New York Times  Bestselling Author

Story Weekend: Earrings

Wow, the last Story Weekend really got to me. Your stories–and your openness–touched me deeply. I think many of us have a need to share those “what if” moments in our lives. I think we need a lighter topic this week, though, so here it is: earrings. I look forward to reading what you do with this one.

If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. I’ve loved reading your stories. As always, there are a few “rules”:

▪   The story must be true.

▪   Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.

▪   Avoid offensive language.

As usual, I’ll start it off with my own story.

13 Comments

  1. Diane Chamberlain on October 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I knew my father didn’t believe me when I said my friends and I needed to go to Greenwich Village because it was the only place we could find cool 99 cent earrings, but he let us go anyway. What we really wanted to do was pretend we were Bohemians, drink tiny cups of bitter cappuccino, and walk in the footsteps of Bob Dylan. The earrings were merely a bonus.

  2. Diane on October 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    It was, as they say, love at first sight. I was shopping in Nordstrom, my favorite weekend haunt, and there they were, sparkling in the glass case, calling my name. After giving them a try, they just seemed too perfect to resist. After all, as the sales lady pointed out, they matched my eyes, and would therefore go with anything. That alone would save me loads of money in the long run! Who was I to oppose such astute wisdom? They’re Alexis Bittar, translucent green Lucite, and we have an ongoing relationship, those earrings and I—three years now and still going strong.

  3. lois on October 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Well, this is not exactly about earrings–but is the precursor. In high school, I pierced my own ears. My mother freaked out when she came home and saw me with two sewing needles in stuck in my ears, but it was too late to do anything about it. Then I became the go-to ear-piercer of my friends, their sisters and even one of their mothers. I did it the old way, with ice cubes to numb, sewing needle to pierce, alcohol to purify. I was really good, too. No one ever got infected and they were always even. When I last saw my friend’s mother (may she rest in peace), she proudly showed me her pierced ears. Now, that is a cherished memory for both my friend and me.

  4. Corey Ann on October 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Growing up my Mom was rather crafty. By far my favorite item she made was the year she asked everyone for their spare earrings & broken jewelry. She then framed a piece of red felt on hard backing on which a green christmas tree was created with aquarium gravel, lit up with a small strand of lights and then decorated each tree with the wayward jewelry items she collected from each owner. I still have my Mom’s and every year (it’s now 20+ years old!) I still find an earring or item I didn’t notice before.

  5. Amy Wright on October 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    It was my eighteenth birthday, and I honestly wasn’t expecting any special gifts. My parents had passed away, so I didn’t think there were many people who considered my birthday a particularly momentous occasion.
    As I was leaving my grandparents’ after a quiet birthday dinner my grandmother handed me a small box. Inside I saw two huge aquamarine earrings, complete with tiny diamonds around the edges, staring back at me. they were the exact same colour as my eyes, and I knew my grandmother had searched high and low to find just the right shade. That was the moment I knew I wasn’t the only one who cared about my birthday, and that I was truly loved by my family.

  6. Judy King on October 21, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Not only were pierced ears not common in the Midwest in 1965, they were, according to my stern Presbyterian mother, only fit to be seen on French whores — who were also the only women who would ever smoke, drink, be seen in a bar or were an ankle bracelet. Keeping mother calm was far more important than what I wanted even in my 20th year. Imagine my delight when I discovered 99-cent pierced look-alike pearl studs at Woolworth’s. Carefully arranged curls covered the metal U on the edge of my ears. It was so convincing that mother broke into her one and only recitation of the everymother anthem…”After I carried you 9 months under my heart, was in labor… sacrificed my life…this is how you thank me… poking holes….spending money…. Surely all readers can fill in the blanks. After she carried on for a full half hour, I pulled off the offending tools of the demon and dropped them into her hand. There was a significant delay before she remembered to close her gaping mouth. Daddy’s twinkling eyes let me know that his coughing fit was a cover for laughter he couldn’t squelch, and couldn’t let her notice. Neither of us bested her often.

  7. Cindy Mathes on October 22, 2011 at 1:19 am

    I think that we have all done something in our past we are not especially proud of. I was 16 years old and one of our favorite things to do was to skip or ditch school and hang out at the mall. I think my generation was the first to hang out at malls.
    Some of my friends were a little wild and shoplifting was one of their pastimes. Me, I was too scared and no way would I ever try that. However, one day when we were in Spencer’s, I gave in to peer pressure and made the horrible decision to steal a pair of earrings. I remember being sick to my stomach as I walked out of the store with those in my clinched sweaty hand. I never wore those earrings and I never ever did that again. Of course I knew it was wrong, but peer pressure usually gets to us at some point in our lives. I was thankful I didn’t get caught.

  8. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on October 22, 2011 at 1:22 am

    Being allowed to date when I turned sixteen was not my only milestone that year; I was also finally allowed to have my ears pierced! I still had some restrictions in place though; no peers or store clerks would have the honor but I was finally going to be able to wear the 14k gold earrings waiting in my jewelry box.

    So an appointment was made with our family doctor but after piercing only my right ear he picked up his surgical tray to walk away, as if finished, until I reminded him that my left ear still had to be pierced.

    With a mischievous smile, he replied that since there was a conflict regarding the ear piercing he thought a comprimise was in order. He was always a jokester and I recall this joke often, for my left ear was pierced lower than my right ear. No peers, no store clerks, just an MD with a crooked eye!

  9. Sheree Gillcrist on October 22, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Let it be known that I am the official earrings queen. At age ten I rummaged amongst white elephant tables at the church halls to find the most silver and dangliest darn earrings, paid my nickel, then wore them with pride, letting the lyric of their melody sooth my passage into womanhood. My first pair were silver wedding bells with accompanying church and wedding rings. Cowboys have spurs that jingle jangle jingle but all I needed to annouce myself was to give my head a shake. My obsession only increased as I aged. From the tear inducing screw backs to the earlobe numbing clip ons, I soldiered on until I made peace with myself by actually fulfilling some others perceptions of me and had two holes punched into my ears. Years later as an on air writer plying my craft on national radio I tortured producers and presenters alike as my earrings clanging announced my presence before they could. I was given the label as The Gyspy Writer. Earrings have helped define me and while people may forget my name, they never forget my earrings. I never feel myself without them on. Diamonds may be forever but for me, earrings are my eternity.

  10. Debra Hearne on October 23, 2011 at 10:24 am

    The first thought that came to my mind about earrings and has stayed there is about my two sons, Chip and OJ. Being five years apart in age, they rarely did things together. One day my youngest son OJ decided that he wanted to have a pierced ear and being underage ask his older brother Chip to go with him to the mall to have it done. Chip was the conservative type and OJ the free spirit. The boys came home, each sporting an earring in their ears to my surprise! I felt rather proud that they had done something together for a change! Since Chip left this earth over 3 years ago, it is a good memory to have.

  11. Margo on October 23, 2011 at 11:38 am

    “How about being Cleopatra for Halloween & wear giant earrings?”, her mother asked.
    Of course the 8 year old was thrilled to wear such stunning big earrings. It became a love she never outgrew and to this day her collection of at least 100 pairs of large, unusual earrings hold a special place on her earring trees. 2 weeks ago in New York, she was asked “are you an artist?, you look like one with those earrings!…very bohemian & artistic!” How did this stranger quess?

  12. Nancy on October 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    “Earrings” brings back a sweet memory from my childhood. I had made earrings from colorful beads placed on straight pins which were stuck into two pieces of cork with earring clips glued onto the back. I proudly gave them to my mother, believing that they were the most beautiful earrings in the world. Soon after, while getting ready to attend a fancy event, my mother got all dressed up and placed those “dazzling” earrings on her ears. I remember her smiling and telling me that she loved them, as she headed out the door with those huge multi-colored cork earrings hanging on her ears. Thinking back on this makes me smile, just as it did back then.

  13. Christina Wible on October 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    For me, having my ears pierced was the sign of my re-liberation. I was an ex-hippie turned married corporate drudge. But when the year from hell came I had to do something at its conclusion to declare that it was over. From now on I was my own woman. Now, ear piercing doesn’t seem much of a declaration of independence but, to me, it was the return to the beginning of the journey, the place where life started over. I put on the golden balls of the freshly pierced and never looked back.

Leave a Comment