October 27th, 2005


The Jade Bracelet, Stereotypical Chinese Woman Jewelry

weather: rainshower
outside: 11.2°C
mood: okay
I've mentioned this before but I don't think I've written a whole journal entry dedicated to it. I'm cursed with a good memory, but I think the curse may be lifting with age =)

I wear a one-piece, perfect round, apple jade bangle/bracelet (like this one). It's such stereotypical Chinese woman jewelry, usually associated with older, married women. I've always loved the permanence of them.

They look best when they're as small as possible so as to barely fit over your hand when it's in that elongated duck shape. It can sit closer to your wrist that way. You can get away with a smaller one if it has a flattened inner surface (扁鐲 style), but those don't look good on me.

The practicality of having it as small as possible is so it doesn't fall off while you're walking or randomly swing your hand around. Ideally, they should be impossible to put on and take off without soap and water. Humans actually flail quite wildly (like Stan, the Previously Owned Vessels/Coffin salesman in The Secret of Monkey Island I*** XD) You'd never have known how limbs-a-kimbo you really are until you have something on that can't fall off =)

When my Aunt (姨媽, my mother's elder sister) immigrated to Canada, she brought a lavendar jade one for me from China. It was a bit big, but I still needed to use soap and water to put it on or take it off. I put it on and didn't take it off for years.

I finally took it off when I got my apple jade one. It was sort of a Coming of Age thing.

The lady at the Chinese jewelry store did this kind of thing all the time, she just casually kept talking to my Mom while she went into the back to get a basin of warm water and a bottle of handsoap. She tells me to put my left hand in, lathers me up and tells me to make an elongated duck shape pointed at the sky with my elbow on her glass counter top. This, she says, will make the blood and fluids flow away from my hand to make it easier to slip in.

The bracelet is ridiculously small. The inner diametre is approximately 1 7/8" (4.75cm), but the lady said it would go in just fine and it would look better than the bigger one because my limbs were so tiny. It bruised my hand in three places and actually broke skin on the way in, even with the soap.

That was a bit overboard, but by the time we realized it was a might small, it was already half way in. It would have been just as bad to pull it back out. And she wasn't giving up on the sale. I'm sure she was having problems selling the smaller ones, so she wanted desparately for this one to work on me.

It finally did pop in. She helped me rinse and towel off my arm. I was wearing a t-shirt, so that was fine. And then she hauls out a bucket of bottled liquid medicines, the smelly stuff that you rub on sore muscles and wounds and what-not.

She massaged the bruised spots with some liquid rub for quite a while. She said this would make it heal faster and more traceless (??) O_o All the while, she was spouting funny Chinese Lady Nonsense™ about "妹妹這麼會忍痛, 一定會很有福氣" and on and on... =D =D All about how well I could endure pain and it was a sure sign that I would come into fortune and prosperity, blah, blah, blah... XD I was just too stunned by the whole ordeal, I let her do whatever.

My left hand puffed up the day after, but the swelling started going down in the evening and disappeared over the next week.

But it's on, my hand is fine, I love it, I've had it on for going on five years... um, more like ten years now and it's SO not coming off =}

I've never thought that green jade bracelets look out of place with any outfit or any other accessories. Good quality jade goes with everything: the wood-ish look of bodhi seed, with diamonds, gold and silver. I guess it's a cultural thing; I'm used to seeing jade fitting in with any colour, texture of fabric, any style of clothing and any type of jewelry.

*** Especially for my dear kvance: the Title Theme in all its MIDI splendor (and more here; edit the "game=n" in the URL to get at the soundtracks of all the sequels). Enjoy! =D