Tying Things On

I’ve never liked wearing any jewelry.

I never wore a wrist watch or my class ring.  And certainly no bracelets, necklaces or earrings.

After Cherie and I got married I’d wear my wedding band to the office, but take it off and put it in a desk drawer when I got there.  Then I’d put it back on to go home.  I didn’t want her to think that I didn’t want to wear it, but I hated the feel of it on my finger.  Finally I fessed up to her, telling her that I’d tattoo my marital status on my forehead if necessary, but that I just couldn’t stand wearing a ring.  Turns out that it didn’t matter to her whether I wore the ring or not.  So it hasn’t been on my finger for over 25 years not.

So with my long-time dislike of jewelry I was a very unlikely candidate to take up bracelet-wearing.

There was a peace labyrinth at the 2012 Wild Goose festival.  As I remember it, there were stations within it, with things like photos of the consequences of violence, war and peacemaking, a sculpture of guns being hammered into farm tools, and the like.  At the final station there were pieces of colored string that had been woven into bracelets by kids as part of the children’s activities.  I had Cherie tie one onto my wrist.

And then I left it there.

I wore that bracelet for over a year, until it disappeared last week.  By then it was just hanging on by a thread (literally).  I knew its days were numbered, but assumed I’d notice when it broke.  Instead, I just discovered one evening that it was gone.

Wearing a multicolored string bracelet for a year may not sound like a big deal to most people, but it was a pretty major step outside of the box for me.  I noticed that lots of people’s eyes were drawn to it, but no one ever asked me what it was or why I was wearing it.

Now I’m bracelet-free once again.  But I’m not without jewelry (if that is the right word).

Last year I cut a cross-shaped piece of wood out of a tobacco stick, drilled a hole in it, ran a piece of string through it and tied it around my neck.  At age 53, it’s my first-ever necklace.

I’ve been thinking about how a simple act like tying something around my wrist or neck is reflective of some very significant changes in my life.   Life is funny like that.

And in case anyone is wondering, there will be no earring.

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16 comments on “Tying Things On

  1. I, for one, am breathing a huge sigh of relief … so glad there will be no earring. I would have had to rethink our friendship… tee hee.

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  2. How in the world did you get through raising a child without ever having to wear (fill-in-the-blank) that “I made for you!”? My husband has had his toenails polished more times than I can count and is currently wearing a lovely string of beads in pink and yellow.

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    • Bill says:

      I honestly don’t recall ever having to deal with that. I put lots of things made for me up in my office, no matter how silly they looked, but was (thankfully) never given anything to wear. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was so particular back in those days I’m not sure I would’ve played along.

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    • Bill says:

      Meant to add–good for your husband! He’s doing the right thing.
      Have y’all ever seen The Real Dirt on Farmer John? (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439774/). That’s sort of my measuring stick on how these these kind of things can reasonably go. 🙂

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  3. Lynda says:

    The thought never entered my mind. 😀

    My husband has never owned a ring. When we were newly married it bothered me, yet I knew it would be a hazard for him in his line of work. Over the years I have come to realize that it is not a ring that would keep us from straying. It was the love of God who bound our hearts together, and that is a “string” that cannot be broken.

    Thank you for the lovely reminder!

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    • Bill says:

      I was worried that Cherie would think I was trying to conceal the fact that I was married if I didn’t wear it, so I tried, but just couldn’t do it. I really did tell her I would tattoo her name on my forehead if I could get out of wearing the ring. She was comfortable leaving my forehead as it was and letting me know it was OK not to wear the ring.
      I’m glad to know y’all have that kind of relationship too.
      🙂

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  4. Bob Braxton says:

    2013.08.31 Sat twi-lit
    ‘Ecclesiastes 3:5’
    a time to gather
    stones together a
    time to cast away
    2
    that you were gone
    just discovered
    one evening
    3
    tying
    something
    around

    © 2013 RobertJulianBraxton

    2013.07.06 Sat twi-lit
    ‘parent rest in peace’
    cradle
    lie there
    rock rock

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  5. El Guapo says:

    I wear my wedding ring, and a small plastic token on a chain that has significance to me.
    A few years ago, I got my ear pierced,mostly because it amused the hell out of me.

    I think I still have my class ring, and a lacrosse stick on a necklace.
    But the wedding ring and the token are really all I need.

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    • Bill says:

      I’ve never been tempted to get any piercings or tattoos. But I’m from a generation when those things were very uncommon unless you were in the Navy or the circus (although there are many folks my age who haven’t been deterred by that). I have no issue with it now, but can’t help feeling I’d look and feel silly getting an earring at my age.

      I’d wear my wedding ring if rings didn’t make me so uncomfortable. It is a great symbol.

      I love that you wear a token that’s meaningful to you. That’s kind of what I’m doing too.

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  6. shoreacres says:

    Just so you know – despite my mother’s nagging and my friends’ ridicule, I don’t have pierced ears, either. I don’t know what the deal is – I just can’t bring myself to do it. I think it would be nice. I like pretty earrings. But I just can’t. No doubt some deep psychological issue. Sigh.

    I never wear jewelry at work, but I mostly don’t, anyway. There are a few things I cherish and will haul out from time to time, like a clutch of silver bracelets from Africa – Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and so on. I traded some tee shirts and blouses for one – the woman took it right off her arm in the middle of the Freetown market. Now, that’s a memento!

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    • Bill says:

      There is something unsettling (to me) about piercing ears (or, even more so, noses). I definitely understand.

      I know people who love accumulating jewelry. I prefer your way, just a few items that have sentimental value.

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  7. shoreacres says:

    Oh! I forgot. I was going to tell you about these folks at Four String Farm whom I just discovered. They’re south of me here in Texas, but they clearly know what they’re doing, and there’s some interesting reading to be had. I thought you and Cherie would be interested.

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    • Bill says:

      I love their blog! Thanks for sharing it. It’s now in my (mile-long) list of favorites. 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      Meant to tell you, I was working on a post yesterday that was inspired by some outrageous (to me) comments folks had made to a news story I read. While composing the rant I remembered a comment from you in which you advised to never read the comments to news stories. I chuckled and abandoned the post. Why blog about comments a right-thinking person would never have read in the first place? 🙂

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