by the way...

Jingle Jangle makes a powerful noise


Accessorize! Not sure when that word came into our lexicon, and the origin didn’t come up on the internet. In my senior year of high school most of my 16 classmates—all girls—were heavily into accessorizing with bangle bracelets. Not expensive ones. Just cheap ones you could get at Woolworths, which still existed in 1962. (Fast facts: it closed in 2009 and was called “Woolies” in Britain. It was beloved there.)

You could get 10 tacky bracelets for a dollar for two from Woolworths here in the states. They sparkled. We thought they were fab. One bracelet didn’t hack it. You needed a bunch. The object was to jingle jangle the whole lot. It felt powerful. Must have driven teachers crazy, but they were nice enough to let us go on jangling as we moved our hand to flip to another page in U.S World Geography, take notes, or open the lid of our desk.

I looked up “bangle bracelets” and the first thing that popped up on my computer was Cartier. You can buy a “Love Bracelet” from Cartier for $15,600, which would have bought a fair amount of bangle bracelets at Woolworths. Cartier’s has an adorable mini panther lying on it, hence the reason why it’s called “Pathere de Cartier.” Wish there were a jaguar de Cartier. (And I wouldn’t have to spend time looking for an accent mark, as in panthere, which I never was able to use.)

Alex and Ani bangles, which you can buy at Artsy Abode, right here in Ponte Vedra Beach, are more reasonably priced, at around $28 and up … $58…$78. They are made of recyclable materials. The bangle you choose could be your birthstone, a sailor’s knot, mermaid, sand dollar, teddy bear and so on.

The high school bracelet fad also included charm bracelets. I still have mine, which sports bangles people gave me for my birthday. A tiny Christmas tree, a lobster pot, blow fish, a cap (minus the gown), a shell, sailboat. When I flicked my wrist about they did make a wonderful sound. And isn’t that the point?

Dorothea Lasky suggests bangles are a great accessory: “The janglier the better,” she says. She adds, “I wear as many as I can….Everyone looks good in them.” And isn’t it nice that one size fits all?

The other thing that makes a racket and are a symbol of power are high heels. I loved wearing them on the train to New York City, clickety-clacking my way through Grand Central Station and walking to the elevator in my office building.

You don’t have to stop wearing bracelets as you age. High heels, especially today’s models, are another story. I miss click-clacking in heels on wood floors or on tile, limestone… It gives a woman a sense of power to make noise walking past their boss’s office when he’s given you an assignment that will keep you aging in place at your desk until 7:00 p.m. I wonder if my boss got himself a headache, listening to my heels. Pity.

Lately I’ve decided you can feel pretty powerful without bracelets or heels. You know what power is? Being 70.