For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.
About six months after I started dating Jason, his parents, Jimmie and Jeanette came out to Seattle to visit from Virginia. Neither of them had ever been to the West Coast and Jason had only lived here for a short time, so it was a big tourist experience, along with me meeting his family for the first time. Part of their trip included going to Pike Place Market. What I love about Pike Place Market — and probably any Seattleite will tell you — is that while the Market is a tourist destination, it is not a tourist trap. Locals, both with our tax dollars and supporting the merchants, especially the farmers, keep the Market in operation. Without locals, some cold-hearted developer would’ve mowed down Pike Place Market a long time ago to put in condos with a waterfront view with a Louis Vuitton store below. (Now you have to walk five blocks to get from Pike Place Market to one.)
As we strolled through Pike Place Market, looking at the various vendors’ tables, I kept my eye for a necklace. I’d been wanting a new necklace for a while, but hadn’t found the right one. I don’t traditionally wear a lot of jewelry, and because of my petite frame, I find that many necklaces overpower me. I also love supporting local artisans.
And there among the booths, I found it: a beautiful, hand-crafted aquamarine and silver necklace. The artisan could tell that I loved it as he had me try it on and held a little oval mirror for me. But of course, when I asked him how much it was, I decided I really couldn’t afford it on a web producer’s salary.
But Jimmie saw me admiring the necklace. He came over and told the merchant that he wanted to buy the necklace for me. I tried to stop him. He had no idea how much the necklace was, and I attempted to do the hand-waves and verbal mutterings of ‘no, really this is very expensive and I just met you like 24 hours earlier.’ However, Jimmie is one of those old-fashioned men who does not go back on his word. If he said he was going to buy me something, he would do so. The artisan was very excited; but a bit confused at who Jimmie was in relation to me (slight language barrier), but he really liked the idea that someone would buy a pretty young woman jewelry. Especially from him.
Needless to say, the necklace was just a little more expensive than he’d planned on shelling out that day. We were both rather awkward as I told him “Thank you” and put the necklace around my neck. By then Jason and Jeanette had wandered over, after Jason gossiped to his mother about just what his father was doing. I was so worried that Jimmie had spent a good portion of their vacation money on me, the woman their son had only been dating for six months.
As Jason went to tease his father for buying me expensive jewelry, we found out that story behind Jimmie’s motivations. It turned out that when Jason’s parents were dating, Jimmie’s father told Jeanette that he would buy her any one thing she picked out at a flea market. Jeanette being both frugal and respectful picked out a trinket that certainly cost a lot less than my necklace. Jimmie was always really impressed with his father’s gesture and wanted to do something like that himself for his son’s girlfriend. So when I stood there in Pike Place Market admiring that necklace, he saw the opportunity and took it.
I do really love my necklace, and I wear it almost every day. Jason still likes to give his father a hard time about it.
If you enjoyed this story, please consider donating to GeekGirlCon, a nonprofit which celebrates geeky woman and needs your donations to have a convention in Seattle in 2011. I’m sure there will be many great artisan vendors there, and you can find your necklace or just buy a light saber.