When I and my brother and sister were little, my great grandmother would send us the same Christmas gift every year. She’d send my brother twenty or thirty nearly priceless pre-Civil War silver dollars, and she’d give my sister and I exactly one dirty, torn dollar bill and a piece of broken costume jewelry she’d obviously dug out of the bottom of her jewelry box.
I have to add here that my brother WAS named after her husband. My brother is ALSO an only son of an only son of an only son, so he is carrying on the family name.
Did I ever mention that my maiden name is Smith? Yes, my brother, bless his heart, was/is the last Smith.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve teased him about that.
Anyway, back to my great grandmother and her unequal gift giving. You’d think I would have been disappointed by such inequality, but I wasn’t. My brother could never take any of his dollars to the store to spend and the jewelry, while broken, was still shiny.
When you’re a kid, shiny will cover a lot of ills.
In fact, I still have those broken pieces of jewelry.
A friend of mine recently went through her grandmother’s treasure trove of sparkly costume jewelry and I was amazed — there were some wonderful pieces in there. Gorgeous pieces. They made me think of my broken pieces of jewelry and I had to smile . . . you know, whether it’s wearable or not, there’s something decadent and shiny about old costume jewelry.
I love the stuff, even the broken stuff.
Have you ever been given or inherited any jewelry, real or costume? What favorite pieces of jewelry do you wear every day? Do you have some jewelry that you hope to pass on to your kids? And aren’t you proud of my brother for being ‘the last Smith?’ I think I need to call him today and remind him of that.