The Silver Charm Bracelet

Contributor: Karen Lindsey

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To begin with, her sister was older, and beautiful. It was natural that everyone loved her best, and that grandma had given her a golden charm bracelet when she turned 12. Natural too that grandma would give the younger girl in her turn a silver charm bracelet.

She never minded that. She loved the silver bracelet, and it was as uniquely hers, the charms tailored to her life and its events. They were, of course, less interesting events than those of her sister, but they were hers.

Her sister was a cheerleader, and dated the captain of the football team and other important boys at school. She herself dated less frequently, and of course only boys who, like herself, were pretty boring. Her mother had warned her about going all the way, because, mama said, boys will leave you as soon as they get what they want. Sometimes she obeyed mama’s injunction, but she enjoyed going all the way, and she figured it didn’t matter if the boy left her after, because the boys she dated weren’t all that great to begin with, and they usually left her pretty soon anyway. Her sister also sometimes went all the way, but there was always a new boy around if the old one left her, and anyway they didn’t often leave her, whatever she did. Her sister married at 23, to an up-and-coming business exec, and they had a beautiful house in a gated community. Their wedding made all the local newspapers and TV stations. She enjoyed being her sister’s bridesmaid and was grateful to have been asked.

She herself married several years later, when a widowed friend of her father’s came to dinner one night. His first marriage had been reputed perfect, and people said he would never get over the loss of his beautiful wife. Probably he didn’t. But he was raising a couple of kids on his own, and he was lonely. And she was very nice to him when he came to dinner, in a comfortable sort of way. She didn’t mind that he was older than she was, or that the kids had adored their mother. They liked her well enough for a stepmother. She made only one demand of her fiancé—that her wedding ring be silver and not gold. He didn’t understand why, but was happy to indulge her and save himself some money, after a few perfunctory ‘’are you sure honey’s’?’ She was quite sure. The ring was very pretty. And it matched her silver charm bracelet.

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Author of DIVORCED, BEHEADED, SURVIVED. Coauthor of DOCTOR SUSAN LOVE'S BREAST BOOK. Adjunct at U.Mass./Boston and Emerson College. Tarot reader. Lives 3 months a year in the Netherlands.
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