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My life has gotten a little more grown up lately... New forever love of my life, new house, new job and officially a honeymooner Mrs.! Everything is a shiny adventure and untrodden territory. Follow along as I navigate the world of being a grown up!


Back-Log - July 2, 2005

In memories, everything is always a little distorted... exaggerated or downplayed. We do not do it on purpose. Our brains cannot remember every tiny detail. And as time passes, even bigger memories are twisted and mangled, until all we can recall is the basic emotion we endured in the situation.

In my case, my aunt's memory of the past was over-valued. My grandfather, whom I never met, "bought" my nana a set of pearls by saving up points he earned from every air conditioning unit he bought (he owned an A/C company). My aunt Marta was a little girl, growing up in the 70s, and evidently equated her mother's new pearls with the Crown Jewels of England.

When I opened the box on graduation night just more than 20 years later, I thought it was a beautiful gift. Only after I was so touched by my great grandfather's card that I began to cry, did my nana tell the pearls were hers. I was even more touched that she had given me such a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

A couple days passed and I received a call from my mother while I was driving home in rush hour traffic. She told me that my aunt Marta apparently chastised my nana for giving me the pearls. "Mom! They are probably worth about 5 grand!" she whined. Atop Marta's pearless neck sat a head that genuinely remembered those point-earned pearls as being quite valuable, too valuable to just hand off as a graduation gift to your granddaughter!

I met my nana at the jewelry store in the heart of Phoenix to address the issue. The building was in a strip mall with limited parking and an Italian man in a wife beater leaning on the wall outside. She's gone here for years, she told me. We dropped off the pearls for appraisal. It didn't even cross my mind to think that she wanted them appraised to potentially keep them for herself. But once my father pointed out his mother's material scope of life, I could see the opportunity for indian-giving.

I received a phone call from Marty at the store while I was sitting right here at my computer. "I'm sorry, Tory, but they're not worth more than five-hundred dollars, so they're not even worth appraising," he breathed into the phone in a New York accent. I thanked Marty and hung up the phone with a smirk of semi-satisfaction on my face.

Not only were the beloved pearls not worth five grand, they weren't worth even five hundred. I now have my aunt's blessings to possess them and will treasure them forever. To me, they are priceless, just as they are in my aunt's disillusioned memories of splendeur.

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