Emerald Earrings: Loved, Worn, and Lost
Emeralds are one of the world’s priciest, most beautiful gems. I know. I had two of them. Colombia was a one-time business-trip destination of my former husband, and emerald earrings were my prize for tending the home fires and three children for two weeks in his absence. As I opened the velvet-lined box, I thought, “Emeralds! Oh, my, these are too nice to wear. I’ll save them for special occasions. I don’t want to lose them.” However, my days consisted of slogging through diapers, crayons and other art-related supplies, laundry, cooking, and house cleaning. Life in a tiny New England town with no family or friends close by meant that special occasions were rare. However, the earrings definitely caught my fancy (lust for stuff), and as I gazed at them, I decided to put them on and wear them—every day. I wanted to enjoy them, and I did! I wore them for years. Every time a mirror reflected the twinkle of the bright green jewels, I was pleased. Early on, I was afraid I might lose them, but I didn’t let fear stop me from wearing them.
A single emerald earring, once perched on my earlobe, is hiding in the Market Basket parking lot in Westford, Massachusetts and has been for several years. One icy day, I got out of the car, grabbed my coat, and flung my arms into it. I felt the coat collar snag my ear. I reached up, and my emerald earring was gone. I searched the area, yet failed to find it. Disappointment and sadness overwhelmed me initially, and I felt a huge loss. I processed the idea of no longer having both earrings for a few minutes, however, and my next thoughts were, “I enjoyed that earring every day for years. Better that I wore it as I loved it rather than have it sit in a box on my dresser.”
I wore mismatched earrings from that point because I continued enjoying my single emerald. Years later, someone gave me matching studs, the emerald went into a jewelry box, and hasn’t been worn since. I searched for it early today and cannot find it.
Gold jewelry and most fine jewelry are one of my lust items. I know the environmental and social implications, so I never buy it. Gifts are received with pleasure (and only a tiny guilty conscience). Gold hoops dangle from my ear lobes, and gold filigree studs sit above the hoops. I love my earrings; they never come off. I also have gold bracelets that I love. I don’t wear them daily, but I put them on every time I go out—even to run errands.
Lust for gold jewelry aside, I wouldn’t be panicked should I lose my favorites. However, I don’t wear anything that isn’t a favorite. Other pieces sit unworn except for rare occasions, so I ask myself, “Why keep it if I don’t wear it? Why not give it to someone who will?” Some women do change their jewelry to fit their wardrobes or occasions. I don’t. I am not so attached to gold jewelry that I would go out and buy it. But I won’t turn down a gift of it and what I already own I want to keep—and that might be wrong. I’m undecided. Tackling my lust for shiny gold stuff will be difficult. I know why the sparkle of gems and sheen of gold have caught the eyes (and lust) of people for centuries. I’m now examining my lust for gold jewelry—and I don’t really have a lot of it—but if I’m going to keep it, I should wear it and enjoy it, as I did my emerald earrings.
Is lust for expensive, valuable things like silver and gold (and emeralds) different from lust for stuff such as dishes, linens, tools, CDs, electronics? Or is it all stuff?