Monday, August 23, 2010

When Nothing Else Fits, Buy Earrings...

Just a small sampling of what I own...

As I was getting dressed the other day, I realized that it had been a while since I've bought new earrings. Now, that might not be strange for you, but for me? That was a revelation. You see, when you go shopping with somebody else and there is nothing in the store that will fit your ample-sized body, earrings always do. I know some people go for shoes, but not every store carries shoes along with clothing. Accessories, yes. And as we all know, even necklaces can be too small. But earrings? They always fit. And me, being a jewelry fiend from childhood, embraced the earring idea - I loved (and still do) coordinating earrings to my outfits. Now, could it be that I've stopped buying them because I have so many? Perhaps, but that's never stopped me before. Maybe it's because I can actually buy clothes alongside my friends and family now. Maybe I have different things to buy now - like clothes! And workout gear! And running socks! So strange how my focus has changed...or rather, expanded. Yes, I like that. It's expanded from a couple of racks of earrings in a store to the entire store now. And that's pretty cool.

Now, this wouldn't be a true Shelley post without letting you delve into the way my mind works and the train of thought that took me here. So hang on - it's a crazy ride inside my brain!

Scene 1: I'm in my closet, picking out what I'll wear for the day - including jewelry. No true outfit of mine is complete without earrings, a necklace, my standard three silver cuff bracelets, and a couple of rings. occurs to me that I haven't bought any new earrings in a long time - and I even came home from California without a new pair, which never happens! Go to take shower (which is where all my best writing ideas come - ironic, since it's pretty hard to write anything down there) and I remember how long I had to wait to get my ears pierced...

I wasn't allowed to pierce my ears until I was 18. Reasons given? A) Bad girls pierced their ears; and B) in a fight, girls would try and rip the earrings from your ears, tearing your earlobes and permanently disfiguring you. Which made sense because I was ALWAYS getting into fights when I was in school. Yep, you just thought I was a nice person. Seriously??? The only person I ever fought was Rita and that was when we were kids and she tried to steal my Barbie clothes...NO BODY messes with my Barbies, yo. But I digress.
Two hours later: OK, I really digressed (or is that regressed?) because I went and dug my Barbies out of their box in the closet, dressed them, and posed them for this picture. Left to right: Skipper, who has that awesome wired hair so you can curl it; poor Barbie that I tried to give a Dorothy Hamill haircut to; Francie (my favorite - I always thought she was the prettiest); and Malibu Barbie, who apparently I gave a haircut to as well - I just couldn't not mess with these girls! If you look close, you will see everyone except for Skipper (because she was under 18, duh!) sporting earrings. Not just any earrings, mind you, but my homemade, invented earrings - I took matching colors of my mother's sewing pins, clipped them short with the nail clippers (um, sorry dad, for permanently indenting them) and bingo bango, at least my Barbies had pierced ears! I have to note that missing in action is Talking PJ, who suffered an unfortunate broken leg as a result of her acrobatic stunt off of next-door-neighbor Peggy's swingset. Poor PJ.

Scene 2: I had an adopted grandma, Arbu (full name: Arbutus Marguerite Green - don't you just love that?!? They don't name 'em like that anymore). Anyway, I met Arbu when I was young and we used to visit her (me, my mom and my grandmother - she was a lifelong friend of my grandmother). Her house was full of interesting things that I loved to look at, and Arbu was always willing to tell me the stories behind them. For example, see this? It's a hair holder. That's right, back in the olden days, after you brushed your hair, you were supposed to remove the hair from the brush and deposit it through the little hole into the container. I guess they didn't have a plethora of trash cans like we do now? Anyway, she had a hair holder and also another container, both with her initials imprinted on them. And obviously I have them now - Arbu was very generous in giving me her treasures (I also wore her cameo necklace on my wedding day).

Scene 2A: Once when my cousin Jill was visiting, she asked "when are we going to see Yourbu?" - her literal interpretation of Arbu's name still makes me giggle to this day. Jill is five years younger than me, so to be fair, she was pretty little when she said that.

Scene 3: Shortly after I turned 18, Arbu was visiting and slipped me a twenty-dollar bill with the instructions to "go get your ears pierced" - no need to tell me twice! I picked up Barbara and we were off to the mall, where I soon had two new holes in my head!

Scene 3A: A year later, my family and our sailing club went to Hawaii. We took Arbu with us, and, as the drinking age there was 18 (as opposed to 21 in California), she slipped this 19-year-old a ten-spot to go buy her some beer...Miller High Life, as I recall. That was fun, drinking a (legal) beer with Arbu - she was a hoot!
Arbu - Hawaii 1982

Scene 4: A couple of years later, I came home from college to find my mother had pierced her ears! And so did my grandmother! I started a trend, lol.

Now wait...where was I going with this post? Oh yeah. Things other than earrings for $100, Alex. Oh man, here I go again...


  1. YAY my post is up :)
    and I always adore the ride through your brain.
    for me it wasnt earrings but bulky handknit sweaters (for some reason vendors were always setting up shop and selling those at the college I attended. usually imported from guatemala)
    they always fit and they ALWAYS hid the fact I could no longer button my jeans.

    and my child is a bad girl (*giggle*) she's had her ears pierced since...6 mths :)

    have a great monday!

  2. You're too funny Shelley, thanks for brightening my rainy grey Monday morning today.

    I have a lot of earrings too, like you I like to match my accessoires with my outfit but I'm the one who always buys the shoes that always fit, never thought about the earrings. Would have been a much cheaper :lol:

    I've got my ears pierced around 6 or 7 years old if I remember correctly. Yes I was a bad bad girl :)

    Arbu sounds like a very special woman.

  3. Arbu looks like she'd be a kick in the pants! What lovely memories you have of her.

    I've never heard of a hair holder. How interesting.

    You still have your Barbies? Now that is cool! I'd forgotten all about PJ and Francie. I had an old school Barbie and eventually a Skipper.

    I didn't buy clothes or earrings at all. I always bought housewares! Tableclothes always fit!

    Have a great week, Shelley!

  4. Thanks for the Monday morning chuckles! I used to cut my barbies' hair never turned out well :-)

  5. Well, they take up less room than a shoe hoarding habit. Arbu was ahead of her time.

  6. That was hilarious, Shelley. Do you know those Barbies are worth a lot of money now?

  7. Loved reading this post!! My sister and I had to wait until we were 13. Why that was the magic number, I'll never know. BUT, my Mom did not tell us that we had to WAIT until the summer when we visited my Uncle Jiggs (who was a doctor) to pierce our ears!

    We turned 13 in March and didn't get them pierced until July, which seemed like an eternity to me.

    Now Hannah? She has three piercings on each ear, her belly button, nose and now Monroe (think right above the lip). Be careful what you say - I said "when you turn 18 you can pierce anything you want."

  8. OMG, Shelley! LOL I totally relate to this! The only difference is, my sisters had all the Barbies, and I had to actually cut my OWN hair into the Dorothy Hamill style. Oh man... 1976 was a bad school picture year. LOL

    I, too, had to wait to get my ears pierced. BUT, as the youngest of 8 girls, the rules became a bit lax once they got down to me. The original Dad Rule was 18, then it snuck down to 15. Same with fingernail polish. But when I was 13, Dad softened up. Lucky me... being the youngest pans out sometimes!
    Love the earrings on the brandy glass. Great idea! I never would have thought of that.
    Thanks for the laughs. :-)

  9. Loved the post. We all need an Arbu in our lives. How lucky you were. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Haha - was this making you laugh the other day? :D

    The barbies slayed me! I had PJ, only I chewed on her feet for some strange reason. Guess I had food issues at a young age.

  11. This is a great story! But you totally need to put some hair in that hair holder :)

  12. Love the earrings.
    Y'know, I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the English language, but a friend came by the other day and she used this phrase that I simply cannot comprehend.
    What does "too much jewelry" mean? That phrase makes no sense to me :)

  13. hehe, I loved the ride through your brain and back. Cute post!

  14. That was a hoot! The Barbies, especially. I didn't have many as a kid, but we sure have them now! I LOVE playing with them, even though my 9 year old has moved on, to earrings? shall I say. I had to wait until I was 10, so I sure as hell didn't make her wait. She got them before 1st grade. I told her she had to read 10 books and we would go and get her ears pierced. You have never seen a more motivated 6 year old.

  15. Darn, for some reason I am coming up as ajslevine. You do know that is it me, right?

  16. Lovely post. Lucky you with an Arbu! My thing is not earrings, but socks-you can always find socks that fit you! Michele

  17. Fun post and great pics, friend! I personally love my little diamond studs... :) Simple. Classic. So unlike my zany disposition! Ha Ha

  18. Love this post. And LOVE those earrings!!

    I don't mean to brag but I can still fit into the same earrings I wore in high school. Are you jealous? LOL

  19. God I loved this post!! I identified although my ears were pierced 7 times by the time you got your 1st ones LOL!

    I can't believe you didn't get any earrings while you were here!

  20. P.S. I must say how impressed I am that you have your barbies still!

  21. Very funny. The Barbie hair cuts killed me.
    (and almost killed them in the fashion world).

    Time to dump the Barbies -- you hoarder.

  22. Hai my friend,

    About Sarah's key: I had no idea that this happened during the war either. We didn't get this at school either. We did learn a lot about the war as we we're in war too and had our own tragedies. I suppose you've heard about Anne Frank? She's like the Dutch Sarah.

  23. OhmygoshArbu!!!!! You have a picture!!!! And you know her whole real name! I always wondered where that name came from.
    When that Arbu story is related to me, I always hear the Mybu version, which is just as funny.
    I had no idea your parents were so conservative! I wasn't allowed to have Barbies (unrealistic body image), but I did get my first pair of earrings when I was 10 or something. I guess my parents didn't know about that bad girl/fighting problem.


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