The Sensitive Type

Posted on September 23, 2011 11:47 am under Grandma Tidbits
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I’m allergic to metal. The sensitivity began to manifest when I was in my teens. Gold chains left a ring of rash around my neck. I switched to silver. That worked for a while, but by the time I was in my twenties, it also triggered a reaction. The allergy is hardly life threatening, but it certainly is annoying. It appears if the hooks of my bra rub against my back. Metal framed glasses are out. Resting my arm against a metal trimmed car window, created a rash that extended from my wrist to my elbow. Surgery requires stitches instead of staples. The list is endless.

I missed jewelry and searched for alternatives. Plastic earrings, beaded necklaces and woven bracelets filled my jewelry chest. Their casual look was fine for jeans, but didn’t work well with business and dress clothes. Scarves added interest, but scarf clasps were out. Eventually, I focused on pins. Pins for business attire were the easiest. I usually wore them on jacket lapels, far from my sensitive skin. Dresses were trickier, since the portion of the pin that went through the dress couldn’t touch my skin. After some trial and error, I started using small squares of doubled fabric under the dress, affixing pins through the dress and into the top layer of the fabric square.

Life has changed and nowadays you’re more apt to find me dressed in carhartt shirts and sweats than business attire. My collection of pins remains unused and I need to clear it out. I’ll keep my maternal grandmother’s hand embroidered brooch. The distinctive sterling silver spoon pin that belonged to my paternal grandmother stays as well. Even if I never wear them again, I’m hoping that Miss Muffin and Calico might enjoy them. I’m not sure what to do with the rest. Some could probably be donated to a thrift store, but plenty should probably be discarded. I just can’t bring myself to throw it out. At least not today.

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