Jewelry: Bling Bling, ice, gems, beads, stones. The mere thought can be intoxicating for most women. Recently, I got buzzed on Bling and went on a costume jewelry bender with my mother. The morning after I’m thinking, “Why did I do it? Why did I even go in? I should have stopped at one. I need to wear some shades to avoid the glare.”
My mother has a weakness for costume jewelry. Some (my father, Charlie) may say an addiction. We’re talking cubic zirconia rings as big as your head. Chunky necklaces and bracelets in every color of the rainbow and pattern. Matching earrings to fill four holes (in her ear lobes, of course). Her nickname is even “Gem.”
And the thing is, she can totally pull it off.
Gem is a combination of Doris Day and Dolly Parton. Doris’ blonde hair and all-American smile adorned with Dolly’s make-up and accessories. She inherited her Bling gene from my grandmother. For whatever reason, the Bling gene skipped me but was inherited by my daughter.
After a depressing morning at Weight Watcher’s, I made the mistake of trying to cheer Gem up with a visit to the new accessories store in town, Charming Charlie. It’s like Claire’s for adults. This boutique-like chain is jam-packed with jewelry, purses, hair ornaments, shoes and clothes – all in color coordinated pods. It is complete sensory overload for the accessory addicted. And the best part, everything in the store is reasonably priced.
This was my third trip to the store and I had yet to make a single purchase. Afterall, I do lack the Bling gene which may also account for the fact that I am fashion-challenged. So it never fails that when I go shopping with Gem, I let her talk me into buying loud, colorful outfits that I inevitably return because they are completely out of my comfort zone.
Gem recently regifted me a navy jacket like no other in my closet. This thing has laces down both lapels and shiny silver snap buttons. She insisted I wear it on this cold, gloomy spring morning to keep me warm and to add a little pizzaz to my normal, “plain” look. I felt like a kook or an extra in Broadway’s “Rock of Ages” but I let her talk me into wearing it anyway.
Maybe it was the way my newfound “hip” jacket made me feel, but the third time visiting the store was a charm. The Bling was starting to look really good to me and I was feeling a bit of a buzz from all the sparkly surroundings.
The folks at Charming Charlie really know how to suck you in by drifting you back in time with their bouncy sound track. Jeffrey Osborne and ltd sang, “Back in Love Again” as I found myself thinking, “Wow, I really need a shirt for the roller rink.” Then Janet Jackson sang, “Because of Love” and I felt compelled to buy some black rhinestone earrings and an Egyptian-style beaded bracelet to wear clubbing. Although, the closest I’ve come to a dance club in the last seven years is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
I kept hearing the shoplifting alarm go off as I was break’in it down while getting dolled up in my time machine. My husband called as one of the alarms was blaring and he joked, “Is that your mother trying to take off with something?” Sure enough, Gem’s arms were so full of Bling that she kept accidentally setting off the alarm.
After an hour of Bling shopping, she declared her morning caffeine fix was making her dizzy. I think it was the whirlwind of Bling or maybe it was lead poisoning from all of the China-produced bobbles we’d been trying on. We were definitely losing our Bling buzz.
Finally, we had to cut ourselves off so our Bling buzz could wear off. As we checked out, my mother realized the next Charlie she needed to charm was my father as she dreaded handing him the sales receipt. On the way out, Gem spied a loose screw in the doorway. Ironically, we were the only ones screwed with Charming Charlie now in our neighborhood.
On second thought, add my husband to that list of people who are screwed if the family Bling gene finally takes.