My older daughter bugged me for a week to dig out my box of earrings from when I was a teenager. She’s 8 and wears dangly earrings and hoops now, so she wanted to steal some of my “vintage” 1980s stuff. I finally unearthed the box this weekend, and we had a lot of fun going through all the crazy huge pieces of metal I used to adorn my ears with.

I had double holes, and I’d often wear four different earrings at a time. I remember my mom telling me my lobes were going to get droopy (though they never did). I had huge hoops in gold, black, and silver, various pendulum-type silver things, gems surrounded with lace, snakes decorated with rhinestones (I think I got them when Duran Duran’s “Union of the Snake” was out), gold crucifixes that I’m sure gave my Catholic mother conniptions, and even a stained-glass-looking red-and-green piece that says “Noel” — probably a Christmas ornament — that I used to hang on a hoop three inches in diameter and wear in my ear during the holidays.

I wasn’t a particularly rebellious teenager, but I did like my earrings.

We also found lots of brooches — rhinestones, pewter, and geometric shapes everywhere — that would have been perfect on Molly Ringwald in the movie Pretty in Pink. (Well, that was what I was going for.)

After Kate chose the pairs she wanted to keep and I was putting everything else back in the box, I came across a simple silver ring. Upon closer inspection I realized it was a signet ring with my dad’s monogram on it: DGL, for David Louis Guth. (He was DLG, and I was TLG — Tracy Lee Guth.) He must have given it to me back in the day — or, more likely, I found it and asked him if I could have it. It’s far from showy — just plain white gold with intricate carvings on the sides and clear-cut initials on the wide top.

I don’t remember it at all, which is kind of strange, because I have a very good memory for things like that. But it was such a nice little gift to find tucked away in all that other memorabilia of my childhood. A nice little trinket of my dad’s to hold onto. I’ve got it on my right thumb now, because it’s too big to fit on any other finger.

It feels nice there. Smooth against my skin and just the tiniest bit heavy, like a gentle reminder.


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