Reasons for jewelry are:

1 – to enhance or accent color in an outfit.

2 – to show off wealth, status, membership or achievement.

3 – for sentimental reasons.

4 – to signify the importance of a day.

5 – for fun.

During the period of pandemic separation, I have not accessorized with any of the earrings or decorative necklaces that I normally would have. Why have I chosen the jewelry that I have worn during this time?

Reason #1: Since I didn’t expect anybody to see me most days, when I got dressed I didn’t think about enhancing my outfit. I selected harmonizing tops and pants, so I won’t appear to be mentally diminished, and I check in the mirror to make sure I’m not too bedraggled, but that’s it. 

I like to think that I never put on jewelry for wealth display a la #2, but I’m sure you’ve seen photos of Hollywood stars draped in diamonds. Some folks sport their medals or jewelry signifying membership in a certain organization. Do you still have the Girl Scout/Boy Scout/fraternity pin you stuck on for every meeting? Where’s your Phi Beta Kappa key now? And those little American flags on your lapel shout out, “I’m a patriot.” My wedding and engagement rings would qualify for #2 by showing the status of being “unavailable,” but since injuring my ring finger, I keep these on a chain around my neck, so they’re often tucked inside my blouse. I consider them to be there for reason #3.

I have worn jewelry because of #3 all the time during this pandemic, as I did before. On a ribbon around my neck, I have a cluster of rings with the birthstones of my children, their spouses, and my grandchild. To me, this is a form of constant prayer for their wellbeing. I keep them close to my heart, because I treasure them, and not for display.

Ah, reason #4. Recently, for the ceremony of scattering the ashes of a friend, I slipped on a decorative necklace for the first time during the pandemic. I wanted to dress myself up for this meaningful occasion. 

On a more joyful note, those “Kiss Me, I’m Irish!” pins qualify as #4 for Saint Patrick’s Day, and the same goes for Christmas-themed jewelry during that season. I didn’t wear my snowflake or holly berry earrings this past Christmas. Sure, I acknowledged the holidays, but celebrations were definitely tamped down.

Reason #5 is the best one. This morning was an exception in the recent history of my relationship with jewelry. Though I haven’t looked at them for months, I was pawing through my earrings because I thought it was about time to get with it and prevent my ear piercings from closing up. Accidentally, I came upon a fragile, narrow ring with an oversized, turquoise-blue “stone,” either plastic or glass. It looked like something a little girl might choose at Target. I think I actually bought it at Target as part of my costume for a play in the Tin Shed Theater. 

Nowadays, I’m washing my hands so often that rings are a nuisance, but I slid this one on just for fun. It doesn’t match today’s purple tunic and capris, but I’m enjoying seeing it on my hand. What a contrast to the way I’ve been NOT wearing jewelry for so long. 

Tomorrow I plan to dig out my childish hairclip made of many looped, bright-colored rubber bands. It will go great with whatever I wear. Or not. But forget reasons 1 through 4. It’ll be fun!