When I was a teenager, I loved wearing brooches. The bigger and more decorative (read: gaudy), the better. Of course it was the ’80s, so everything was big and gaudy. I had this one heart-shaped brooch with all sorts of “flair” that seemed to be welded on it. It had a clockface with one moving hand, an eye mask, a couple of different buttons, and other little metal trinkets that I can’t remember now but were equally likely to make you ask, “WTF?”
I wore the thing for at least three years — well into the early 90s, before everything went grunge and flannel and gaudy finally fell out of style (Can I get an amen?). Then the pin was retired to my jewelry box for ten years with a bunch of huge clip-on earrings (I let the holes in my earlobes grow over in the eighth grade because they kept getting infected. Gross, yes I know, but I didn’t get them repierced until almost ten years ago.) and other brooches that were past their prime.
For Christmas 2004, Hubby got me a new jewelry box. My old one was overflowing with mostly junk jewelry, and I decided that at age 32, it was time for me to get begin a “grown-up” jewelry box. You know, one with fake stones and metals that I wouldn’t mind being caught dead wearing.
But what to do with the old one? Enter my cousin’s two daughters (then ages 4 and almost 6) who LOVE dressing up. One afternoon last spring, (y’all know I procrastinate, right?) I took the old jewelry box with all the old stuff to my aunt’s house, and we sat on the back deck among the hummingbirds and yellow finches while my cousin’s daughters rummaged through the new goods.
When the heart-shaped pin appeared, my cousin said, “Oh my God, I remember that pin.”
“Of course,” I said. “I wore the thing all the time.”
“Where did you get all this stuff?”