I had a lot of fake jewelery when I was little. I suppose by 'fake' I mean 'costume' because even fake jewelery is ornamental, and thus real jewelery. Fake or real, I had scads of it. Chain upon chain of cheap metal alloys colored silver or gold, strands of plastic beads and pearls, strings of charms and lockets.
Truthfully, I don't know why I had so much jewelery because I'm not exactly a jewelery person. I suppose every little girl just needs her own jewelery box full of shiny stuff; whether she actually wears any of it on a daily basis or not is another question. The only jewelery I wear on a regular basis as a grown woman (debatable) are my wedding band, engagement ring, and my CTR ring.
Anyway, this one time my brother David dared me to put on every single necklace that I owned.
It seemed like an innocent enough dare, so I began to heap the necklaces on. David helped. We encountered no difficulties...until it came time to take the necklaces off. Somehow they had gotten so tangled together that we couldn't get them off one at a time and there were far too many to take them off all at once. I started to panic, which meant that I started sobbing/screaming. I was sure that I was doomed to wear all those necklaces until the day I died. I would be bedridden, for sure, since my neck was getting tired from the weight after only a few seconds; and I was quite sure I was slowly suffocating, even though my neck was not constricted at all.
In this moment of absolute despair, David hightailed it out of my bedroom. I don't blame him. My screams were terribly high pitched. And he was only 9 or 10, maybe younger; probably he couldn't deal with the stress from and guilt of accidentally strangling his younger sister by way of jewelery overloading and he didn't want to stick around to watch me slowly suffocate. Or he was afraid of getting in trouble. I don't know why he left, but he did.
I screamed louder. I was going to die, after all.
After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was probably more like 2 minutes, my dad rushed into my room to see what all the ruckus was about. Then he calmed me down and gently, methodically, patiently, lovingly disentangled each and every strand of beads from around my neck. I really have no clue how long it took, but probably the majority of his Saturday afternoon.
I was just reminded of this when Rachel ran up to me this evening wearing an apron, only an apron, and in complete distress because she had stuck her head through the handles of her diaper bag (she likes to wear it over her head instead of over her shoulder) and couldn't get it off because she was pulling at too many things at once.
I used to wonder how my dad stayed so calm when I was in such a tizzy, but now I know. It's because it wasn't that big of a deal; I just needed to calm down and work through things slowly, gently, methodically, and patiently instead of clawing and ripping at the necklaces like a trapped bear.
So I smiled to myself while I easily slipped the diaper bag over her head--sometimes a grown-up perspective is so welcome.