Today’s earrings were a gift from my son, circa 1991. He doesn’t remember selecting them for me because he was about five and a half, but he did go to the jewelry store with me.
I’d gone to the store to have a watch battery replaced. While I talked to the jeweler, my son stood by a stand of earrings and slowly turned the display.
“Mom,” he said, “you should buy these. They’re pretty.”
I turned to look and started to tell him I wasn’t buying earrings. But he was right, they were pretty.
Very pretty. Fourteen-karat gold. Inexpensive, considering.
“They’d look pretty on you,” he said. He wanted me to have them.
I bought them.
A couple of months later, I bruised one of the earrings.
I’d cradled the handset of a rotary phone between my shoulder and my ear, never thinking I could damage the earring because it was small.
When anyone had complimented me on these earrings, I’d smile and tell them my son bought them for me.
Now, I’d been careless with his gift.
I tried to buy another pair, but the jeweler couldn’t get another pair.
I asked if it could be repaired, but the jeweler said trying to fix it would make it worse.
I looked at the tiny dents located on one side of the earring.
Facing a mirror, I put on the earring and twisted it until the indentations were facing the floor. I looked into the mirror—I couldn’t see the damage, so no one else would.
I still wear them. They’re still pretty.
My small son wanted me to have them, so abandoning them was never an option.