Buy Yourself the diamonds

I bought myself a pair of diamond stud earrings last week. They are pretty and sweet and sparkly and I love them very much, but they are not a purchase I ever thought I’d make for myself. I’m not super into jewelry, and diamonds are lovely but not really my thing. Now that I’ve made this purchase I’m reconsidering those statements. Perhaps I am a diamond girl after all? 

***

Last Saturday was the five-year anniversary of my mom’s death and I always like to do something to commemorate the day. Saturday was also the end of a four-week intensive course I took through Tempest, an online program that helps you stop drinking and feel better. I wanted to celebrate the fact that I made it through the course and that I even signed up for it in the first place. 

In the past, commemorations and celebrations have always included alcohol. Sometimes a lot of alcohol, sometimes not much, but it is always there. There is always Fireball at the mom commemoration and there is usually champagne or at the very least beer at any celebration I am a part of. I’m not drinking, so these options are off of the table. I’m also used to celebrating with sugar, and loves, this is not a great idea for me either. Sugar (in the quantities that I like to eat it) makes me a crazy-person for several minutes and then a depressed, sad, tired person 20 minutes later. I was going to have to find myself other outlets for the commemor-celebration.

But what? I don’t need anything. Then I remembered…

***

During the spring break right before I was to graduate from college, my mom took me to Disneyworld as a graduation present. (I know, I’m such a lucky duck)! However, to take care of my mental health, I left school six weeks prior to graduation. I did, however, go back in the fall and graduated the next spring. Imagine my surprise on graduation day when my parents brought me a gift! I had already been given a graduation gift the year before! My mom handed me a little black box, and inside were diamond stud earrings. 

I was shocked. “You already gave me a graduation present last year!” I said.

“I know,” said Mom. “But you’ve been through so much since then and we wanted to give you something nice now. We are so proud of you for coming back to school and earning your degree.” 

I loved the earrings, they were perfect. They were small and shiny and made me feel special. And they were so, so beautiful. I never knew I wanted something like them until I had them. I quickly put them on and never took them off for about four years. 

Then, while I was performing in “How to Talk Minnesotan,” I felt the right earring fall out of my ear in the middle of the show. While trying to stay in character I looked and looked for it, hoping the stage lights might hit the diamond just right and I’d find it and scoop it up. After the show several cast members helped me look for it, but we never found it. It’s quite possible that the diamond earring is still stuck in the floor boards at the Plymouth Playhouse. 

I was devastated about the loss, and even writing this now is producing tears in my eyes. Although is was an accident, I hate that I lost such a precious gift. I blame myself for not checking the back of the earrings every once in a while to make sure that they were on securely. I wonder why I brought something valuable to me to the theatre? And now that mom is gone the loss hurts even more. 

***

I wasn’t going to buy the new earrings. I wasn’t going to spend money on something “frivolous” that I don’t need, in the middle of a pandemic in which I am unemployed. The voice in my head said that it was silly to want to commemorate and celebrate in this way and that I should find something cheaper. Luckily I didn’t listen to that voice and I bought them anyway.

Now I have a new pair, this time with screw-on backs so these babies aren’t falling off in the middle of a show. And although I miss the pair that my parents bought for me, it feels good to know that I was in a position to buy another pair for myself. Fingers crossed, I will have these earrings forever, and I will remember when I bought them, and why I bought them.  I am unable to replace what was lost, but I am able to make a new memory. 

It’s ok to spend money on yourself. 

It’s ok to want something just because you want something. 

It’s ok to buy the diamonds. 

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