Sunday, 13 March 2016

It needs to be worn all the time

On 6th February I bought a silver bracelet to match the beloved necklace I most often wear when out and about. There was a post about it on the 28th February. It's a very nice piece of silver jewellery - as it should be, considering its £199 price tag. But there was a snag that stopped me wearing it for a couple of weeks.

Let me explain a bit. Historically I wore a wristwatch for decades. While I was working, it ruled my life. I resented that. In 2009, four years after retiring, I did however invest in an upmarket Tag Heuer watch, not so much to tell the time with, but to provide me with some attractive wrist-decoration. One year later I bought a heavy silver hinged bracelet for the other wrist. Well, one day I decided that I needed less bling, and the watch was put away. I continued with the hinged bracelet, because I really liked it. I wore it whenever I went out, but not around the house.

When the hinged bracelet finally needed repair last year - the spring in the hinge had weakened too much, and needed replacement - that too was put away, and for a while - over a year - I went completely bare-wristed. That state of affairs was never going to last. I was ready to buy something else. And, just over a month ago, I saw the bracelet that this post is about, and bought it with no hesitation whatever. Truly it had my name on it.

Now what was the snag? Well, the hinged bracelet had got me used to taking it off indoors, or when washing myself, and in any case at night. It was so very easy to slip on and off. I took it for granted that I'd be able to do the same with the new bracelet. But it wasn't nearly so easy. The new bracelet was fastened with a hook, and getting it unhooked to take off, and hooked up again when I wanted to put it back on, were not simple operations. At least, not simple when doing it one-handed! Straightforward enough if someone was able to do it for me, of course, but then I do not keep a personal attendant just for such things.

As I was stuck in a mindset that required frequent taking-off and putting-on, I found the new bracelet a pain, and stopped wearing it. Not without regret, I can tell you. But with me convenience rules, and it now seemed that I'd bought an attractive and flattering, but most inconvenient, piece of jewellery.

Friends would ask me excitedly, 'Oh, you aren't wearing your new bracelet! Where is it?' and I'd have to say, 'Why, I must have forgotten to put it on!' or 'I decided not to wear it today!' or (closer to the truth) 'I didn't have time to put it on before coming out!' All of them rather lame excuses, of course. Then two days ago Jo popped round with her Mum, and noticed the bare wrist, and, sensing there was some issue I was reluctant to admit to, asked me about the bracelet, and what exactly was wrong with it. I didn't mind telling all to her. I explained how it was such a mission to take on and off during the day, with such an awkward fastening. She put her finger straight away on the essential issue. 'Why do you need to keep removing it? Couldn't you wear it all the time?'

Indeed why not? I mean, I always wore my silver rings; never took them off. This bracelet, once fastened, was in no danger of undoing itself and getting lost. It was very robust. And like the rings, it wouldn't discolour or tarnish if worn 24/7. (I am one of those fortunate people with the kind of skin that makes their silver shinier than ever) So I asked Jo to put the bracelet on for me, taking care to get the hook facing the right way, so that it was least likely to snag any woollens worn. We tried it first on my right wrist, but she thought my left wrist was best.

And somehow, with the decision made for me to leave it on my left wrist permanently, all with another woman's input and approval, I felt quite different about the bracelet. As happy as when buying it. Without reservation. I was sad that I'd bought a 'failed bracelet' - and indeed had made an expensive mistake - but it's 'failed' no longer.

There you are, suitable for any occasion! Thanks, Jo!

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