Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writer's Wednesday: Sisterhood of the Traveling Jewelry

Ange, Katie (wearing necklace), Brandi in James Avery

I've been a big fan of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants over the years.  The story speaks to me.

Enduring friendship is something I understand. Throughout life I've been blessed with many unique women who are truly friends.  I am fortunate to have so many amazing ladies in my life.

However, I have a certain trio of friends who, as a unit, have been close for almost a quarter of a century. Katie and I met when we were three.  Ange entered our lives in middle school. (Katie and I are on the left. I'm in the polka dot disaster.  Ange is in the center wearing the green.)

Middle School Graduation

We've celebrated and suffered the wins and losses of life.  Even when none of us resided in the same state, we maintained our bond. Many young friendships end once that high school diploma is delivered. Not ours.
10 Year Class Reunion

Throughout the undergrad years, we visited each other at college. (They actually met my husband at a party. Pointing to him in his bright blue sweatshirt, they asked, "Why haven't you dated him?") We celebrate milestones. (When Katie had her firstborn, Ange and I drove thirteen hours to see that little miracle.) We offer suggestions. (They both think Baby Girl should be named after them, and Ange informed me it doesn't matter what I call her, she'll still call her "Junior.")

Technology is readily available, but we think what kept our bond strong in college and into adulthood is simple.  The written word.  We kept in touch the old fashioned way--letters. Who doesn't like to get a real card or letter in the mail--especially in college?  I remember scanning their penmanship to see if what they were writing matched the emotions conveyed in their scrawls. Unlike email that needs to be deleted, those letters were kept and reread.  It was nice to know that somewhere in the world, two girls had known me a long time, understood my major flaws, and still loved and supported me in spite of them.

So, last week when we met up in person for the first time in almost two years, we did a very girly thing to celebrate our friendship. 

We shopped.

At James Avery we found a simple, free-form infinity pendant and three chains.

At Barnes and Noble we found the accompanying journal.

Instead of inked up pants that can't be washed or cuffed, we plan to mail the pendant and the stories that go with it on a rotating basis.

Stolen from the rules of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, we inscribed instructions in the front of our first journal:
 Write the most important thing that happened to you while wearing the necklace. 
Write the most exciting place you visited while wearing the necklace.
Remember: Jewelry=Love. Love your pals. Love yourself.

Many journals and pendant exchanges from now, I imagine we'll gather and recall our lives together.  It's probably a good thing it will be in writing, since we probably won't be able to hear too well by then!

Does anyone else have a special way to celebrate enduring friendships? Do you and your high school plans have a way of staying close? Have you gathered inspiration from a book and used it in real life?


  1. Aw, I really like this post. As you know, I also have a core group of friends dating back to grade school. I love the traveling jewelry/journal idea. Keep us updated on their journeys!

    Isn't it cool that next week we will have a meeting of two different pairs of long-term friends? I know we'll have LOTS to talk about!

  2. Nice post, Brandi. I'm twice your age and I can tell you that those long time friendships become even more precious over time. I love your jewelry and journal plan.

  3. Sonia, I knew you would understand this post. I, too, am looking forward to our tea-time next week with our long-term friends. Of course, maybe we should be nervous....

  4. Jeannie, what is the song...? "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." So true!

  5. This weekend I will bring a book called "the necklace" it is a true story about a group of women (12 of them) who each got one month out of the year to wear "jewelia" a diamond necklace-- and then report back about her jewelia adventures. I am loving this concept and the bond of female friendships.

  6. I remember you mentioning this book before. Sounds fabulous. Our necklace, however, had no bling.

  7. Brandi & Company: I think what you're doing with the traveling jewelry thing is awesome. I was moved around a lot as a child and teenager, so it was almost impossible to maintain close friendships. I missed that in my life. So many of my friendships have been temporary because we went our own ways after the part we shared in life. Keep it up, it's a priceless thing to have life-long friends.

  8. "It's a priceless thing to have life-long friends."

    So true. Of course, life always begins somewhere.

  9. I appreciate how our friendship has grown with us, throughout the years. Just think of the many stories we can share with Katelynn, Lily, Erin, Kaili, Sophia, Ethan, Max and "Junior"! Of course, there will be stories we choose NOT to share, as well. I look forward to our unwritten adventures just waiting to be experienced! Thanks for writing this Bran! And Sonia, I look forward to exchanging stories about Bran with you tomorrow! ;-)


  10. This is such a great idea. My two best friends from high school want us all to get the same tattoo together (they got the same one at my wedding, but I didn't want one!). Maybe I should tell them about this idea instead.

    Also, this makes me think of Flat Stanley, even though he has nothing to do with friendship. I'm just thinking about the cool traveling part.

  11. Ange, as long as you leave your bacon flavored scones at home, we're bound to have a lovely tea.;)

  12. Jenna,
    Jewelry is much easier to adjust than a tattoo if it goes out of style! You should check out the book Lisa mentioned higher on the comments--The Necklace. Maybe you all could invest in some "bling."

    I get the Flat Stanley reference. In fact, there have been times I wished I could slide into an envelope and be mailed to one of them.

  13. Love this post!

    Did you ever watch the TV series, Felicity? A recurring episode opener of the show is of Felicity sitting in a dorm room or apartment holding a tape recorder, recalling events in order to make a cassette tape to send to an old friend. At the end of most episodes, Felicity is often shown to be listening to a tape that Sally has sent in reply. I always loved that idea -- even though cassettes are a bit "dated" now (sheesh, I'm getting old).

    I hope you post more about the adventures of the necklace as the months and years roll by!

  14. "I seem a bit dated now...."
    I spoke of *gasp* writing letters. Cassette tapes are totally in the modern era by comparison!

    I'd forgotten about that part of Felicity. I always liked that show, but never remembered to watch it regularly.

    Plus, I was totally jealous of her long hair.