The wild fluctuations in temperatures recently—from 9° to 55° in the same week—coupled with the distinctly March/April tinge to the rainy days, have put Jenny and me in the mood for a little spring cleaning lately.
Mostly, Jenny wanted to purge some of the knick-knacks she’s outgrown or that are taking up valuable real estate in her room. Sometimes we do this together—it’s a nice opportunity for mother/daughter bonding and to take a little trip down memory lane before certain items are stored away for posterity or deposited of permanently for sanity. Of course, as these things do, a doll led to a diary, which led to a search for the keys, and finally Jenny opened her jewelry box. “Oh, here are those earrings we were talking about the other day,” she said, dropping two small pearl studs into my palm. And so I too opened my jewelry box.
There’s something fascinating about a jewelry box with all its ornaments of the past mingling with current fads or favorite pieces in enticing drawers, velvety trays, and divided compartments—your history traced in gold and silver, real gems and cubic zirconium. And each shiny (or tarnished) bauble elicits an immediate and vivid memory of where, when, and how you acquired or wore it. Some of the pieces are beautiful, classic, enduring, while others are like the shag haircut—“what could I have been thinking?”
So on that day as I placed the studs Jenny had borrowed back in my box, I took a closer look, wondering how far back my jewelry would take me. I found pieces from my college days, and then from high school. Could I have worn these in elementary school? I asked myself as I picked up a pair of earrings. And then I was astounded to rediscover a birthstone ring I had been given as a baby by one of my aunts who was also my godmother. You can’t go back much farther than that.
Next on the timeline are the studs my ears were pierced with when I was five. I can still remember my pediatrician Dr. Tanis waltzing across the examining room with a Q-tip dipped in iodine to deposit a dot on my earlobes where the hole would be made. Dr. Tannis was the comedian out of the four doctors in the practice—and the one the patients liked best—so he was in charge of this most frightening and traumatic event. I remember laughing at his ridiculous dance, but nothing about the procedure. Jenny had her ears pierced when she was five too, but at Claire’s in the Chrystal Mall. The young women there did an excellent job, and only one small tear rimmed Jenny’s eyes (but never fell) as she bravely anticipated the second hole.
And here is some more of the jewelry I’ve worn over the years and which for one reason or another I just could not part with:
As a writer I can find themes in almost every aspect of daily life, and it’s no different in my jewelry box:
As Jenny rummaged through her jewelry box, she pulled out this necklace. “I always thought this said ‘I heart dinosaurs’,” she laughed, “but look.”
I think this just may be one of those pieces she will not part with.
How about you? Do you have pieces of jewelry that make you smile or laugh or even cringe? We’d love to see them! Show us and tell us about them.