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The many shades of sparkle

Each accessory says something about you
Each accessory says something about you
Photo by Caroline McCredie/Getty Images

Just like in the rest of the animal kingdom, we adorn ourselves with our clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, and cosmetics to attract attention-- not always the kind of attention we may want or need; often without our being consciously aware of it-- and to make a personal statement. Instead of a peacock displaying its feathers, we humans have our fashion sense and (thankfully) widely varied ideas of beauty. I had a friend who was so overzealous with her accessories that she became much like a human department store Christmas tree: overly tinseled and bogged-down with gigantic, garish ornaments. Another friend wisely diagnosed her thusly: "a woman who wears that many accessories is trying to distract people from something." But it was who she was. Our grooming is just another extension of the choices we make that tell the world who we are, or who we want to be.

It's no secret that women tend to like sparkle, or what I fondly call "glittrah." Whether it be clothing, makeup, or accessories, many of us thoroughly enjoy self-decoration, especially in the form of jewelry. Of course, the pinnacle of a woman's jewelry arsenal is the engagement ring (not for all of us, mind you... but for many women, it is). Not only does it signal that she is the better half of a couple, for some women it can indicate how well he knows her, how much he loves her, socio-economic status, or just plain old bragging rights. Everyone is entitled to an acceptable level of bragging in life-- it makes the 'time more easy passin,' (to take Bob Dylan completely out of context). I actually really like to brag about how cheaply I purchased whatever eye-catching ensemble people may compliment me on; some people think 'expensive' is a big deal, some people think a *a good deal* is a bigger deal. Luckily, variety is the spice of life.

A few days ago a very dear friend of mine texted me to tell me she'd gotten engaged. She was so excited and couldn't wait for me to see the ring. She even texted me a picture of it, she was so proud. It is absolutely beautiful, and she was thrilled to tell me, "it's a Vera Wang. He did such a good job!!" I am very happy for her; she deserves all the happiness and pretty rings in the world, and I told her so. This man is truly blessed to have a woman like her love him, and she is equally lucky to have found a man who is worthy of her. For them, that is what the ring symbolizes... and that is a huge part of what makes it beautiful. Women would do well to remember that this symbolism is far more important than The Four C's of Diamonds, in my glittrahfied, single-girl opinion.

Now, I am not insecure enough that my first, or even fifth, thought was something like, "why can't I have one, too?" After I shared with her how excited I am for her, I started giggling. I giggled slightly maniacally, because my next thought was, 'I just got a gorgeous Vera Wang, myself!' You see, that same day, I went shopping to get some work clothes, and I chanced upon the coolest tights I've ever seen. All different patterns and colors, without being immature, and some with sparkle in them (anyone who knows me knows I love sparkle). They were Vera Wang tights, and I love them. They suit my personality and fashion sense to a tee, and make me feel fantastic. So my friend was thrilled about her ring, and I was similarly thrilled about my sparkly fishnet tights. It seems strangely perfect... She's engaged and I got a 'compliment' from a gas station creeper. I believe his exact words were, "I luv them hose on yore legsss." His words washed over my shoulder and neck in a voice sweetened with the mingled base note of beef jerky and a wispy, summery top note of stale cigarettes and pork cracklins. The compliment was so sincere and well-deserved that it made me hesitate for just a second before I elbowed him in the gut when he sniffed my hair...

(But I still love my tights.)

  • In all honesty, yes: someday I'd like to find the right man for me, but I'm not going to rush it... I'd hate to put a run in my stockings...