Sunday, 3 December 2017

Stuck Up

I have a pair of earrings that I bought on impulse, which is, by the way, something that I almost never do. I am of the, "Hmm, I think I like that, but I need to think about it" breed of person. Mostly I come back two weeks later and look at the thing I've thought I might like, and then a month after that I visit it again and then, at last, six and a half months after first seeing the object, I wake up gripped by a desperate urge to buy whatever it is.

As you can imagine, this method saves a lot of money, as very few things remain in shops for such a long time - and, indeed, in the case of these earrings I'm going to tell you about, the shop itself - one of those all round knick-knack businesses that sell nothing anyone actually needs, but on the other hand it was on Bong Bong Street, (yes, really), the main street of Bowral, which is a town where people are so wealthy they are no longer in the realm of actual "needs" when out shopping - vanished.

I think my hesitancy about taking the plunge and laying out hard cash in shops arises from a time when I was very young and working in a fairly miserable job in a dole office, while finishing off a degree in Russian at Melbourne University. Perhaps I could say that it arises from a trauma I suffered while doing all of the above? Perhaps.

Anyway, trauma or no, while I was definitely not poverty stricken, I also wasn't paid very much, and I greatly disliked the work that brought in what money I had. Despite this - or maybe because: was unhappiness the motivation; who knows, the human mind is a very strange thing - on my lunch break one day, when I saw a pair of jeans with red piping sewn onto them in a pattern, I bought them immediately.

As I say, I wasn't left poverty stricken; nevertheless, when I took the trousers home and tried them on I immediately realised I'd made a blunder and wasted money that I'd actually earned the hard way. I have no idea what I can have been thinking at the time I bought them as I don't even really like denim - too stiff and heavy - and I certainly don't like wide leg trousers and these were so wide that each leg seemed almost to be competing to see if it could measure the same side to side as from top to bottom. I can only think that somehow I'd allowed myself to be seduced by the scarlet piping pattern that some jolly seamstress had spooled all over the wide blue sea that spread out from knee to ankle on each side.

I never ever wore those trousers, not even in private. I kept them for years though, and every time I glimpsed them at the back of the cupboard I became more reluctant to make a shopping decision quickly. When they finally vanished, victims, I imagine of one of my mother's unauthorised clear-outs, (and thereby hangs a tale), it was too late; they were embedded in my being.  To this day, they still haunt me, despite no longer existing - or at least not existing in my possession. To be truthful, I am shuddering slightly even as I write about them now.

Shakes self. Where was I? Oh yes, the earrings that I bought on impulse. Yes, they became two of my favourite possessions, of all time - and that despite the sneaking suspicion that they are not actually elegant nor fall within the category that includes things that are deemed to be good taste. Somehow this doesn't stop me liking them. I think it is their colour, (could there be a pattern emerging - the red of the piping fooled me and now the blue of the shiny crystal on my earrings beguiles me to forget about elegance and good taste, when generally I am at the vanguard of those two things, hem hem). Loving the earrings as I - rightly or wrongly - do, imagine my sorrow when the other day I trod on one of them and the little gem that hangs from it broke off.

The earrings were cheap, I should point out, but their price was irrelevant. They were cheap, but to me they were invaluable. Therefore, there was no choice: I needed to fix them; I couldn't live without them in my life - or, more accurately, my ears. So today I finally got to a hardware shop and bought some glue to stick metal surfaces together. As soon as I got the stuff home, I got out the broken earring and followed the glue's instructions, trying to refasten the sparkly blue jewel part to the bit that hangs it off my ear. Almost immediately, I struck a problem. It turned out that there was no instant bonding to be expected - the two surfaces needed to be left together, undisturbed over several hours, so that the glue could set and they would be permanently (barring further idiocies on my part) rejoined.

How was I to manage this? Try as I might I couldn't find a way to get the wiry hanging bit of the earring to sit in a position where the gem I was trying to glue back onto it didn't get pushed off to one side or the other.

But years of watching Blue Peter came to the rescue. I may never have managed to create a truly successful Dougal from the Magic Roundabout (an empty Fairy Liquid bottle, plus scraps of wool were the basic ingredients), but at least I absorbed the make do and mend approach. Remembering that this morning I had thrown away a mandarine that was getting a bit inedibly squashy on one side, I retrieved it, took a knife, made a slit, and hey presto, I had a perfect holder for my earring while the glue dried. Just in case the mandarine should roll in any direction, I also retrieved a hard plastic case that had contained some Medjool dates and wedged the fruit securely into one of its sections:

Let no one ever say that watching television is a waste of time.

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