Lately I’ve been self-gifting far more than is normal for me. Yesterday I went out for my morning coffee and noticed that Sweaty Betty had a pair of flip flops in the window that seemed perfect for me. I have flip flop issues. A damaged knee makes flip flop trippery a not so small matter and because my feet are big, shoes in my size tend to leave plenty of space for me to fall over – because my feet are big-long, not big-fat – in fact they are quite narrow. Fine, so there were a few special features to the Reebok flip flops that made them justifiable. But did I need the Yoga top?
Today I went out for coffee and it was even worse. I forgot my umbrella and the heavens opened so I stepped into a shop. And then another and another and another, working my way towards one very expensive cup of coffee. OK. I didn’t entirely self-gift. I bought funny t-shirts for my nieces and nephew who I am visiting soon, I bought a birthday present for a friend and at the last shop I invested in a very handsome umbrella. Again, justifiable. But I also bought myself a necklace and then a bracelet and then a bag. Oh ya, and a top. None of the items cost much, but still …. this outburst of random, unplanned spend has been pronounced lately.
In particular, I keep buying jewellery.
Now, jewellery purchase has long been a symbolic act for me. When a relationship ends I buy a ring (I’ll also buy a ring when no relationship has ended but I want my life to shove along into some sort of next phase.) And actually, I’ll buy non-symbolic-moment rings too. I have a ring buying problem. So most of the time I won’t stop and look at them. It’s too tempting. What troubles me is that I’ve branched out into bracelets and necklaces and the occasional set of earrings lately. In the past 6 weeks I have bought all of the below.
Twirling the new pebble necklace I just bought this morning it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I’m self-gifting and in particular focusing in on self-adornment in an effort to boost my self-esteem. I’ve been fat lately. Fat round the belly. In a way that I have not been before. And this nice big hefty stone and a half has proved defiant in the face of the gym – it’s become my new set point. I refuse to let this remain the case indefinitely, I will beat my fat back to where it used to be — but in the interim this might explain the whole jewellery compulsion. I just went to wikipedia and it told me the following
Under Impact on Society
Jewellery has been used to denote status. In ancient Rome, for instance, only certain ranks could wear rings; Later, sumptuary laws dictated who could wear what type of jewellery, again based on rank. Cultural dictates have also played a significant role. For example, hip hop culture has popularised the slang term bling-bling, which refers to ostentatious display of jewellery by men or women.
Under Form and Function
Jewellery has been used for a number of reasons:
- Currency, wealth display and storage,
- Functional use (such as clasps, pins and buckles)
- Symbolism (to show membership or status)
- Protection (in the form of amulets and magical wards)
- Artistic display
Storage? I don’t get that one. Wait — unless bags count, then I do.
And under History these points leapt out
- Jewellery in Greece was hardly worn and was mostly used for public appearances or on special occasions. It was frequently given as a gift and was predominantly worn by women to show their wealth, social status, and beauty
- In general, the more jewellery an Aztec noble wore, the higher his status or prestige.
Really all I can say for myself is that it’s a very good thing that I’ve never much cared for diamonds and I hope I get thin soon.