Meaningful Wee Treasure
This is my Christmas present. It's a 14k sea life bracelet. Not the newest or most innovative of jewellery designs, but after wanting one of these for the better part of twenty years, I finally had the opportunity to pull the trigger when my husband decided to let me pick my present this year while on our recent holiday.
Here's the backstory. Back in the 90s, I used to work on cruise ships. Everyone....and I do mean everyone I worked with had one of these bracelets. I lusted after one, but never got one for myself. I have no idea why I never got one for myself, as it would have been well within my reach at the time, but I have a few theories.
Theory No. 1: I had not yet gotten to the point in life where investment pieces were a part of my vocabulary, and could not imagine spending a significant amount of money on something so small. Ironically, I didn't buy my first nice piece of jewellery for myself until much later, when I was in the Air Force and couldn't wear much jewellery at all. It was a pair of Australian opal studs set in 14k that I got on sale for $60 (steady on, big spender). I still have them, so I suppose that is when the "investment piece" penny dropped.
Theory No. 2: I was in the band. I made a living as a professional musician for years, and was always sitting in the middle of a big group of guys in some sort of female version of a tux. The chick sax player - my identity was very wrapped up in what I did. I never thought of myself as a "girly girl" in those days, even though I enjoyed clothes, makeup, etc. I hadn't yet had the epiphany that you can like pretty things and be one of the boys...these things aren't mutually exclusive. You just can't effectively play alto sax in a big band in a miniskirt. Not really.
Theory No. 3: I'm originally from the Midwest, where "oh I couldn't possibly" and "don't trouble yourself on my account" are a part of the unspoken tapestry of life, whether you are aware of it or not. We don't want to be the extravagant one, the one who appears to be getting a bit too fancy. One minute it's a piece of jewellery, the next minute you're snapping your fingers and screaming at the servants to bring you another G&T. Clearly I've gotten over that. Snapping your fingers at your servants is just so gauche, and anyway I find that withholding food and bathroom privileges is just so much more effective.
So those are my theories. I suppose that they are all a little bit true, but now I can tick that one wee thing off of the bucket list. I like that this piece came from a Caribbean port that I used to sail in and out of regularly (albeit it is virtually unrecognisable from it's 90's self), and it's nice to wear a piece that you've taken twenty years to obtain, no matter how big or small. I suppose that is the jewellery experience at its best, when it's more than just a bracelet - it's a meaningful wee treasure.