Day 2—Second Choice Earrings, Circa 1985

My husband bought these earrings for me—sort of.

I had picked out a pair of small, thick gold hoops with a smooth surface.

The jeweler at our local mall knew what I wanted, so my husband picked them up and paid for them. Wrapped in shiny silver paper and a white bow, my husband presented them to me. Surprise! What nice earrings! Thank you!

The real surprise, however, came when I tried on the earrings. The thin wire threaded through my pierced ear with ease. Next, the wire was supposed to slip into a small hollow opening at the back end of the hoop. I tried for five minutes to get the slender wire into the opening and failed because I could not see behind my ear. Trying to use a mirror was hopeless.

“I can’t wear these,” I told my husband. “I can’t get them closed.”

I took them back to the jeweler, who said I could exchange them for another pair of earrings. So, instead of the sleek, smooth finished hoops I had liked, my second-choice earrings had a hammered finish I did not like. In addition, they were more expensive, although still in our budget.

My husband razzed me about pulling a bait and switch, so I could get a more expensive pair of earrings. I protested and explained again about not being able to close the first pair. “I’m kidding,” he said. I did not tell him that I did not like the second pair as much as the first pair. After all, they were a gift from him.

My husband and I have been married for thirty-six years, and I’ve had these earrings about that long. They are a pair of go-to earrings—the kind I can wear with any outfit. I have come to like them much better than the first pair I chose.

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