Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crown Jewels

I'm not a jewelry person, never have been. 99.9% of the jewelry I see does not entice me to buy it. I don't own a diamond. I never wanted one, not even in my wedding ring. I just wanted a simple wedding band when I was married. The ring I have is a beautiful two-toned ring made with white and yellow gold. I don't know the difference between a cubic zar-something-or-other and the real thing. My mother, on the other hand, collects jewelry. There is once piece she has that has always intrigued me in a hypnotic way. It rivaled the crown jewels. It lived in a velvet covered box my entire childhood. It was so special I was never allowed to touch it, let alone wear it. It was made of the most beautiful hue of rich purple delicately intertwined in duo strands with the palest lavender. A symphony of elegance. Serious bling in choker length. It was dazzling.

There were times, when mom was gone for an evening, when I would indulge myself in clandestine peeks at the forbidden necklace. I would carefully lift it out of its nest of top drawer scarves and open the lid with bated breath. It was never disturbed since I would never take it out of it's protective velvet home. Like the Magi that came to the Baby Jesus, I would just adore it in all it's sparkling glory. I never wore it.

Fast forward three decades. It is Erin's Junoir Prom. She is wearing the most beautiful dark forest green dress. It is haute couture in the purest sense. She looks absolutely...Vogue. For some reason I think of mom's crown jewels and bravely ask if Erin can wear them to Prom. Grandparents always favor their grandchildren. Dad used to say, "Grandchildren are the reward you get for not killing your children." Mom reluctantly agreed on the condition I would be sold into slavery if anything happened to that necklace. I have always trusted Erin. She is more...cautious with life than some of my children have been.

When I picked up the necklace, it was discovered that a few of the stones had become loose and would need to be set back in. I was instructed to take the necklace to a jeweler's to have it repaired. I took it to a reputable jewelry store ready to pay whatever it cost to have the family heirloom repaired. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that they would not repair the necklace. "Why not?" I asked. Was it too expensive to repair? No. They only repair jewelry with "real" stones. It slowly dawned on me that the necklace was a fake!! All this time....

I took the necklace home and carefully epoxied the "stones" back into their settings myself. Erin wore it anyway. The necklace had lost its status as crown jewels. It was only made of colored glass. Yet, it still dazzled and sparkled on its special night out. The way I had always remembered.

Somewhere there is a moral in this. What do you think it is?


Erin Brady said...

Where's the rest?? Gah!! You're killing me. I have to know how it ends!

Erin Brady said...

I think the moral is this: you can't put a price on sentimental value. It was worth a lot to grandma, after all, she kept it in a special box all that time. It was a beautiful necklace, I didn't care that it was glass,real gems would have made me feel nervous. And having something from Grandma made the night even more special.

Aubrey said...

I think this is the moral:
"You are the trip I did not take; You are the pearls I cannot buy; You are my blue Italian lake; You are my piece of foreign sky" Anne Campbell, 1888
What do we value, What Matters
Beautiful writing!