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Eureka! Snooty earlobes discovery

I may have been born a couple of centuries too late. I was told, at 40, I had reached “the age of wisdom.” If I can remember who told me that, I may have to chide them severely.

I was confident that when I got older, at some magical point, I would finally know everything and could relax a little. Meanwhile the world got busy creating a gazillion more things I need to know, in addition to the existing ones.

I had really counted on it meaning I would stop making stupid mistakes, but that was all bait and switch advertising. Every now and then I have a moment that smacks of wisdom, but there has been no noticeable drop in my stupid-mistake quotient. I call “no fairsies.”

My latest painful, belated lesson reveals that my upbringing lacked sugar daddies and/or jewelry salesmen. I did not know about gold. I had learned the three Cs of diamonds, but absolutely did not understand the differences in gold karats. I thought karats just meant hardness of pure gold. Wrong, wrong, wrong. To my surprise, I have found that pure gold only comes one way. It is way too soft to use for jewelry, so other metals have to be added for strength. Please don’t tell me you already knew that.

My ignorance didn’t bite me until this very year, when I purchased some earrings I simply adore, that are 10K. What that means, I have now discovered, is that the lower the karat, the more other metals are mixed in, and my ears do not like most other metals. Apparently, my allergic ears were cool with 14K, which has some, but a lower amount of alloy. But when I downgraded to 10 parts gold with 14 parts other metal, my lobes went into revolt.

The real problem was I got a new hole pierced, going from two piercings per ear, back to one. They kept hurting for six months. I thought the problem was that the new puncture just wasn’t healing for some reason. After switching out earrings a few times, the light bulb went on. The problem wasn’t the healing, but my new, wonderful, overpriced earrings.

So my wisdom-gathering continues on the subject of gold, its necessary alloys and what one can do about weird, diva earlobes. There are various dips, sprays and covers available and I have just ordered some. I just wonder what gaping hole in my knowledge base I’ll discover next.

I fear I will never become the village crone.


Jean Gillette is a freelance writer walking around with naked ears, and not at all pleased about it. Contact her at [email protected]