I believe in the power of pearls. When I turned eighteen years old I received endless stacks of envelopes filled with checks, cash and advice for my future years. In the midst of all my Hallmark cards was a box wrapped in bright pink. In the box was a pearl necklace and earrings to match. My aunt proceeded to explain to me that I was “a woman now and every woman needs a set of pearls”. I nodded my head in agreement and simply thanked her.
Pearls represent classy, sophisticated, well mannered women–women who act above and beyond their age, oozing out a sense of poise and nobility. None of those words could be used to describe me at the time, so away went the pearls into my jewelry box with all the other long forgotten gold and silver that had been collected over the years. I was only eighteen; I wanted to think of myself as young and fun, not classy and debonair–oh how boring that would be! It wasn’t until that little red dress came along when I dusted off those pearls and began to live by their meaning.
My boyfriend’s mother invited me out for the evening. She had not been very fond of me in the past so I took the invitation with extreme somberness. I bought a little red dress and curled my hair; I could not have looked like a classier all-American kind of girl unless my name was Jackie Onassis. As I was preparing to leave, my mother suggested the pearls as a finishing touch to my impressive ensemble. I broke the pearls loose from their box and hung them around my neck. I then became the picture of a classy, suave woman who sought out every opportunity to impress with her ladylike attributes; exactly, what I thought, did not describe me not too long ago.
I impressed his mother that evening, and was complimented on my demeanor as the pinnacle of lady-ship several times. After that night the pearls became the way I tried to gauge my success at “becoming a women”. I set out to be polite and worldly. I made it a goal to depict an innate sense of style and elegance. My pearls changed the way I viewed myself and allowed me to grow into a more refined woman.
I began to pick up books on southern upbringings, common courtesy and proper etiquette; hoping to educate myself on this topic I had suddenly become so fond of. It was not until I had all of the knowledge of what being a lady encompassed that I realized I had already been raised as one. My pearls come out of the box more often now. Every time I wear them I put on a polished suit of class and dignity. They remind me to take pride in being a lady and constantly bring about the notion that I am a classy, sophisticated, well mannered woman. I believe in the power of pearls.
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