A guest post from my stylish friend Dr. Julene D. Nolan. Is she a doctor of pearlology? POSSIBLY.
My family was not a pearls family. Our coming of age was celebrated with one of two gifts – luggage or wristwatch. We were raised to be worker bees, all nine of us. My parents knew that we would need to monitor time closely or be able to move out or move on quickly and in a way that would be taken seriously. The older kids graduated in the mid to late sixties and uniformly received luggage for the boys and watches for the girls. But then the seventies and eighties came and things got fuzzier and looser and I began to hope for luggage. Certainly they would know me well enough to realize that a wristwatch was wrong for me. Of course they would recognize my wanderlust through all of my achingly crappy poetry about a young woman in a faraway place.
The day of my older sister’s graduation came and she got it! SHE GOT LUGGAGE! Then my older brother – a watch. Times had changed. People were more than a gender stereotype and watches and luggage had come to mean different things than they used to mean. I was certain a Samsonite was in my future. On the day of graduation my mom handed me a box. The small hard plastic case betrayed the serious miscalculation on the part of my parents. The petite Timex bracelet style watch was shiny and lovely and completely not at all what I wanted. But as the last of nine children to graduate, my folks were goddamned tired already.
My pearls came from my hubby on one of his exotic trips to Shanghai. He was brought up in a pearls family and his sisters received the tapered strands of perfectly polished oyster secrets as a 16th birthday present. They wore them stunningly in their graduation pictures, which portrayed young, ambitious women with a sense of style, and femininity; women who knew how to choose stemware and color and good linens. So when hubby told me that he had bought me pearls I was a bit worried. I don’t have the breeding for pearls. I don’t have the body type for pearls. But then he gave me this.
They are colored pearls, all heavy and serious but playful and odd shaped. Like me. He knows me better than my parents ever did.
And now that the half century club has welcomed me with open arms and achy joints I have to pay more attention to things like health and movement. That creates an entirely new fashion conundrum that Ann needs to solve. How do I pair these pearls them with this……
Geez. My best guess for Jules is to choke the fit-bit with a many-times-wrapped strand. Which, actually, could add extra weight in a fitnessy way. Tiny pearly kettle bells!
Tomorrow from the street team: A fire, a longtime love, a good denim jacket.