Monday, July 6, 2009

Earring Envy

I don’t wear jewelry very often. Many would say I’m just not the jewelry type, that it doesn’t fit in my personality. If they ever saw me wearing outrageous bling they would do a double take and then die of shock. Jewelry simply isn’t part of my image, but that’s because I don’t wear it. I don’t abstain from jewelry because of personal image or whatever. I don’t wear jewelry for one very good reason: I lose it.

Up until the time I got my high school ring, I could never wear a piece of jewelry, be it ring, necklace, or bracelet, for longer than a month before losing it. I would wear it every day and then suddenly it would be as if the jewelry fairies stole it. It was gone. Like magic.

On my thirteenth birthday my grandmother gave me a lovely gold ring with an amethyst on it, my birthstone. She always gives her granddaughters birthstone rings on their thirteenth birthday. I wore it to church only (couldn’t wear something that nice to school). It was slightly loose; I had odd in-between size fingers. In the middle of the church service one day, my ring fell off and rolled down several pews (ground was definitely sloped). After that, the ring was retired to my mother’s jewelry case, where it still lives today, almost ten years later.

My mom “gave” me her original engagement ring (my dad has gotten her a newer, larger diamond) when I was sixteen. This was never actually entrusted to me. She keeps it in her jewelry case for the day I learn to not lose things.

Junior year in high school I got the cheapest class ring there was. I swore to myself I would wear it every day and not lose it. After all, if I couldn’t manage that I would never manage to wear a wedding ring one day. I wore it every day for nearly four years, until I got my college ring, which I never wear and often can’t find.

I have one necklace, which I got when I turned twenty. I try to wear it every day, but I often forget and often forget where I put it. Usually I wear it for a week straight and then not for a month.

So what does my jewelry forgetfulness have to do with anything? Well, it’s simply to point out that I don’t have an aversion to jewelry. I simply can’t manage to keep it around. But the fact that I don’t wear it makes people suspect I don’t like it. Which is why my friends might be shocked to learn that I have extreme earring envy.

What is earring envy you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. I have always been very jealous of the girls who had pierced ears and could wear cute little frog earrings or long dangly earrings. I have always wished I could have a multitude of earrings that I could wear for all occasions. I love earrings. I think they are beautiful and wonderful. However, most of my life my ears have been dreadfully bare.

If I like earrings so much, why don’t I just get my ears pierced? Well, my mom had this rule that we could not get our ears pierced until we were eleven. The day I turned eleven, I was sitting in a chair at the local Claire’s ready to conquer my great fear of pointy objects piercing my skin for the joy of having earrings. My earlobes were pierced with traditional little studs and I was so happy. I even bought a set of frog earrings, ready to wear them the day my mom said I could take the studs out.

However, my dreams of frog earring were not to be. A few weeks later my ears were infected, which was not very surprising. You see metal allergy runs in my family. My mom had tried to pierce her ears twice, only to have rashes and infections. My little sister had the same situation. My older sister on the other hand was fine. Her ears are pierced and have been for fifteen years. We tried to fight the metal allergy. We went back to Claire’s and explained the situation. They gave me what they said were titanium earrings and that no one was supposed to be allergic to titanium. The infection only got worse. My earrings were taken out, my holes closed up, and my ears remained un-pierced.

So through all of my middle school, high school, and college years my ears were woefully bare. I tried clip-ons, but if you have ever worn clip-ons you know that they are horrible. They are either too tight or too loose. Talk about losing jewelry. Clip-ons rarely make it a week without losing just one somewhere, never to be recovered.

My earring envy grew, especially when my friends would not realize that my ears were never bedazzled with jewelry and would give me earrings for my birthday or Christmas. I would sadly have to store their gift, never able to wear them.

I would go to jewelry stores with my dad when he was picking out a new necklace or ring for my mom and gaze enviously at the multitude of earrings in their shelves. I would never get to where them, whether lovely Na Hoku earrings or tacky Claire’s earrings. None of it would ever adorn my ears because of a stupid allergy.

Then this summer everything changed.

My mom found a jeweler that pierced ears. Not Claire’s, not a scary tattoo parlor. A Jeweler’s. She went in and investigated. The jewelry store was small and owned by a family. Their daughter pierced ears. My mom spoke with the woman, who explained that she had a metal allergy too. She convinced my mom that it would work and my mom got her ears pierced for a third time. Third time’s the charm, right?

Six weeks later, my mom has had no allergic reaction. On July 3, my little sister and I both got our ears pierced.

I’m hesitant to get my hopes up too much. I very much expect that in a few weeks, my ears will break out in a rash and get infected. However, the woman who pierced my ears was very convincing. She said that when Claire’s told us they were piercing my ears with gold jewelry they were only piercing with gold plated jewelry, which is apparently not good enough for those of us with sensitive ears. She pierced my ears with 14 carat gold, which she said should work. She also said I should wear only gold stud earrings for the first year, no wires and no other metals. She said if I did this it would work. She had three piercings in each ear to prove it had worked for her.

I’m not asking for three piercing or a tongue ring or anything. I just want to be able to wear earrings. I don’t think it’ too much to ask. But right now it’s only day three of having pierced ears. I’m following all the rules and trying to keep them from getting infected. I have my fingers crossed, hoping and praying it will work this time.

Maybe I’ll finally get some frog earrings, even if they’ll have to be gold ones from Na Hoku instead of the cheap ones from Claire’s.

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