Wednesday, June 30, 2010


For book club this month, we read The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis. It's about 13 women who buy a rilly rilly expensive diamond necklace (it's worth, like, 30k) and share it.

Honestly, it's not my kind of book. I'm not into fine jewelery, so the premise really didn't interest me. However, I found the story interesting (though the actual writing was not good). These women- some in the group are strangers in the beginning- come together and create a community around the ownership of the necklace.

They also use it for all sorts of community good: fundraisers and such, and the question of materialism is brought to light. Just letting others around town WEAR THE NECKLACE was a big deal, which, huh? It's just a necklace. But it really did make a difference in people's lives.

Since I don't consider myself a very materialistic person (by American standards, anyway), I thought that part was interesting. And it got me thinking: what things do I own that I put a high value on?

Aside from people and pets (in case you file those things in the "possessions" column), family heirlooms (grandpa's watch and the like) and personal mementos (photos, coming-home baby outfits, etc), what do you own that you value? What's your most prized possession(s)?

[Edited to add my answer: I turned this question in my head again and again, and I'm not sure what thing(s) I value most in my life. I mean, I love lots of our belongings. I love our bedroom set, and I love my red cupcake stand, and I love Marin's bedding, and I love owning so many books. These things could all easily be replaced though.

I love our house- oh, how I love our house. There's so much yet to be done here, but the character, the woodwork, the built-ins... And I love the location of our house; I love our neighborhood, our grown trees, the sidewalks... However, we don't technically OWN our home. Hrrmph.

I think my final answer is my camera. Just like Erin! And my camera would be fairly useless to me without my laptop. And I use my laptop for so many other things (hello, Facebook? blogging?). So my camera AND my laptop. ...AND my internet connection.

In trying to answer this question, I've realized just how disposable our culture is. If our house burned, along with all of our stuff, I'd collect insurance money (I am, after all, required by law to carry insurance on my property) and go about replacing all of our STUFF. Even my camera and laptop are technically replaceable....]


Katie said...

Books. That is basically all. Photos and mementos, of course. But everything else in my house can burn, as long as you save my books. Not all of them, but at least half of them would devastate me to lose.

That book sounds a tad bit annoying. I can't figure out what the moral of the story could possibly be. Not that every story needs a moral, but what was the point?

Marie Green said...

well, it wasn't very well written, so I think a point certainly could have been more eloquently made... but I think one of the ideas they were trying to get across is that taking something only the very rich can afford (like a 30k necklace) and offering it to everyday folks- sharing the wealth of life's finery, so to speak- can bring people together and even change lives.

And also? it can raise money, as they did fundraisers throughout.

It was also about the community of women (the 13 who bought the necklace) coming together to be there for each other...

But yeah, not my kind of book; I was surprised I like anything about it.

d e v a n said...

My pictures are probably my most prized possessions. After that, baby books, baptism momentos, wedding ring, mother's rings...

Swistle said...

Hey, I read that book! I found it SUPER ANNOYING in many places, and yet I read it all the way through and I did come out of it with the idea that expensive items could be shared by people who couldn't afford to have their own---and that in fact that might be better in some ways. (Though I had no desire to join such a club myself.)

I can't think of anything I DO value other than heirlooms and mementos! Perhaps because I don't yet own a 30K necklace. Or because everything else I value is so easily replaced: books, jewelry, etc.

Erin said...

My camera.

No question.

And I daydream about the kinds of expensive equipment I could add to my camera gear if I won a contest or something.

Sarah said...

Hmm. I do love certain possessions (the quality pieces of furniture we've bought/been given over the years, Adelay's pottery barn baby quilt, even, embarassingly, our new TV) but they are all totally replacable. The only things I'd run to save in a fire would be photo albums and scrapbooks. Maybe my rings. Everything else is just stuff. You can always fill a new home, much as you might enjoy the stuff you have. You can't replace your memories though (for better or worse!)

clueless but hopeful mama said...

There are a few pieces of artwork that I love, mostly photographs done by family members who are professionals and we framed them nicely ($$$$$!*@#$&*@#&$^*!&). My camera. My laptop. My journals (though I think I ought to burn them some day so that no one ever reads about my deepest middle/high school thoughts).

There are truly so few THINGS that matter. I *know* that. But this was a good reminder.

(A necklace? Bleh. It's hard to get too worked up over a necklace, especially since I haven't been able to wear jewelry for 4ish years).

Kelsey said...

Photos! And journals, even though they are kind of horrible, I don't want to get rid of them. And letters. I have so many letters that I treasure. The thought of trying to replace our book or CD collections makes me kind of sick, but they are mostly replaceable. (Though man, I'd be pained about some of my childhood books which are now out of print.)