muted colors and the style was only a few years out of date. Was it an aunt who had given it? I can’t remember but I loved wearing it.
When Mom died back in 2011 my sisters and I took on the duty of cleaning out her apartment. Tough gig. You must touch everything your mother owned. We had to decide which of those things we wanted for our own. I took the picture of the angel. She’d always loved that print and I’d found it in a catalog and sent it to her one year for Christmas. It’s in the room where I’m writing this. Hey, Mom. I also took some scarves – my granddaughters love them – and a denim jacket that is my first choice on a chilly day. Washes up like a dream.
The bulk of my jewelry has been given to me, mostly by other women. I love these women. A dash of brightness in my ears, at my wrist or around my neck reminds me of their friendship. I imagine them standing at a craft fair table or a counter at Kohl’s or our local gift shop. They’re thinking of me and I know how that feels because I do it, too. But they’ve bothered to take the time to consider their choices and find something to please a friend. How cool is that?
So who shall I take with me today? My daughter-in- law Heather gave me a pair of silver double hoops. Casual, easy to slip in and go with everything. Probably those. I’ll take Heather with me today.
Can you relate?