Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have lost a necklace. I have no idea where it is. The last time I remember seeing it - or wearing it - was when I was at my parents' house.

The necklace was incredibly special to me, not because someone gave it to me. Quite the contrary, it was special because it was the first piece of "real" jewelry I bought for myself: not silver plated, not costume jewelry, but a simple Elsa Peretti silver teardrop from Tiffany's. I had seen it and coveted it, and I wanted it terribly.

I managed to scrape up enough money, about 8 years ago, to buy it for myself, and I have worn it almost every day since then, save for those days when the pearls I received for my 16th birthday were more appropriate, or when I decided to be a bit more outlandish, and threw on the North African silver mail necklace I picked up in the flea market in Amsterdam.

Not having the necklace leaves me feeling uncertain, because I don't have my old standby to wear. I'm having to delve deeper into my jewelry box, past the tiny gold-leaf-encrusted ceramic heart my sister gave me, that hangs from a waxed cord - the only piece of heart jewelry I think I will ever wear - and into the jewelry box, to pluck out a necklace of heavy stones with a carved jade pendant, or the bronze necklace with the red coral beads, big around as your thumb, that dangle from the ends.

Perhaps the missing necklace will be good for me, and force me out of my comfort zone. I design for a living, and perhaps I should be riskier with the way I design my appearance.

But then, I have always had a penchant for the classics, and clung to the things that worked.

For years, I wore the gold locket I was given as a baby, until it fell out of the pocket of my purse while I hunted for a valet ticket. The restaurant washed their patio, that night, and no one had turned it into the lost and found. Gone forever, a gift from my great grandmother.

A pair of favorite jeans, ones I've owned for 10 years and that I fancied incredibly expensive when I bought them, recently ripped at the hem. Or, rather, they ripped a good 3 inches above the hem. I am left with yet another dilemma: do I patch them, as they are still holding up decently in other places, or do I toss them out? I wear them often in the summer, since the denim is now so thin that they are too chilly for winter wearing, but they do look tired. Particularly with the gash that cuts across them right above the arch of my foot.

For a while, I didn't buy clothes, because I had just bought a sofa, I was being more financially responsible and saving more money. Then, I didn't buy clothes because I had mountains of medical bills to pay and no energy to shop. The medical bills aren't flowing as quickly, these days, and I did buy myself a few things to wear, recently, but now I'm struggling with another question: I need new clothes, because the torn jeans, in addition to my first "expensive" pair of jeans that I bought 4 years ago, are verging on unwearable, so do I buy new clothes, or do I put that off and replace the necklace? Will the necklace have the same meaning it did before, now that I am able to replace it more easily (although that amount of money is one with which I will never gladly part)?

Or will it just be something pretty that hangs around my neck?

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