What do Barbara Bush, Jackie Onassis and Michelle Obama have in common? Pearls!
My husband bought me a new set of pearls for Christmas and they are lovely! They replace a set my parents gave me that I've worn for the last quarter of a century. I've learned on that set, through mistakes, how to better appreciate and care for my new ones.
I have committed every sin against those pearls known to woman except soaking them in port wine or swimming with them in chlorinated water. I've worn them to bed, to dance class, jogging, gardening, in the shower, while spraying on perfume and hairspray. I expected them to hold up regardless of their material frailties - much like I expect my body and mind to hold up to repeated overuse despite their physical limitations. Anyone who understands material science understands that each material, sand, ash, oak, marble all have different strengths and different limitations under cold, heat, gravity, stress and pressure.
And anyone who's smart should treat that material accordingly. If I got a new body now, like this new strand of pearls, I'd treat it much better, appreciate it more, baby it. For now, I am where I am. As I get ready for bed, I put my new pearls in a soft cloth bag for safe overnight rest from my tossing and turning. I wait to spray on my nighttime perfume until after they are protected. With smart regard for their material qualities, I hope these pearls will last me another 25 years.