Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Family Jewels

(post copyright 2011, Dawn Weber)

In third grade, I got my very own set of family jewels.

I am referring to earrings and necklaces here - of course I am. Don’t be pervy.

Age 9, I normally never dated younger men, because, c’mon - eight-year-olds? Not cool.

But I made an exception for Ty. Incredibly cute and sweet, he had just moved to town. Also, he had the longest, darkest, curliest eyelashes I had ever seen.

I had serious, elaborate plans of pulling them out and gluing them on my eyes, like the false eyelashes I’d seen at the drugstore.

He’d asked me to date him in customary way, via note:

“Will you go with me? Circle one. Yes or no.”

Thinking how nice I’d look in his eyelashes, I circled “yes.”

And so began our romance. He attempted to talk to me, and I chased him around the schoolyard, trying to kick him in the shins. This was the usual way I expressed my affection for a boy. And I figured if I kicked Ty until he fell, I could maybe get my hands on those eyelashes.

One sunny day, I had taken a break from the kick-fest to play in the sandbox.

And there in the questionable dirt, as I squatted in my Sears Toughskins, it happened: Ty walked up and gave me his Family Jewels. In a baggie.

My grubby hands contained the most beautiful jewelry I had ever seen. Blue gems, hoop earrings, rhinestones, gold chains, rubies - Ty’s bag was just stuffed with goodies. My Mom’s jewelry box didn’t have half of this stuff. I asked him where he bought it.

“I got it for you,” he said, shrugging.

I had an inkling that those things belonged to someone else. But I didn't care, because immediately the other kids flocked around, and I quite enjoyed the attention of showing off Ty’s Family Jewels. All the girls wanted his bag. However, only I was the proud recipient. This was the best day ever!

So I merrily continued flashing Ty’s jewels around. In the classroom, at second recess, on the bus. The only people I didn’t show? The teachers. I had a sneaking suspicion they might take my stash away.

I also wondered if I’d have to give the jewels back after I plucked Ty’s eyelashes out, as this was sure to cause pain and make him cry. It was a risk I was willing to take. Those were some serious eyelashes.

Home from school that evening, I had forgotten about the baggie. (It was, after all, a “Happy Days” night.) While I watched TV, Mom went through my school work - as always - and of course she found it.

“Dawn Lynn, WHAT is THIS?” she asked.

Uh-oh. The middle name. Trouble. I spilled the story, playing innocent, like I had no suspicions of anything but Ty spending his own hard-earned allowance to buy the jewelry. But even though I was young, I was still a female - I knew good pieces when I saw them. I also knew the average 1978 allowance could not purchase rubies and gold chains.

My Mom quickly looked up Ty’s phone number, called, and told his mother what she had found.

His mom was relieved. You see, her jewelry box had mysteriously emptied that week, with no signs of a burglar anywhere else in the house, and no one admitting anything.

The next day at school, I gave him back his Family Jewels - in his bag.

Then, knowing me, I probably kicked him in the shins, and went for his eyelashes.

I never could grab them - he was a fast little jewel thief.

Ty grew up and became a phenomenal guy with still phenomenal eyelashes. He's a husband, a father, a coach and businessman extraordinaire, who owns his own insurance agency. Contact him for all your insurance needs.

Do not see him for your jewelry needs. His days as a family felon are over.

To finish this story, I had to e-mail my buddy Ty and ask him some questions about the incident, and he sent his side of  it back to me. Adorable:

1. Totally fine to use the story. 2. graduated 88. 3. Yes right after I moved there and I was in 2nd grade so 8? 4. Yes your mom was the B word that screwed my whole plan of gettin naked with you in the sandbox. 5. U were going with me and that’s why I gave the jewels. 6. I am sick individual to remember like it was yesterday or maybe you are the only one that got away LOL I threw the rest of the woman away on my own terms. 7. Yes she went into her jewelry box to get some earrings and I cleaned the whole damn box out LOL. She then interviewed everyone in the house and of course I denied everything and then your lovely mother made a call. Don’t like her very much to this day. 8. I went into her room and threw everything in a ziploc baggie like I was robbing the place LOL. 10 I put it in my lunch box and then brought it out when I got on the bus. You should have seen your face you were so happy LOL.


  1. I am green with envy. I didn't get my first jewelry gift from a guy until my 13 birthday. Then it was this 2 tone blue huge-ass flower pin that I suspect was stolen from grandma's stash. You get jewels. You write funny. I remain green.

  2. Oh, the memories you bring back!! My 1st kiss from a boy (Frankie Dietrich, age 4) & my 1st massive crush (Johnny Hudson, 2nd-8th grade, who punched me in the arm a lot, & tho' we were going together for most of 7th grade, we never actually went anywhere.) And Tom Tressler, who I was going with in 8th grade on Valentine's day, & from whom I got a lovely a goldish chain from Claire's that I still have in my 'memory box' & who gave me my 1st real kiss, behind the gym during the science fair!!) ahhh, glad to be done with all that awkwardness.
    And Dawn? My husband has those thick, dark, long, curly eyelashes. The kind that look like the ones you buy at the drug store. He past them on to our daughters. Well, my older one has those. The younger ones are not as curly, nor as even, but are a fabulous fringe nonetheless.

  3. This one made me smile--I can picture the whole scene. Loved the addition of the modern day email at the bottom. I still kick boys in the shins. ;-)

  4. Confirms a basic fact - Fine jewelry = Love.

  5. So....I was wondering....did Ty have good eyelashes?

    I remember my first "jewel" a boy gave me. His name was Chris and I think I was in the 3rd grade(?) and it was a Strawberry Shortcake ring. I loved it. Then I decided to play a game with it where I would close my eyes, toss it up in the air in front of me, open my eyes and try to find it. It was so much fun!....until I couldn't find it. What the hell kind of game is that??? I clearly sucked at getting jewelry back then. I have since improved.

    Great story! I just love reading your stuff, Dawn! Always brings a smile to my face.

  6. Once a boy wrote my name on his leg IN PEN. I used to think that was something. Little did I know other little boys were passing out real diamonds.


  7. Cute story. Had I done that my mother would have torn my arm off and beat me with it. Ain't no girl worth that.

  8. What a great story -- made even greater by the verification from the still curly-lashed Ty. I think he was fortunate his plot failed since it might be dangerous to be naked in a sandbox with someone trying to kick your shins.

  9. OMG...I can't believe Ty didn't thank you for leaving his eyelashes in tact in his email...after all of these years...he should feel lucky!

    In the 2nd grade, a boy (we shall call him Jerry because well...that was his name afterall) wrote my name INSIDE of his jean jacket. He actually had the nerve to write "I LOVE CHRISTY". I was such a tom boy (all 33 lbs of me) and some of the boys saw what he wrote and teased me. I got the last laugh and beat the snot out of the little bastard on the playground at recess. Yes, I got in trouble but that's not the point! He would have done much better by stealing his mom's jewelry for me...stupid bastard!

    And ha, did you notice Ty called your mom a B-word? You really should go steal his eyelashes for that one! LOVE IT!

  10. Wanda, all my shin-kicking apparently paid off. Kerbi, I am surprised your daughters have your husband'd eyelashes. Usually only men get them (those bastages). Heidi, yes, shin-kicking is a useful skill I use to this very day. Barb, I wish my husband knew that ;). Heather, the next Strawberry Shortcake ring I see? Yours. Joey - apparently you weren't kicking enough shins ;). Ron! I am TOTALLY worth it. Revlon says so. Bagman, at that age, nekkid never crossed my mind. (It does now ;) ) Christy! You're right, he did call my Mom a B-word! *Kicks Ty in shins again.*

  11. This is very funny! Makes me think back to see if I have any stories from my past worth sharing. Nope.