family heirlooms

Years ago, a group of young women shared a house, their lives and clothes. It was the 1980s, so there was big hair. There were shoulder pads. There are no pictures. Not on here. Not ever.

The women were students, and broke. There was no official policy of shared ownership, but new garments or LPs (stop laughing, younger readers) were welcomed by all and regarded as essentially communal property.

Into this mix appeared a pair of dangly ‘pearl’ earrings. “Ooooh, where did you get those?”

“Ah, they’ve been lying about our house at home for ages. Dunno where they came from.”

“Family heirlooms?”

“Must be.”

And so they were named.

Even Herself, who’d bought the earrings only a few weeks before in Marks & Spencer, called them The Family Heirlooms. Shared fun and mischief, encapuslated in cheapy plastic.

I found them a few weeks ago. I’ll have them forever.


They’ve actually become heirlooms.


Written in response to Sidey’s weekend theme- Family Heirlooms. Welcome back Sidey. I need you to get my brain working.

21 thoughts on “family heirlooms

  1. And that’s exactly how often inexpensive family treasures make the leap to heirlooms! I have a large decorative box filled with my mother-in-law’s costume jewelry. Most of it is cheap, cheap, cheap! But I still see it on her in my mind’s eye and it’s kept safe for who knows what. I know it’s there, and I handle pieces from time to time, wondering if granddaughters will have any interest someday? Great response to the prompt, Fiona!

  2. Brilliant story. Makes me want to look out my heirlooms – which of course are not heirlooms since my SON will never want them…

    1. It’s the story rather than the value- I have a great side plate that was part of my great grandmother’s wedding present in the1880s. She divided the dinner service amongst her daughters, my grandmother gave each of her 6 daughters a plate, and now I have it. I love that.

    1. Kate, I’m just laughing at the contrast between the Queen knowing about owning Henry’s companion to Anne Bolyen’s cup, and my earrings. Family heirlooms do vary, don’t they?

  3. This explains a lot. In the early 80’s I too lived with a group of young women (is two a group). I cross my heart, they exchanged items of clothing, I NEVER did. Okay maybe once, but it was Halloween and we were throwing a student party. Regardless. This does explain some really ‘cool’ long shirts that came up missing, doubtful they made it to Heirloom status. If your memories of that time are similar to mine, then they were fine ones. Many I would not mind reliving. Glad you retained these. .Personal , genuine and price-less -the pearls and the story.

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