My wife and I each buy three anniversary gifts for one another. The first two are done for humor. We have found two separate lists of what each year’s gift is supposed to be made out of, or what theme it represents, and we try to find something small and silly that fits into each category. The third present is the one that really counts, however. That is the one that comes from the heart. I knew that this year I wanted to buy her jewelry, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted it to be.
My wife loves diamond and silver, so that was what I had been looking at – silver bracelets, diamond earrings, things that I knew would fit into her collection. I just wasn’t finding anything that jumped out at me. The sales associate at the local jewelry store saw me looking through the display cases and asked if there was something in particular I was looking for. I just laughed and said, “Yes, but I don’t know what it is.” I told him the predicament I was in and he said he had just the right solution for me.
When I told him that I had never seen my wife wearing pearls, he said it was because I had never given her any. He said there was a belief, somewhere between a superstition and an old wives tale, where women are not supposed to buy pearls for themselves. The best he could figure out was that it had to do with men who were sailors bringing the pearls back as gifts after having been gone for months at a time. Obviously, that was rarely the case these days, but the practice seemed to stick.
The other aspect that made pearls special, he pointed out, was that they were not the type of jewelry a person would or could wear every day. They are saved for special occasions, and that helps to keep the memory of the gift alive throughout the years. She may confuse one silver necklace with another, or forget exactly when she got a certain pair of diamond earrings, but she will always remember when she got the pearl necklace and who it was that gave it to her.