"It's a dainty little ring."

“It’s a dainty little ring.”

I don’t know if it was so for my three brothers, but whenever we three girls asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day, her birthday, or Christmas she’d invariably say, “A diamond ring, a fur coat, and a trip around the world.”

Nowadays, such requests may not seem that unreasonable, what with seven year olds pocketing iPhones, college students making pilgrimages, and fur coats being faked well enough to warrant splattering by PETA paint.

But back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, these were all big ticket items for the vast majority of American women.

Since my mom wasn’t elitist, extravagant, or pretentious, I didn’t take her wish list seriously. She had a mink-ish stole she dearly loved and wore from time-to-time. She managed to travel to every country and place she ever dreamt of going before she passed away nine years ago at ninety-three. And, she appeared satisfied with wearing her wedding ring during 31 years of marriage and 37 years of widowhood — a wafer thin band of gold, originally mounted with 7 miniscule diamond chips, two of them missing from forever ago.

“This diamond ring doesn’t shine for me anymore,” she’d chime along with Gary Lewis and the Playboys back in ‘65.

“Are you planning on taking it off and selling it?” I once asked.

“No,” she admitted. “Remember, dear, the first ring represents your beginning and shouldn’t cost more than what you can safely afford. The last ring shows how far you’ve gotten. It may weigh more and the stone will  be bigger — but that ring is less about who you are, and more about who you just think you are.”

Mom's wedding ring.

Mom’s wedding ring.

Costume jewelry was more my mother’s style, mostly sets of necklaces and bracelets with complementing clip-on earrings, cloth flowers with pin backs, hair combs studded with rhinestones, and watches with exchangeable bands. It was while rummaging through these, kept in an old cedar box stamped Souvenir of Gaylord, that I detected the faint fragrance of her Yardley Lavender still lingering there as I matched each pretty piece of paste to memories of the outfit she wore and the special occasion that warranted the wearing. That is, except for one out-of-place, unfamiliar, etched gold band with a solitaire diamond setting that seemed a perfect starter ring for a young (or young-at-heart) someone who hoped to commit, or celebrate a first anniversary, or wear on the pinky until presenting it as a simple act of friendship to another.

It’s a dainty little ring, perfectly capable of stirring up tender emotions — but one I’d never wear since it wasn’t given to me by my lifelong love.

So, I decided to let someone else create a warm memory by giving the ring away. No strings attached. No expectations of return. Quietly and without adieu, certain my mom would approve.


Besides, it’s not as if I’m giving her wedding ring away.


That tarnished band of holes and chips has resided on my pinky since she passed, and it will remain there until I do, as a testament to the woman whose namesake I am, and the cherished memories of her I wouldn’t sacrifice — not even for a diamond ring, a fur coat, and a trip around the world.

#    #    #

Copyright by Marguerite Quantaine 2015

I’m all eyes and heart.

No purchase necessary. Read the first 7 chapters for FREE on

No purchase necessary. Readthee first 7 chapters FREE on Amazon.

Imogene’s Eloise: Inspired by a true-love story
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  1. Gail Trabucco

    Have been hoping you are doing ok. I havent had a second to myself lately with caring for my Mom and Mother in Law, but Ii think it is time to sit down and enjoy your book. Afgter all , you are a kindred spirit.

    1. margueritequantaine

      The memorial service was today, Gail. It’s been very hard on us both, as to be expected. We’re grateful, nonetheless, ever aware of others from parts of the nation and world dealing with disaster in addition to the loss of loved ones. We feel immense empathy. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Naturally, we’re having a
      real good thought for your mom and mother-in-law. Be certain to take good care of yourself, too. For certain, the book will put a smile on your heart. I guarantee it.

  2. Nancy Heredia

    Since I began my journey into the world of lesbian fiction I have been in a nearly constant state of elation grounded in love for this literature of ours, our Cosa Nostra. Few books have captured my imagination the way yours has and I am so grateful for the delight it gave me. Blessings to you!

  3. Mary Anne

    We were a quarrelsome bunch growing up so whenever we asked Mom what she would like as a gift her reply was always that she wanted us to get along and love each other because someday we would only have each other. She knew that her wish came true long before she left us much too early at the age of 72.
    Thanks for sharing your family stories with us. Thanks for sharing all that love.

    1. margueritequantaine Post author

      You know something Mary Anne? My mom said the same to us — about loving each other and having each other as friends. It wasn’t so much a gift as a wish though. One that came true. Yes, 72 is much too young. And, judging from photos you’ve posted on Facebook, your mom got her gift. Thanks back at ya, lady!

  4. margueritequantaine Post author

    Of course I am grateful — not just for your words — but for telling me the impact these events made on you. An author can’t know if what she writes touches a heart, or makes an impression, or even matters to a reader beyond the entertainment value of a book unless one takes the time, as you have, to say. Mostly, we just wonder. So, thank you. And, please, ask me anything, Lisa. “Betty” forbid I leave a woman frustrated. (Pun intended.)

  5. Lisa Hurt

    I truly loved this book. Although, I am too young to understand some of the references in some of the dialogue, which frustrated me, I am not too young to understand the love story. I was on the edge of my seat at the end of the book. I have reread the last chapter more times than I can count. I was left speechless, knowing that this is the true story of your life. It is amazing to me, the absolute power of love and the mystery of life. Thank you for loving and sharing that love. Your love is powerful, in more ways than you know. The ripple effect is for ever rippling.

  6. Leighann Parker

    As always your generous soul~ through your gentle humor as well as the other gifts you give.
    You are a rarity Marguerite ~
    So loved by many

  7. margueritequantaine Post author

    Thanks, Sally. I’m thinking this might be a better way to divest of our things. We’re forced into that reality of getting older, so what better outlet for personal items than to women who will pass them on, perhaps, to others in the life.

  8. margueritequantaine Post author

    Well ratz! Bax — and thanks for the heads up. No blanks are appearing here for me, but if they do for others, it was good of you to flag that and fill in the words. Much appreciated. My best to you and yours, always.

  9. Baxter Clare

    Hi Marguerite – just an FYI, don’t know if this has happened to others or just me, but there were three blanks in your post. When I copied them to show you were they were, and pasted them in this response, the blanks filled in! So now I know the box was stamped Gaylords, the second rings shows who you think you are, and the book you’re cutting to 1.99 is Imogene’s Eloise. Best – Baxter


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