I have but one addiction, one earthly obsession, one absolute weakness, my kryptonite indeed and it’s called jewelry! I can stop myself from shopping for anything just to save up for a piece of jewel. As a matter of fact, I request no other gift from my husband but a jewel! For our first monthsary, some years ago, he handed me 2 rings, one with a clear zircon which stands as his “promise ring” and one plain band with his name engraved on the inside. It turned out it was a pair and he owned of course the other. It was a wedding band, only, he did not pop the question right then and there (thank goodness!). And I guess, he had me at that. I felt like, “Oh boy, this is serious!”. And it was! So boys, you know what to do to show that you’re in for a serious relationship!
On my birthday that same year, he again gave me a ring with brilliantitos. He even conspired with my mom to score a good one. Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture, really. So for 8 straight years, he has given me rings for my birthday. I guess he must’ve noticed and loved the delight in my eyes every time I see his gift! I even use the gift checks I receive to buy jewelries. That’s how much I like them. I believe that my fascination with jewelries has something to do with my past…
Oh yes, jewelries, my ultimate love! I love it in whites or yellows (gold), with or without gems. Diamonds, precious or semi-precious stones, as long as it has a monetary value, I love it. By monetary value, I mean it is pawn-able. hehe Because you know, I grew up in that premise. I don’t deny it nor hide it. It may not be something to be proud of but neither it is something to be ashamed of, to admit that, that was how my family was able to survive the poorest of times.
I inherited my interest in jewelries from my mom. You see, before I was born, she was still working for her sister’s RTW shop in Baclaran. So she earned her own money. And in Baclaran, she was always offered by alaheras of their jewelries for installment. With that going on for years, she was able to accumulate a good collection of jewelry.. It stopped upon my arrival in her (my mom’s) life. Now, I feel guilty but the most guilt-tripping part were the years that followed.
Her vast collection included her birthstone (which i think was given to her by her mom, my granny), medallions and several diamonds in various cuts. The princess cut is my favorite, by the way. She had jades, opals, plain golds, bangles, amethyst, rositas and many others which already escaped my young memory. Like I said, she stopped working when I was born, and at that time around my 3 elder sisters had already started their schooling. My dad was in and out of work. If you do the math, it’s no wonder why one by one, her priced pieces of jewelry started to disappear. I remember her always going to pawnshops, to pawn her jewelries, to pay interest and to redeem. That to redeem part however did not happen in most of her jewelries. Sad, right? Then we would always have plenty of money and she’d always treat me with my favorite food such as cakes and Jollibbe right after we’ve gone to a pawnshop. I felt rich. I wonder what my mom felt then. I grew up in that set-up. I thought it was normal. Until of course later when I already matured a little. That’s when I felt bad for mom. She loved those jewelries. Who wouldn’t love her jewelries, right? She worked hard to buy them but due to our never-ending needs (schooling, food on the table, me getting sick, etc.), she had to let them go. All for the love of us. Of course she loves us more than those pieces. She had managed to save at least one for each of us, her daughters. I chose her birthstone – a Garnet ring, which I fondly call a “survivor ring”. Truly, it survived our pawnshop-to-live days.
When I started earning, I would always buy my mom a piece of jewel as a Christmas gift or birthday gift. Lately however, she no longer desires to collect. All she wanted was to have something to use everyday until she feels it’s time to replace them. What she does is she either gives it to her grandchildren or she gives it back to the one who gave it to her. That works and it’s actually cool for me too. I buy her jewelries and with great possibility to own it later. Win-win, eh?
As I said, my fascination with jewelries are kinda deeply ingrained in me. I guess, jewelries for me are not just expensive accessories or a social status symbol. They are not just possessions, not just wealth, not only an asset. Jewelries encompass a story of my past, of my family. Jewelries signify my mom’s deep love and devotion to her children and her family. Jewelries speak of her great sacrifices, her ability and unlimited capacity to take care of her children. Jewelries remind me of my mom’s tough love for us. And that’s most probably why I love jewelries, now and forever.