Everything and Nothing: Statement Earrings

Aïda Rogers

Posted June 24, 2022

By Aïda Rogers

“Bold lip. You need a bold lip.” 

I poke my lower lip out at Ryan, my supervisor at work, who is now supervising me on what to wear to the various events surrounding a family wedding. Ryan is good at this stuff, which is why I’ve invited her and two other friends over for Friday happy hour. They are happy to help: Ryan and Anna each have brought a bottle of wine and their best advice. I’ve set out artichoke dip and pimento cheese (key ingredient: zest of onion) and settled crackers on the table. And thus we all gathered in advance of holy matrimony, intent on making sure I look okay. Or at least wear the right shoes. 

If we’re honest, we all know the second four words that follow “Will you marry me” are “what will I wear.” Having scoured the internet for longer than I want to admit and deciding, “no, I won’t – I can’t – wear the kind of thing I wore to the prom,” I’ve decided to shop in my closet. And thankfully, it accommodates. I have plenty of things that only through the grace of God and my Zumba class I can still get into. But will I look dated? Or worse – like a middle-aged person trying to look young in a dress that’s 10 years old? That’s what Ryan, Anna, and neighbor Sharon are here to help me figure out.  

The man of the house burrows into his recliner to enjoy the food and female company. Like most men, he doesn’t need to worry. A suit and tuxedo are all he needs. 

But heaven help the women, what with bridesmaids’ luncheons on top of rehearsal parties and nuptials. These are the kinds of things it’s a pleasure to worry about. They’re a distraction from the ever-worsening news bombarding us night and day. 

And so the wine is poured and the fashion show begins. The girls help with shoes, dresses – and how could I forget? – accessories. 

“Statement earrings. You need statement earrings.”  

That’s Ryan again. She and Anna have decreed that a shortish black dress with a stiff V-neck ruffle is better “for a formal Charlotte wedding” than the flirty tropical thing or the flowy tunic ensemble. They are 30-some years younger than Wally and Sharon, who think it’s “too black.” 

Wally: “It needs some color. Wear a necklace.” 

“No!” Ryan and Anna burst forth in unison. “The neck is what’s important.” 

“Statement earrings” are a better choice, they believe, particularly if I wear my hair in a “low pony.” 

Later, Anna will text photos of a scarf for one outfit and earrings for another. But I’ve already freaked out about the statement earrings and ordered a pair from Etsy. Wonderfully, they’re from a jewelry artist in Ukraine. She even offered a coupon.  

All this matters very little. What matters is that two people have found happiness together and soon their families will join them in celebration. Almost as good, those two people gave five people an excuse to get together and have fun. That’s the kind of statement I like.     

Aïda Rogers writes from an old house in Columbia and a new porch in McClellanville. Her three-volume anthology series, State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love, includes stories by 108 Palmetto State writers.

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