In the last 3 weeks, my friend, J. R. Ward and I have spent approximately 17 million dollars on jewelry.
Or we would have if we actually bought everything we have found to lust after on various online jewelry stores, auctions, and Instagram.
What started as an innocent text — What do you think of this? — accompanied by a link to a diamond and ruby art deco pin that has escalated into a serious search for pieces we think we can’t live without and want to buy #WhenThisIsOver.
Even though we know we won’t be buying 99.9% of what we have found, if anything, we’ve been spending hours searching out beautiful, artistic, wonderful pieces.
J.R.’s is an art deco diamond and ruby flower also on 1stDibs.com.
We both are obsessed with the Belperron brooch posted by @levi_higgs
Occasionally I’ve interrupted the jewelry photo frenzy with a shot of my dog. Or J.R. has. Once she sent me a shot of her trunk after venturing out to the supermarket. But after these short aberrations we are always back to the glitterati.
At some point last week, after sharing more than 100 texts with pics, we wondered if playing this game was shallow. After all we’re not helping anyone with what we are doing.
But should we feel guilty that several times a day we allow ourselves to be consumed by beauty, lower our stress level and experience joy and chat for a minute?
No. As it turns out, we actually are helping because it turns out that being happy boosts your immune system. And if you strengthen your immune system you have a better chance of avoiding the worse effects of the virus and that in turn will keep you healthy and by extension help you help your family.
It’s also smart to indulge in pleasing activity according to many therapists who advise against a steady diet of virus news. Of course, we need to be educated about the COVID-19 and how to protect ourselves and loved ones. But very few of us will benefit from keeping minute by minute tracking of cases, watching horrifying scenes of overcrowded hospitals or listening to every politician’s speechifying.
Indulging in our screen-shopping has managed to also temporarily distract us from some our disappointments and problems. Like everyone, J.R and I are dealing with work/life issues that have been put on hold, cancelled or ruined.
My dad’s 100th birthday was on March 19th. We’re blessed that he’s made it to this milestone with all his wits intact and in amazing health. And I’m truly grateful. But at the same time, I was terribly sad not to be able to be with him and hug him and watch him blow out his birthday candles.
J.R.’s newest bestseller, (which is an amazingly fantastical page turner perfect for these stay at home days and nights) The Sinner, was released on March 24. Book launches are a stressful enough when everything is going well but add in having your book tour and all your events cancelled and most book stores closed, and it is a career crisis.
Neither of us are complaining. None of this is life and death. We know we are so lucky. We each have toilet paper, food in our refrigerators and families that are (knock wood) healthy, but like everyone we are scared and unsettled, finding it hard to concentrate and are unsure of what the future will bring.
Little did we guess when we began indulging in lustful thoughts about rings and bracelets, earrings and brooches it would be exactly the escape we needed.
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Aristotle.
A note: If you are lusting after something do check out the list of jewelers here who are have all joined the effort to raise money for @nokidhungry by donating a percentage of sales to the cause. In the meantime, join J.R. and me on Instagram using #LustingFor and show us what’s distracting and delighting you.
M.J. Rose (www.mjrose.com) is a New York Times bestselling author, her most recent novel, Cartier’s Hope, (Jan 28th 2020) has been called “A bold, satisfying tapestry. Smart, fierce, lovely, and intricate,” Kirkus (Starred Review)