When I was eleven, my mother let my sister and me get our ears pierced for Christmas. We went down to VanLunen's department store and some woman with a piercing gun began the process of desensitizing us to rods of metal through our ears (which at this point, leaves my sister with six holes plus her nose and me with seven plus my navel). On our way there or home or maybe sometime during the several week long fixation process, I asked Mom why she didn't have her ears pierced.
Well, she'd had them pierced in college. But she took them out and let them close up. I never really understood why. She said that someday she wanted to have her ears pierced again, but not until she had diamond earrings to wear in them. I asked why she didn't just buy herself some diamond earrings then.
This was when I learned that a lady does not buy herself "real" jewelry. It's okay to buy accessories, but not jewelry. And diamond earrings made of real diamonds are not an accessory, they are jewelry.
I decided then and there that "When I grow up I'm going to buy Mom diamond earrings."
Cut forward about eight years and my mother starts doing strange, for her, things. She gets a hair-style (as opposed to a hair-cut). She starts dyeing her hair. She buys some make-up and even wears a little occasionally. And she starts talking about piercing her ears again. She kept saying "Maybe next year, I'll pierce my ears." Everytime I thought of the earrings I was going to buy her.
Well, then she got engaged. She has a diamond set in yellow gold on her finger. I've heard five or six times since then "Maybe for my next birthday, I'll get pierced ears.". I think she was dropping hints at her fiance for those earrings.
This year on Mom's birthday (January 17) I was laughingly broke. As a matter of fact, my mother spent, well, about $1500 on me that weekend in car insurance, titling and books. So, she knew not to expect anything from me for her birthday. When we were out yesterday she mentioned again how she wanted to pierce her ears... and it occurred to me...
I had a pair of diamond earrings that I would never wear. NotBoyAnymore gave them to me for Christmas four years ago, and really, they made me very angry. Diamond earrings are a great gift for "your girlfriend". They're not a great gift for "your girlfriend, mary ann, who refuses to wear anything other than sterling silver hoops in her ears and will gladly lecture you about the evils of the diamond industry".
I had considered re-gifting them to Mom before, but it always seemed crummy when I could buy something. Except this year, I couldn't. It was give her those earrings or macrame something. And actually after she said "I think maybe I'll get my ears pierced" that time, I said "Oh! Don't let me forget! I have your birthday present upstairs at my house!" and she said "Oh! Did you macrame me something?"
Okay, so I gave her the earrings and she opened them and was really excited and recognized them immediately as NotBoyAnymore's earrings, and I feel like I half failed at a goal I've had since I was eleven... but Mom after she said "These are NotBoyAnymore's earrings", she said "I can finally get my ears pierced. C'mon, MomsFiance, let's go get my ears pierced! I wonder if they'll let me wear them right away or if I'll have to wait six weeks..." Then she thanked me again, told me I could have them back when she dies [from her, that was a joke] and cried.
So, I didn't get to grow up and buy my mom the diamond earrings she has wanted forever, but I did get to grow up and give my mom the diamond earrings she has wanted forever. I feel like it counts. Especially considering how much better that gift is than a card and a macrame'd keychain....