But we still needed jewellery.
The short version of the long and drawn out reason I need jewellery is this: It’s expected, socially and culturally, and verifies my status in the community. Fahim and I don’t care, but it’s for Fahim’s brother’s wedding, and his parents and brother will care, so… Or something like that, at any rate.
So we hop in the van and Fahim and the driver discuss where we can go to get jewellery. The driver suggests the Arpico in Battaramulla, which I’m not keen on because a. it has a really really small selection b. everything they have that I’ve seen is very ornate and gaudy and not at all what I like and c. if we don’t find anything, we’re too far from any jewellery stores to continue shopping, so it’ll be quits for the day.
We drive down the road about a half block or so and see a jewellery store, so we stop and Fahim and I head in.
Well, so far, at the other jewellery stores we went in to, I kept saying I wanted silver or platinum, and they kept bringing out gold and white gold. I’m allergic to gold. I’m not wearing it. I am not willing to let my flesh blow up and turn black. No. Silver or platinum, please.
It’s frustrating when people here give you what they think you ought to want rather than what you actually do.
Anyway. This jewellery shop, which was fairly large, had silver jewellery. We sat down at a counter and the salesperson brought out samples of silver jewellery for us to look at.
I think I homed in on the silver chain first.
Now for some more comments about me and jewellery.
You know how I mentioned before that I have large feet? Size 10? Well, I also have large hands. I wear men’s gloves, sometimes a medium but sometimes a large. Women’s large do NOT fit me, despite stupid salespeople in Canada trying to get me to try them on because they think I’m too dumb to know the difference. No, my fingers really are longer than that, and the palms of my hand really are wider than that, too. No, I do not have delicate hands. Yes, I can throw a football. For that matter, I can and have held men’s regulation basketballs in the palm of my hand with the palm at the top – and held on to it. That’s something that only people with big hands can do. Usually men.
Yep, that’s me. I have big hands.
Get over it. 😀
But then, let’s be honest, I’m not the frail delicate shrinking violet. I have a thick neck, too. Not one of the typical slender long Asian necks, oh no!
Tiny delicate jewellery does not go with my body type. Or personality type either, really.
Anyway, back to the jewellery selection.
The salesman brought out a tray with silver jewellery on it and in the middle was a mass entanglement of silver chains. He pulled some of them apart, mainly bringing out the more delicate ones. I pretty much ignored them when I spied another chain in there that I pulled out myself.
It’s a circular link that’s about 4 mm in diameter – not delicate – and yet still feminine. Some of the other chains weren’t that appealing and definitely not feminine. Fahim called them rapper wear (yeah, Fahim, I know, not your exact words, but it gets the point across.) Anyway, I loved this chain and put it firmly in front of me.
At first, I thought the chain was going to be too small for my neck, but something told me to try it on, so I did, and it’s actually fine. It doesn’t feel like it’s choking me and it comes down to that dip in the collar bone. So not very long, but then, the necklines of the two shalwaar kameezes that I’ll be wearing at the wedding aren’t very deep either, so this is actually a good length after all. Fahim agreed.
We don’t need to look any further for a chain. This one will do the trick nicely.
The salesman then pulls out a bunch of pendants and earrings and shows me stuff, hoping I’ll bite. Most of what he pulls out was either hearts *blech!* or flowers *roll eyes* or otherwise delicate and very girly girl, and young girly girl at that.
I know I look like I’m, what, 25 or 28 or something, but you know what? I’m not. I’m old.
And even when I was young, I never liked that kind of jewellery.
So I dismiss everything until he pulls out a pair of earrings. Fahim commented that I would love them, and the first three or four seconds, I didn’t. But then I took them in my hands and looked at them, and yeah, I loved them.
The earrings… On a hook with a yellow (not gold) topaz round stone, about 2 mm in diameter, followed by a tear drop shaped blue topaz (aqua colored, really) about 8 mm wide. All told, it dangles about 3 1/2 to 4 cm in length.
Now another comment on gemstones. I don’t like diamonds. I prefer stones with color. Sapphires, emeralds, garnets, rubies… I love color, and the brighter the better. 😀
I sort of settle on this pair of earrings, but just the earrings alone… Nope, I need a pendant to match, and Fahim keeps on insisting on a ring to match as well. I don’t care about the ring, but whatever. I’ll be happy with earrings and necklace.
Oh, and I’d also pulled out another pair of silver earrings, much longer than the others, that had three small stones, all white opaque, set in three circles dangling from the last one.
Then the salesman pulled out a ring with a teardrop shaped blue topaz. Matched the earrings very nicely. The teardrop topaz was about a centimetre wide – this is no delicate ring we’re talking about!
Unfortunately, the ring was a size 7, which meant that it would have fit me perfectly when I was skinny, but that was a decade or so ago. Alas, my ring finger is now an 8 1/2. Ugh.
But still, I love the ring with the earrings, and the salesman, of course, states that he can have it resized. No problem.
Then the salesman pulls out a box of loose blue topaz stones, and in it is another teardrop shaped blue topaz, a bit darker than the ones in the ring or the earrings, and suggests that we could have a pendant for the necklace made. I really like that idea.
I don’t like the yellow topaz as much, and I’ve told Fahim this, so when the question of making the pendant comes up, Fahim suggests making it without the yellow topaz. I disagree, as does the salesman. Because the earrings have the yellow topaz, the pendant should as well.
Also, because the chain is so big & chunky, the hangy thing the pendant hangs from the chain by will have to be large enough to accomodate the huge chain. Cool.
We’re now settled on the big chunky chain, the yellow and blue topaz earrings, the blue topaz ring, and having a pendant made. It can be ready by next Saturday. Friday would be better, says Fahim. Is that possible? Sure, sure, says the salesman.
But we need to know cost.
The entire time we had the jewellery out, I kept commenting to Fahim, as we picked out what I liked, that we’d seen no prices and had no idea how much it cost. He kept saying it didn’t matter. I liked it, and we were getting it. Huh. How sweet. 🙂
So the salesman takes the chain and puts it in a scale to weight it, then talks to another employee to calculate the cost. I’m guessing they’re calculating due to that day’s silver prices on the open market. He writes down a number, then weighs the earrings, and then the ring. He comes back to us with a price, including the cost of making the pendant, and then gives us a discount on that cost.
I’m sure the discounted price is the price they would have charged us regardless, but they do it that way to give us the illusion of getting a deal. In other words, the discount is built in.
At any rate, it’s settled, the bill is drawn up, and Fahim pays half, the other half due when he picks it all up next Friday.
See, the guy who’ll be making the pendant needs the earrings and ring to make sure the design matches, and he needs the chain to make sure the hangy thing is big enough.
What it all boils down to is that I don’t get it – any of it – today. It’ll be next week.
Now to figure out what I’m going to do with my hair…