My mother had a vanity full of perfumes, costume jewelry and make-up and all sorts of beautiful whatzits and whatnots that to a nine-year old seemed amazing. But she had so much, you never thought she’d miss any of it. You’d have thought.
Every year, our elementary school provided pumpkins to the students. The children decorated them in class and then presented them on tables for the whole school to judge. The best designed ones received prizes.
Well, by third-grade I had caught on to what the judges were looking for. I wanted mine to be unique. I wanted it to stand out. So I decided to make a bride pumpkin. I brought one of her lacy handkerchiefs: Perfect for a veil. And I brought two of her large gemstone earrings, perfect for eyes. A bracelet attached — by means of poking two earrings at the corners into the pumpkin — made a shiny, winning smile. And of course, I took the beautiful dangly earrings for the ears.
My masterpiece was, well, a masterpiece. Forged with the beautiful jewelry mom would never miss. Until my pumpkin did win a prize. And it was display, and I proudly brought mom to see. And she saw… not my award-winning art, but my award-winning destruction of her prized collection of jewelry.
The jewelry, well most of, was reclaimed when the pumpkin was trashed at the end of the show. But I’ll never forget how stunned and mad mom was to see my creation. I never did borrow any of her jewelry again!