I own a little silver ring that I picked up at a thrift store when I was a teenager (which is so far back that I’m surprised the ring is that old!!). It’s silver and I bought it in India, which is to say there’s (almost) a fixed rate for it. My mom and I did some killer bargaining and brought the guy down a few bucks (I’m not even sure we made up for the cab fare to get to the store, but, as all Indians will agree, a bargain is a bargain no matter how much you save). I also bought a small silver necklace from him (but we didn’t get as good a bargain on it). Mind you, these events occurred many many years ago – but I’m still upset that we didn’t get a good deal on the necklace (not that I minded… I was 14 or 15; at that age my parents paid for every darn thing I wanted to own and I had no balance sheet of my own to bother with!!).
The teenage-me debated getting some elvish inscription on the inside of the ring (after all, it was the year Lord of the Rings had come out and inscriptions on rings sounded oh-so-cool). But then I realised that, as proficient as the fellow may have been, there was no way he was Elven-educated. So I let the engraving me, picked up the ring & necklace and traipsed out the store.
I remember wearing that ring to school (and college and university thereafter) like my life depended on it. Like somehow my life force was tied to the existence of that ring and that it’s sole purpose was to hang around my neck and protect me. Many of my more fashionable friends picked up necklaces with more stylish motifs (yin/yang, dog tags and even one leaf that I remember), but I stayed loyal to my ring. I added an odd assortment of pendants through my teenage years (a key, an anchor, even a crucifix!), but that silver blob of twisted metal remained on me through many of my years. I thought it gave my rebellious soul some character… and I steadfastly refused to part with it.
Today I work in an organisation where even the ‘bling’ is conservative. Muted gold ornaments and polished matte platinum accessories share office space with pastel shades and soft bobs. I let go of (most of) my wild uncouth wavy hair and now sport a (sort of) conservative pixie cut (my hair are still wavy, but that’s a topic for another post in itself). My stylish black t-shirts and faded jeans have made way for cuffed shirts and smartly-pressed trousers. My custom converse sneakers have been phased out and sleek black office shoes adorn my feet.
But my precious. Joins me at work every day.