i have an incredible fondness for incredibly flashy costume jewelry- as recently modeled by our boy brutè. my mum- who has a QVC addiction that isn't discussed outside The Family- calls it a desire for "large stone presence." that's not to say i like walnut-sized diamonds and emeralds and sapphires. those are entirely too grownup and it's the grownup things that always go missing.
we're talking a knuckle-high fire-engine red cocktail ring or a plum-sized rhinestone broach or an enormous fakely dazzling pendant, usually all missing a gem or two. because it's the imperfect pleasures that are the best. things sparkle harder when they're cheap.
my name has always been notoriously difficult to find. for some reason clara- a name whose popularity peaked in 1940s nebraska- is always present but i, timeless and classy, never am. anyone who's ever been in a souvenir shop in my presence has heard this complaint and apparently a good majority spend the rest of their lives checking out keychain/zipper pull/necklace/magnet carousels looking for me.
some while ago some guy found me on a necklace in the st. louis zoo and sent it my way. and it's tacky. really tacky. so tacky that it made me question my own ability to pull off tacky things.
it has my eight letters in blue rhinestones and it's about three inches wide. and that's almost more bling than my collarbone can handle. but it was the chain that did me in. it was like someone took left-over wire from a dollhouse fence and said hmmm. this would be perfect for a necklace. in other words, um... no.
fortuitously, during one of the necklace's many almost-wears, the chain broke. despite the ugly, my name was involved, which instantly made the thing a bit of a treasure, so i recruited my mum. she was to QVC the perfect, elegant, understated chain for my rather tacky bit of bling. i carefully explained the plan. i made it quite clear: this was a heinous necklace and it needed some classing up.
i entrusted this mission to my mum because i thought it beyond my own capabilities. it required a mother's touch. knowing me so well, she would know what was best. she would know the bejeweled boundaries that i should not cross. i now know that she did not know.
the lynchpin of my plan was that the chain would have to be simple, unnoticeable, invisible even. a chain that would in no way stick out. the chain my mum found looks as though it brought its drunk ass, slutted up self straight from a bar on bourbon. i would've had to have lived a whole different life to pull off this chain. it is not unlike the visor of geordi la forge. it has brilliants. strands of shimmering silver brilliants. they glow in the dark. they keep me awake.
my mum said, i saw it and thought of you. i can't imagine how she had the wherewithal to think of me. i saw it and went blind.
so the necklace was tacky before and it's hella tackee now. it debuted at the white trash party, smothered under it's sixteen friends. but i've been feeling rather guilty. my mum went to some lengths to produce such a precious and her vision probably sustained irrepairable damage from its' blinding lights (which don't even begin to be conveyed in the photograph above. croftie captured the universal response when she saw it and went WuhOOOOA).
so i'm going to wear the damn thing. i'm going to be CAROLINE, in blue rhinestones and gaudy brilliants and with a tacky as all get out front clasp. it's a bit more CAROLINE than i ever thought i'd be, but i'm going to do it. for a week at least. for my mum, who has pushed me toward this unexpected precipice of stone presence. my mum, who has now taught me, sometimes the imperfect pleasures sparkle a bit too hard.