Charmed

I’m still laughing about my birthday. A good thing since I’m at the age where, rather than move forward each April, I’d prefer to go back a year.

A package arrived a week before my special day. In it was a hot pink cloth bag with matching tissue paper and a painted birthday canvas signed by Mary, Toni, Claudia, and Nancy. Those same sister-friends had intended to celebrate early with me in late March, but those plans were covided.

I placed the gift in the middle of our dining room table. Catching glimpses of that pink bag each day leading up to my birthday gave me something to look forward to.

COVID had voided my Volvo Car Open (tennis) tickets. It had canceled two rendezvous with friends. It had dimmed the house lights on my seats for CATS. No way was it going to douse my birthday candles.

When the day arrived, my family watched as I tossed pink tissue paper skyward and unveiled a small pink box. It held a circular gold charm, a heart-shaped cut-out in its center.

I knew the heart was meant for the 18” gold chain I wear daily. What I didn’t know was the trouble it took for my friends to find out which charms I already had.

No one—friends or family—could identify my existing charms with confidence.

Toni texted my daughter Kristen: “Hey, I need some help…can you tell me what charms she has?”

Kristen: “I truly cannot remember right now. I think she has a ‘G’ charm. I’ll have to get back to you.”

Kristen texted her dad: “The necklace that Mom has with the charms on it (Jordan and I have them, too). 1) Is it gold or silver? 2) What charms are on it?”

Dad: “Can you send me a pic of yours?”

My husband of at least 100 years who sees my neck every day responded with a picture of two necklaces from my jewelry rack. Each was at least 36” long, a large sunflower dangled from one and a key from the other.

Kristen: “Those aren’t the ones. (laughing emoji) She’s probably wearing it.”

Her dad sent a second picture and texted: “And this one. The charm fell off a few weeks ago.”

The lost “charm” was a medallion in the shape of an elephant. But it explained a lot. Gary was getting his charms and medallions mixed up.

Kristen: “It’s the one that has a ‘G’ charm and I think she may have a tennis racket charm….”

Dad: “Ok. I’ll keep trying to figure it out.”

In the game of hot and cold, Kristen was getting warmer. Gary? Not so much.

A few days later…

Kristen: “Did you find the necklace yet?”

Dad: “She’s been wearing it. It’s gold and has a tennis racquet on it.”

Kristen: “Ah, thank you! Is it just the ‘G’ and the tennis racket?”

Dad: “I’ll get another look and let you know.”

The next day…

Kristen: “Did you snag a picture of the necklace yet?”

Dad: “No, but I’m pretty sure I saw a racquet and a cross. She doesn’t take it off much.”

Keywords: “…doesn’t take it off much.” Why do we buy jewelry if no one is going to actually notice it?

Father and daughter eventually solved the necklace mystery. In my husband’s defense, it is my go-to chain. I often hang it on a hook under a hand towel next to my bathroom sink. And I now have four charms. I’ll let you guess which ones.

After all the birthday hoopla, Kristen shared the mystery necklace text thread with me. We giggled. We laughed. We snorted. We cried. And yes, I’m still laughing.

Everyday Life Friends & Family

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writer, blogger, columnist

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