Today jewel-toned crystals of violet-purple, blue-green, and fuchsia-pink wrapped in faux-gold trim dangle from my earlobes.
In the 1990s, I wore these earrings with brightly colored clothes of purple, blue, and green. They complimented my hair, which was long and permed and dark-strawberry blond.
I’m not sure when I last wore them, but it’s been years. I stopped having my hair permed, my skirts got longer, and my earrings got shorter and less flashy. (Now, my hair is more gray than strawberry.)
I had other long, dangly earrings but a few weeks ago I gave them away because I didn’t wear them. Relics of my younger days, I tried to put these earrings in the give-away bag too, but I couldn’t. They’re beautiful, and I can picture the outfits they accessorized. I bought them to wear with a jade-green dress that ended in a swirling skirt. Some memories need a tangible object. I returned them to my jewelry box.
So, this morning I selected these earrings, chose a purple shirt, and twisted my long hair up in a clip. Today, I’m going to McDonald’s and the library—my earlobes are overdressed.
These earrings are probably out of style. But the reason I don’t wear them is because to me they feel too youthful. Fashion is regulated to age groups. Over the years I’ve heard women criticized for dressing too young for their age. Or too dowdy before their time. I’ve internalized many of those voices. And while I don’t think anyone is going to pass judgment on my earrings—unless I accessorize them with a miniskirt and tube top—the fashion-guru voice in my head says, Those earrings aren’t rockin’ it.
But I’m wearing them because they’re today’s story.
I saving them because they might be fashionable when I’m eighty.