Monday, October 13, 2014

An Earful

Someone’s dog once jumped on my lap to kiss me and, before I could kiss back, sucker-jumped my ear, ripped out my earring, and ate it. All in less than 10 seconds. I wasn’t mad at the dog. I could never be mad at an animal. I’m mad at the dog’s owners. Instead of an apology or an effort to make amends, I got, “Oh, how funny! He wants what he wants,” before they changed the subject, never speaking of it again. I didn’t think it was funny. Looking back on it, 15 years later, it’s not something I laugh about, it’s something nobody should ever remind me of, unless they want a 10-minute tirade that usually concludes with, “and I’m still owed a minimum of 14 karats.”  

I just sorted through the earrings section of my jewelry box. I’ve had and lost so many. They’re like socks and boys and drinking buddies and ideas. One minute they’re there, making me giddy; the next minute they’re missing and I smirk at how well I can live without them.

Back and forth, back and forth. That’s where I go whenever I think about whether I should throw out a pair of studs a hippie jeweler in New England sold me years ago. When I told her I was looking for opals, she said opals are a sad stone and bad energy, it’s a sign that I’d lost one of mine, it was time to change courses. That in jewel metaphysics, imperial topazes are good energy, so I should buy a pair of those. She also mistook me for a marathoner – there was a marathon in town that weekend, and she implied that I looked like someone who could easily hold her own in one. Not long after that, I pulled out my wallet and said, “Opal who? I think you’re onto something, imperial topazes are my next logical step!”

But opals are my best stone, my birthstone, and it’s OK to be sad. No opal has made me as sad as I was when these imperial topazes started looking funky after a few months of use. The topazes have become earrings I wouldn’t be caught dead in or posting a picture of. Before I retired them, people having a conversation with me would suddenly stop talking, furrow their brows while staring at my earlobe, bring their heads closer to my head, and ask, “Is there even a stone in there?”

I’m keeping them. I’m treating these topazes the way I treat retaliatory e-mails – as evidence. I loathe imperialism. 


  1. I have seen lovely opal earrings, and I can well imagine how beautiful you would look in them. I don't think they are sad at all. In fact, it cheers me up to see such loveliness. I'm glad to hear they are your birthstone. I hope one day to see you wearing them.

  2. I laughed so hard at the end. Ironically topaz is my birthstone; I prefer the chocolate colored. So the dog's owner didn't watch, um, for bowel deposits? What a shame!
    First visit via Blue Grumpster. I enjoyed reading here; I'll return!