Saturday, April 6, 2013


The label "Ferguson" was invented several years ago when my brother-in-law, the Sensitive Bostonian, was moving in with my sister. Everyone who was involved in the move was required to take at least three plants that were cuttings given to him by his father. I mentioned that once a vendor at the Grand Army Plaza farmer's market had told me that these rainforest-type viney plants are called Fergusons, and the label stuck: anything that is given away because the owner no longer wants or needs it is a Ferguson. Basically it's a new word for hand-me-downs, but with more of a ring to it.

My life is filled with Fergusons these days, ever since I came home from pottery class one night to find three cop cars facing the wrong way in the middle of the street in front of my house and my roommate's window wide open. The cops had me wait in the hallway outside my apartment while they checked the house for prints or anything that would contain DNA, but luckily I could hear my lovebird squawking loudly so I knew he was ok.

After I inspected the damage and mentally tallied everything I had lost, it turned out that I had two necklaces left to my name -- one that I was wearing, plus a pearl necklace from my grandmother (that I've never worn) that the thieves opened, looked at, and rejected; zero rings, since the two diamond rings from my other grandma were in a box awaiting cleaning that the thieves lifted; two pairs of earrings, one of which I had taken off at the gym and left in my bag; and one bracelet. I had often thought how terrible it would be if I were to lose one of my favorite pairs of earrings or one of my rings, but it never once crossed my mind that I could ever lose everything at once.

Friends have been so kind, pooling together their Ferguson jewelry for me and giving me a gift certificate so I can pick out some non-Ferguson jewelry as well. I hope to score a Ferguson camera off someone so I can take real pictures for my Etsy site, rather than the crappy cell phone pictures I have been using of late. After a while the Fergusons will no longer feel like Fergusons, but right now they don't quite feel like mine. I know jewelry is only stuff, but all the pieces I had that were made by friends, or came from faraway places, or given to me by people I love felt like more than that to me; many of them I had worn so much they felt like extensions of my body, and without them I feel naked. It's hard not to think, when I put on my orange sweater in the morning, "I can wear those orange earring my aunt in France gave me; they will match perfectly!" or, fifty times a days, "Did I take off my ring when I was washing the dishes and forget to put it back on?" I hope my subconscious brain catches up to reality soon.

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