This isn’t the first time I’ve been sucked in to the charm bracelet trend. A few years ago, I got an Italian Charm bracelet, and rushed to fill it as fast as I could. By Christmas, my mom, grandma, two aunts and cousin all had the same bracelets, so the thrill was kind of lost.
The other night I went to my local jewelry store just to check out the object (quite literally) of my obsession. The bracelets themselves aren’t unreasonably expensive, but the charms start at 30 bucks, so eventually it becomes to a piece of jewelry worth hundreds of dollars. The jeweler assured me they will not go out of style, but what else would she say? There are some adorable charms (my wish list includes the apple, the baby carriage, the bible and the clock), but I try not to buy shirts that cost more than $30, let alone items the size of my baby fingernail.
Now, don’t tell anyone, but I checked on ebay, and there are knockoff versions of the charms starting at (wait for it) ninety-seven cents. I showed them to my husband, in an effort to justify the purchase, but he responded with “Oh, you won’t want to buy those, because ‘they’ would know”. Hmm. Yes, ‘they’ would certainly figure it out, especially since one of my dear friends has already memorized the catalogue of official Pandora charms. I can just hear her now: “Well…that one looks similiar to 790473PCZ, but I can tell it’s an imitation.” Catholic schoolteachers can be so cruel!
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about my friends. They are actually extremely thoughtful and supportive. They even laughed with me, not at me, the day my beautiful pleather boots (which I am guessing spent too much time in the cold garage) began to crack and peel off completely throughout the course of a staff meeting. Nice.
You know, the way I look at it, purchasing the bracelet would actually be a service to my daughters and students. I mean, how can we expect them to understand the important role of material posessions in social status and self-worth if we don’t model it ourselves? (Yes, I’m kidding. Please no “this makes you a terrible mom and/or teacher” comments. They will make me cry.) In a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do move, I actually showed my class the PBS Kids “Don’t Buy It” website yesterday.
I am not proud of this fixation. I mean, I’m as in to material things as the next mom, but I keep myself to a pretty tight budget, and try not to be overwhelmed by consumerism. I have deeply rooted values, and I’ve even been known to purchase generic products. I buy and sell on kijiji, have no problem with hand-me-downs, and think of myself more as a saver than a spender. And yet…there’s that bewitching Pandora!
I’m starting to think my colleagues have caught on to this angst.
“You really have to get a bracelet,” they said the other day.
“We’re also going for Botox…want to come?”
“Sure!” (Never to early to start, right?)
“We’re thinking of getting tattoos as well!”
“Okay!” (If that’s what all the cool kids are doing!)
“And there’s this bridge we were thinking of jumping off…”
Wait a second…
Then, the sneakiest move of all: “If you get a bracelet, you can blog about it!” That’s really low.
But ha ha – I showed them. I’m blogging about it without even buying one. Ish. Stay tuned for further developments.
UPDATE: See March 29 Post for an important Pandora bracelet update.