I bought these earrings for my mom a few Christmases ago. Or maybe it was for Mother’s day. I’m not sure. She only wears earrings that cover up the ripped hole in her right ear, because she thinks it’s unsightly. She cares a lot about how she looks, my mother. Very professional. So anyways, these earrings I got her- black with bronze filigree, diamond shaped, 80’s attempted art deco- were never worn by her. I don’t know what it is, but she hardly ever uses anything given to her unless it’s worth utilizing, like a vacuum cleaner, and she never wears any jewelry bought for her, unless it’s something she specifically asked for. And expensive.
Perhaps I take offense to this because I’m a gift giver; I show love through my gifts. Not just trinkets, like those earrings, but necessities, too. ‘Tis more blessed to give than to receive, no?
Why doesn’t she wear anything she’s given? Does the thought not cross her mind? Does she forget she has a certain necklace or pair of earrings because of the overwhelming materialism that we’re all drenched in? Does she order the value of her possessions by their expense? If that were true, she would wear those earrings everyday.
And if that’s true, does she value me? Am I too expensive a burden? She never wears my love, and I can’t wear something saturated in mystery.
But I love her! She may not know it, but I do. The way she laughs uncomfortably and denies my father’s drinking; the way she cries tears of numb rage at the slow dilapidation of our house; the ways she clicks her tongue when we talk about my father’s mother; her childish frustration about her old high school friends’ lives (I don’t think she can come to terms with others’ decisions) and how fat they’ve become, how so and so got married and then divorced after 15 years of glorious matrimony and how Ken came out of the closet; Maybe she judges them as harshly as she judges herself? Like mother like daughter.