While in Rajasthan last December, I purchased a necklace I’d hoped to one day give “Carol”, and while in Kashmir I was given a headscarf that I’d hoped to give immediately to another woman (let’s call her “Susan”—as I never publish real names). Suffice to say that neither opportunity arose and I still have these gifts.
The headscarf holds added meaning in that I wore it while in Kashmir to “blend in” in hope that it would help me stay safe (see my post “fearing for my life in Kashmir“). But I wanted Susan to have it ultimately. She and I are not in contact right now, but I’m going to make an attempt at contact this Thanksgiving season. Perhaps there is a psychological attachment to the physical safety that the headscarf gave me while touring Kashmir that I project onto Susan, or more likely it just would make a fine gift accompanied by a meaningful story.
For Carol, I have a necklace. Carol of course has completely cut me out of her life, and I do not see much hope for near-future reconciliation (still hold onto long-term hope). I originally bought the necklace for me, but within an hour decided I wanted Carol to have it. Its pendant is a ruby cut in the famous “star of India” style, and, as I was in India, I was thrilled to purchase it.
So I think I’ll keep the headscarf ready to give Susan for at least another six months. But what about the gift for Carol? Should I just claim it for myself?
If I start wearing it, I effectively (but not accurately) “give up” my hope to give it to her. (But the accurate part is that I can wear it and then later give it to her with a full explanation). By wearing it, I also claim more ownership of my own emotions, in that I’m taking some of my love for Carol and applying it to myself—as it is a beautiful necklace. If I start wearing it I will build my own memories around the necklace.
I’ve given so much of my emotional life to Carol in the last two years and it might be time to symbolically reclaim some of it.
I’m wearing the necklace.