“Wear a fabulous smile, great jewelry, and know that you are totally and utterly in control.” — Donatello Versace
I once had a friend who –no lie– could literally pull an earring out of a dirty ashtray and wear it with no hint of irritation. I, on the other hand, had ridiculously sensitive ears — meaning my earrings had to be hypo-allergenic, cleaned regularly in hydrogen peroxide, and stored away from dust or other pollutants that might inflame my delicate lobes. While others around me were buying and wearing any cheap, cute style that caught their eye without so much as an infection worry, I developed sore ears from simply looking at a less than pristine pair. After years of earring frustration, I found two pair of posts that didn’t bother my ears and wore them every single day — regardless of my outfit or mood. It was easier, and truthfully, one less thing to think about.
And then my friend Tina started selling Paparazzi jewelry. I decided to be a good supportive friend and order a necklace. Or two. Or three or four. (They’re only $5.00, so I wasn’t breaking the break.) Notice I’m saying necklaces. But the necklaces all came with a coordinating pair of earrings that were hypoallergenic. And the earrings were really cute. So I started wearing a pair occasionally — you know, if I remembered and if they coordinated with my outfit. These earrings were kinda/sorta free (I mean they were with the $5.00 necklace — what price are they?), AND they didn’t make my ears sore!
Then a funny thing happened. I liked the way I felt when I was wearing those earrings. I liked looking in the mirror and seeing that extra glint of gold or silver or copper or other colors. I love that one pair even makes a pleasant tinkling sound when I turn my head. Somehow, wearing earrings made me feel more stylish and put together, more…complete. Sometimes I got compliments on them. Soon I found myself taking time to pick out earrings along with my wrist watch before heading out the door each day.
Next thing you know, I was ordering earrings — without a necklace. And not just from my friend Tina — I started buying/wearing other earrings that caught my fancy. A pair from a cute little artists’ fair in New York City; a shiny silver and gold dangly option that popped up on Facebook. I even resurrected old, but stylish, earrings still floating around in the bottom of my jewelry box.
I must admit that I am a wee bit puzzled as to how I’m now wearing earrings so effortlessly. Either my ears have gone through some sort of “It’s OK to wear whatever you want” transformation, or something in earring manufacturing changed over the last 20 years, because I can now don just about any type of earrings without so much as a glance at the included metals. Nor do I understand why having some sort of jewel on a hook dangling from my earlobe has become an important wardrobe staple. What I do know is that sporting cheap earrings somehow makes me know that I’m in control, and makes me feel like a million bucks.