family vacation to New York City over the holidays, I brought
home exactly one souvenir (I ate the others). While we were freezing
our philtrums at the Bryant Park Winter Village Holiday Market in
Midtown Manhattan, I was teen-pressured by my three daughters into
purchasing a "manly beaded bracelet." (I'm pretty sure that's an oxymoron.)
I bought the bracelet from a shop called Raw Spirit NYC, and my misgivings
didn't end with the name of the establishment. The beads in the piece
were made from black tourmaline, and the seller assured me that it
would dispel toxic emotions and cleanse my energy field.
Although I've been wearing the bracelet daily, my daughters would
probably disagree that my toxic emotions have been dispelled, especially
when I have to pay their hair stylists. And my wife would definitely
disagree with the claims about my cleansed energy field, especially
after I've eaten anything spicy.
I don't typically wear a lot of jewelry, probably as a result of my
upbringing. Men in my dad's generation weren't known for accessorizing,
so when I was in my lavishly-mulletted teen years and announced my
intentions to have my ear pierced, I don't remember exactly what he
said, but I think it had something to do with removing my ears entirely.
After all, it was the 1980's, and just about the only males with pierced
ears at the time were on MTVand most of them wore eyeliner.
I solved the earring dilemma by compromising with an imitation gold
and silver ear cuff set that I purchased at Claire's (yes, Claire's).
I sported the ear cuffs only when I was away from home and was trying
to convince any teenage girl in my general vicinity that I looked
vaguely like a member of Duran Duranat a distanceif she
squintedand used her imagination.
Other than a succession of gold-ish herringbone chains that turned
my adolescent neck green, and a tarnished, gold-plated nugget ring
that I abandoned with an ex-girlfriend who probably still gets it
out at parties for a huge laugh, my next memorable experience with
jewelry came when my daughters were little girls.
Our daughters grew up during the Rainbow Loom craze and created hundreds
of brightly-colored bracelets made of overpriced, miniature rubber
bands that I'm still finding lodged in the carpet. Because this was
back when the girls were still willing to admit that we're related,
they often presented me with the bracelets as gifts. (My favorites
were fuchsia and chartreuse.) I still put them on from time to time
when I need a good cry.
Looking back, I now realize that encouraging me to buy the bracelet
in New York was just my daughters' way of implicating me in the smackdown
they were administering to my credit cards. Nevertheless, it reminds
me of them, so I wear it proudly. Besides, it does look kind of cool,
especially when I pair it with an ear cuff.