Friday, January 09, 2009

Delayed Appreciation

On the occasion of my graduation from university, I got a customised gold ring with semi-precious stones from from a family friend. Back then, I did not care for it much as it was way too big and "arty" for the time (1997). I had known in advance that I would get a ring as my Mum had hinted at it and borrowed a ring from me so the goldsmith would know the right size. She had told me the friend wanted him to set stones she had bought in Brazil and I was quite excited. When I saw the outcome, I was underwhelmed and secretly thought to myself that I'd have preferred a shop-bought ring (ideally chosen by myself) or the cash equivalent instead.
This summer, I "re-discovered" the ring in my jewellery box and have since worn it quite often. I felt guilty about my former disregard and also wore it when visiting said friend in KLU in August.
ring (onemorehandbag) The lady, now 86 years old, is a very special person and (surprisingly enough) holds me in high esteem. She was a crafts teacher at my Mum's school and I apparently impressed her with my creativity at an early age. I'd always liked visiting her flat which was so unlike every other elderly lady's place I knew, filled with books, souvenirs and musical instruments bought at her countless journeys to places as exotic as Afghanistan and the Western Sahara where she organised a charity project. She was and still is often dressed in batik fabrics and has her hair dyed henna-red. Apparently, she was married once, but that was before my Mum ever met her, and as she doesn't have any children, she lives all by herself in the centre of Klagenfurt, carrying groceries up to the second floor (no elevator). Whereas many of my relatives the same age now live in nursing homes and - quite understandably - have stopped giving presents, she still painstaikingly wraps (handmade) gifts and accompanies them with cards in impeccable handwriting. Like all old people she is prone to tell the same stories over and over again and to inflate the number of times she has been to country XY, but all the same - I hope I'll be like that at her age. Well, not the "being all by myself part", necessarily.


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