The Earring

I had the pleasure and honor to be present with one of my best friends for the labor and birth of her first (and likely only) daughter.

During those four long 24-hour days, in between dramatic moments we talked and connected. We sat quietly together and apart, held hands and rubbed feet and simply WERE – knowing that soon everything would be different, and savoring the ‘in between space’ we had found after years of having no time at all for each other, or ourselves.

It was a long, intense process – and at one point she decided that what she wanted at that moment was to watch a movie to distract ourselves while we waited for “the real show to get started”. The hospital had an extensive collection of classic 80’s movies, all of which we were fawning and laughing over – but in the end, we chose The Breakfast Club.

I love that movie. To see it in its original form, uncut, on VHS in a hospital room with a laboring friend – well, it couldn’t have been a more perfect and memorable occasion.

We would pause the ancient VHS unit occasionally to converse with nurses, or to breathe through a particularly intense contraction. But we watched the entire thing, talked about how we each had transformed over the years since we’d last seen it, and asked each other the obvious question: “Which one are you?”

It’s expected and natural to ask that question when watching The Breakfast Club. The movie is, after all, an exploration of archetypes. I’d answered, and asked, the same question each time I’d watched the movie before. Every time before, that answer was: “The basket case, duh.” But now, my answer was: “The Earring.”

The Breakfast Club storyline is woven around some interesting ideas about our behaviors in society, our tribal tendencies, and revealing that – HELLO! – with any individual there is more than meets the eye (so reserve your judgement). All of the characters are fascinating when you step into their shoes and walk the path that has been implied by script and body language – but to me, the Earring is the most interesting and mysterious of them all.

The Earring is the transient observer. The creature that travels from one world to another – watching, listening, growing wiser with each wearer, with each hand that touches it. From the sticky fingers of the jewelry store owner to the pocket of the rich girl’s father to the ear of the spoiled girl who then gives it to the bad boy as a token of their connection.

It’s a wonderful gift, to be here on Earth. To observe and participate. I was the earring, witnessing the birth of a gem.