Sunday, July 4, 2010

Because "Fruitless" is my Middle Name.

Years and years and years ago, when I was just a little girl, I fell utterly in love with a locket I found in my mother’s jewelry box. It was an amazing thing—an 1800s “mourning locket” that was substantial, heavy, and strangely masculine. It may have been gold, it may have been pinchbeck. It possessed a commanding, emerald-cut rectangular stone centered in a bed of smooth, intricate, muscular scroll work. I always believed it to be onyx, but it could have been obsidian. The interior was a pale, uneven robin’s-egg blue—perhaps enamel, I don’t know. At around two inches long, it was BIG, weighty, and it stole my heart. It dangled with authority from a long, heavy, box-linked chain, and I spent many a day in my mother’s bedroom, admiring the locket, which had been a gift to her from a woman who had received it from her mother, and she from hers before.

NOT the locket, NOT the chain, just my photoshop
attempt to approximate
As a teen, I showed the locket to my friends, all of whom were  convinced it was a dark, malevolent relic of the occult. We used to  pass it around and groove on the wicked “vibe.” Yeah, insert  spooky organ music here.

Not the actual chain, but a closer representation
When I was just shy of 17 and preparing to marry, my mother  held out her jewelry box and told me to pick something for myself.   Something to wear under my frilly dress. My something “old.”

I chose the locket. I don’t think she was too happy about that,  but, to her credit, she did not renege, though, no doubt, she likely wished she'd offered me "something borrowed." To my utter mortification,  she did, years and years later, deny having offered it. But that’s  my family, and that’s another story.

The last clear memory I have of possessing the locket is (I think?) living in Provo, Utah with a very nice man who happened to be having sex with my husband. Yeah. That, too, is another story. It all ended badly, and I wound up moving out QUICKLY while no one was home. It wasn’t until much later that I had the time to dig through everything and come to the realization that the locket was gone. I actually got a court order (and a police escort) to dig through stored things at my pending-ex’s grandmother’s house, but no joy. The locket was gone. The ex, of course, denied any knowledge of the locket or its whereabouts. This is the same guy who made off with HALF my stereo (left the turntable and one speaker), the BOXSPRINGS to my bed, much of my paltry jewelry collection, and most of my vinyl records. Oh, and half my wardrobe. The red always did look better on you, darlin’.

For years, I have pined for my locket. I have cursed my ex, cried, and, since the advent of “all you can eat” internet access, cruised hundreds of auction and estate sale sites. I have chewed through ebay time and time again, leaving a highway of messages and board posts and pleas.


It wasn’t until recently that I began to wonder—did my ex-husband steal it? Did he? Or was it already gone by another’s hand? I look around now, suspicious. What about Lou? That girl stole my grandmother’s pearls from me--not once but TWICE. Each time, being the wonderful, kind, caring, stupid, ass-headed person I was, I quietly secreted them back without confronting her because I didn’t want HER to feel bad about stealing from ME. Did SHE take the locket? She sure liked it, and she had been down to visit not long before I left Provo. What about BJ? She was a thief, no question about it. But she was also completely insane, and when she flipped from one “her” to another, she almost always confessed her crimes. So probably not. But what about those others who've made locket-coveting noises over the years? Is that where my locket went? Have I been wrongly vilifying my ex all these years?

No. He deserves the downing, whether he took the locket or not.

I don’t have a picture. I can’t draw one. But if I SAW it, I would absolutely know it. I would know it because it is indelibly imprinted in my mind’s eye. I’ve spent a good five hours just in the past two days once again poring over auction and antique sites. Hoping. I know. I know I’m likely not ever going to see it again, and that breaks my heart. I know it’s “just a thing,” but come on—can we all admit that some things are very special to us? This locket is very special to me. I see it in my mind almost every day. If you see it in your journeys, snap it up for me—I may have to make payments, but I swear I’m good for it.

I'm updating this, what--almost three years later?  Still no locket, but a growing fear--as these lockets become increasingly popular, the prices go through the roof--lockets that might have gone for three hundred a few years ago are going for fifteen hundred or more today.  What if I find it and it's completely beyond me?  Or worse--what if someone gets hold of it and decides to tear it up or deface it for some "steampunking" thing?  Oh, I wish I'd kept a better hold on this!  Hindsight really is 20/20--I'd have kept it around my neck 24/7 had I known it would be stolen!

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