Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Too early for diamonds

A friend and I have been training to become ladies who lunch. The training is intense but we're pretty dedicated. It mostly consists of drinking coffee and sampling high tea in various Wellington establishments. I'm pleased to report that it is going well and we are making good progress. However, a recent experience has made me realise that we need to step up our game.

A while ago, I was staying with a friend in Auckland when she mentioned that there was a jewellery sale "at someone's house" that day. Was I interested in going with her? I guess so; it doesn't hurt to look. We drove up to a semi-mansion in Castor Bay and I got a glimpse of how the other half live.

The jewellery for sale was Sensational Silver as the owner was selling her business and clearing stock. We enjoyed perusing a table covered with earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces in a whole range of styles. We tried on some items, all the while thinking ahead and trying to match various upcoming birthdays to the jewellery on the table. Three other women were at the sale and we soon noticed that their shopping style was markedly different to ours.

Our conversations went something like this:
"Do you think [12-year-old] would like this for Christmas?"
"Is this necklace too big to go with my red top? It's probably a bit OTT if I'm wearing long earrings at the same time."
"These earrings are cute, but I've already spent $15 on those studs so I shouldn't really buy two pairs."
"Ouch! $50 is still quite expensive, even with the discount ..."
Their conversations went like this:
"Oh, that's nice! I already have it in gold and one with an onyx inset. I might get the bracelet to match and it will also go with my rings and that chain over there."
"Only $190 for a sterling silver choker? You'll never find something so cheap in the shops!"
"I want this for my next wedding ring. I tell husband that I'm a big woman and so I need big jewellery. He says no, so I tell him my next husband will buy me big jewellery."
As they were chatting, they were gathering up and putting aside pieces to buy, much like we were. However, their piles were overflowing to the point where the seller went into her kitchen to find plastic containers for each of them to fill so they didn't get mixed up or lost. (I had no such problem with my three tiny pairs of earrings for $45.)

Their chatter went on and these women suddenly had our full attention with their next conversation. "My husband tells me, 'I buy you gold jewellery. Why are you wearing silver now?' I told him, 'it's too early for diamonds during the day - I'll wear them with gold at night but it's now quite acceptable to wear silver during the day.' He just doesn't get it." And here's where I learned a life lesson. We've always been told that diamonds are a girl's best friend, even in this day and age, but I never knew that sometimes it's too early for diamonds.

I flew home realising that I may never become a lady who lunches, nor am I likely to own different sets of jewellery for different times of the day, but some days I coffee like a princess and dine like a queen. Surely that counts?

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