My Monkey Business


As I approach thirty, my body is betraying me, from my toes up to my earlobes.

I used to be able to wear not just any type of clothing that I wanted, but any type of earring. Big or small, short or tall. Cheapo, crappy, imitation material. Whatever– and it worked. Now, my body is more particular. It requires low heels on my pumps, spanx around my waist, and silver or gold in my lobes, or else it throws a tantrum. This is sad because my jewelry box is mostly populated with inexpensive metals, ornamentation plucked off rotating racks that are all becoming unlikely options.

There’s this pair of earrings that I especially enjoy. They’re “gold” chandelier with green “gems.” They are flashy but, if you don’t look to closely, elegant. I tried to wear them last week into the city, and passed through approximately three stops on the train before I couldn’t take the pain anymore and had to unhook them from my swollen ears. As I slipped them into my purse, I lamented the loss, and expressed that replacing them with a genuine pair would be far too expensive. Phil, in a moment of genius, suggested a thriftier option: replacing just the chinsy hooks themselves with genuine gold ones.

As soon as I had access to a computer, I consulted Amazon about the possibilities. And yes– they sold gold hooks on their own. The only catch? Not individually. In packs of 100.

But for only $8, this wasn’t an issue. It would be far more cost effective to purchase 100 gold hooks than to splurge on real gold chandelier earrings. So the question was not, should I buy 100 gold hooks, it was, what will I do with the other 98?

And the answer, clearly, was to start an earring making business.

For the next twenty minutes, I Googled. I learned how to make earrings and what materials were required. Then I returned to Amazon in a feverish pitch. Scroll, scroll, scroll, click, click, click, my life flashed before my eyes as I ordered 100 gold hooks, 100 head pins, and 250 beads. By the time the Amazon confirmation receipt arrived in my inbox, my heart rate was beginning to slow and the blood receded from my cheeks.

What had I done?

In that tunnel-visioned impulse, I disregarded the fact that I am not an artist. Seriously. When I was babysitting a 6-year-old girl and we were drawing flowers, I crumpled mine up because hers was better. I was an ape with a crayon. I hate details. I hate patience and precision. My handwriting is lousy, my signature is A scribble scribble D scribble scribble, and the A and D aren’t even that good. I am not careful. Around Christmas, Phil and I each had a glass of eggnog. He flicked his wrist and sprinkled the top of his with a light dusting of nutmeg. It was a beverage fit for a Bon Appetit holiday photo shoot. He handed me the spice and, in two jerking spasms, mine looked like a couple of anthills on snow.

But now, I was a jewelry maker?

When the envelope with my craft materials arrived, I was ready to put my weakness to the test. I started strong. I organized the different styles of beads into a box with cordoned off sections. It looked like the box of a jewelry maker. I took a deep breath, lifted a pin, selected color coordinated beads, and stacked them. It looked like the pin of a jewelry maker. I slipped the top of the pin through the hole of a hook, bent the pin, and was prepared for a perfect earring. But it did not look like the earring of a jewelry maker. The tip of the pin did not magically circle into a perfect closed loop. I squeezed the tiny pieces between my thumbs. It bent too far. I gritted my teeth and tried to maneuver again. Why are these pieces so freaking small?? It didn’t budge. The earring looked like something a mother loves only because her kindergartner made it. I groaned and gave up– I am not determined — and handed it to Phil, because of course all along this was actually going to be Phil’s jewelry business.

Now the question was not, what am I going to do with the other 98 hooks, it was, what am I going to do with other 98 hooks, 100 pins, and 250 beads?

Anyone want to buy a jewelry making business?


4 thoughts on “My Monkey Business

  1. If you actually want to sell the pieces let me know. I do make jewelry off and on. You need needlenose pliers to make the loops connect πŸ™‚

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