Friday, 5 March 2010

The Jewellery Issue - choosing for others

Every girl likes a bit of bling (sweeping statement I know but I think you know what I mean) and pretty well all of us have a collection of jewellery we love to wear, from the aforesaid daft bling to a precious grandmother's hand down to something we spotted in Fenwicks, or at Astley Clarke, probably on the way to buy a dress or pair of shoes.

The problem with jewellery is not what we choose for ourselves because, of course, we know what we like, but arises in an extremely difficult way when someone has chosen something for us that doesn't hit the spot.

It may have been expensive, but if it's not our style, our 'colour', our genre then what do you do? Wear it when you don't like it - which won't make you happy? Put it away and hope that whoever gave it to you doesn't notice? - and he and most certainly they probably will (at least with me it's usually the daughter asking 'didn't you like those purple Swarovski earrings I gave you for your birthday? - actually I do, I just haven't worn them much) or, and I think worst of all, ask if you can take it back and change it for something you love?

I think that giving jewellery, like giving clothes, or a handbag, or fragrance, is exceptionally difficult, and jewellery, with its romantic connotations, probably the most difficult of all. Ok if it's a 5ct diamond from Tiffany's or a Chanel J12/Cartier Tank/Rolex you're unlikely to complain but something small and beautiful to him/them (friends, your kids) may well be something small and fairly ghastly to you and put you in an impossible position.

So to me the answers are these: Make sure he knows what you like if you think he's going to splash out. Make it clear you like to choose for yourself on the whole and obvious that you're incredibly difficult to buy for. And with your kids, when they do, as they probably will, give you something you don't love, make them the exception. I do, in any case, although I'm not wearing the purple earrings right now, as the daughter's in South Africa!

Reading this it probably sounds a bit cold hearted - but having done some writing recently on gift buying for American Express, who produced a piece of research which said that people had actually split up over being given the wrong gift (which is extreme, to say the least) I think that forewarned is forearmed and if you can stave off disaster then you should.

I've had a couple of comments recently, particularly on Twitter, about my seemingly ridiculous resource of energy, because I've taken up, er, fitness in a big way (swimming/gym/training etc). All I can say is that the more you do the more energy you have and I've proved something to myself I will now never be able to escape from, which is that you can go from being a total couch potato to a hyper-active vertically challenged mother of three older kids (and no I'm not going to mention my age here) in a ridiculously short space of time if you really want to. As I said, there's probably no going back now. Oh dear.

ps apologies for illustrating this post with some extremly expensive pieces - they just happened to catch my eye.....