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The Power of the Pearl IV

The Power of The Pearl IV.

I would like to welcome you back to of The Power of The Pearl. The Preppy Chronicles/ The Power of The Pearl V

My Name is Bumby and this is The Preppy Chronicles.

This is the final chapter of what I thought was going to be a short, sweet and simple little post about WASPs, and their counterparts; the Preppies and about their confusing love affaire with the pearl. If you are new or need a refresher please follow the links back and then come back to read this.

The Power of the Pearl I

The Power of the Pearl II

The Power of the Pearl III

The Power of the Pearl III Second Half

I reprint this little poem to serve as an object lesson about the vast differences in the mind-set of a Northerner and a Southerner.

The Flag My Grandpa Knew

by Ronnie Hatfield:

I remember how, each morning, he’d rise before us all,
and I’d hear his muffled footsteps, as he padded down the hall.
The many years he’d labored, had left his body bend and gray,
but Grandpa had a reason, for getting up each day.
A well-worn box sat on a shelf, beside his rocking chair,
I don’t know where it came from, seems it always had been there.
Inside the box, a tattered cloth, of crimson, blue, and white,
and he’d gaze at it each morning, with tears that dimmed his sight.
On special days, he raised it still, on the pole outside our door,
and he’d tell us kids, in reverent tones what that tattered cloth stood for.
“The red reminds me of the Wheatfield, where Pickett’s men were slain,
when seven thousand good men fell, amidst the bloodied grain.”
“The blue, I guess, brings back to mind, the loneliness and cold,
of a Shenandoah winter, a thousand miles from home.”
“And the pure white stars, well they’re generals, for Jackson, Stuart, and Bee,
and that big one in the middle there, is for Robert Edward Lee!”
“Each bullet hole is a battle won, each tear is a comrade lost,
each stain is for a wounded friend, who paid the final cost.”
Ol’Grandpa must have loved that flag, he stayed near it every day,
and so Grandpa took it with him, when he finally passed away.
And if there’s a flagpole up in heaven, there’s no tear in Grandpa’s eye,
cause I know he’s back in uniform, and his beloved flag flies high!

copyright 1994, Stonewall Productions, and Ronnie Hatfield

Understanding this distinctive mind-set is in my opinion, essential to the overall understanding of Southerners and for the purpose of this treaties,  Southern WASPs and Preppies. Although, all WASPs have the same basic DNA, as it were, there are vast and important characteristic distinctions between the Eastern WASP and the Southern. Just as there are two very distinctive types of pearls, one formed in harsh cold waters, the other in warm. Following this line of thinking,  a cold water pearl is much more dense in its construct, the reflective layers are closer together not allowing the light to reflect as much as the warm water pearl.Thus, the Eastern WASP, is less flashy and showy than their southern counterparts.

Up till now, we have discussed a bit of the historical reasons about why WASPs and Preppies choose the pearl above all other gems. We have briefly touched upon the Physiological psychology aspects of the WASP and Preppy mind-set, Now we get to the very heart of the matter the emotional connections.

There is one human trait that trumps all others, that is: We all want to feel good about ourselves. All one needs to do to prove this is look inside. I will not presume to tell you why, you like or wear pearls, I only give my observations and I leave it up to you to decide if there be any truth in them.

It is universal that we tend to wear clothing and jewelry that we like and that we feel comfortable wearing and in our mind makes us feel more attractive.

No matter the audience that you think that you are dressing for, ultimately you will dress only for an audience of one… you. The very first step in this process is to feel comfortable with who you are. The stark reality is that until this takes place, it makes no difference what you wear you will never be able to command your audience. It is oft said that it is the clothes that make a man or woman. I totally disagree, I believe, that it is the man or women that makes the clothes. Physical beauty is just that, nothing more or nothing less. The man or woman who is comfortable with who they are, can wear a potato sack and still capture the complete attention of all in a room or on the street.  However, it does not hurt if you are a looker.

We who are  WASPs, are given instruction and told who we are, where or should, I say from whom we sprang and our place in society. This process begins long before we were ever born. Preppies have a more difficult time of it not being taught or told who they are. Preppies can only  reflect the image of the WASP.

Now, there is no doubt, that what we chose to wear affects our moods. This one fact is the driving force of all fashion. Thus the saying : That it is the clothes that make a man or woman.

What we wear determines first impressions. Our tribal culture sets the standards of what dress is acceptable for first impressions as well as ongoing ones.

Although there are many variations on a theme, there are really only two main types of WASPs and Preppys. The Eastern and The Southern. I have not forgotten the ones that live in the West or Midwest, you would be considered to be part of the variation on a theme.

Now every tribe has their stories based upon their collective history. Nowhere is this more reflected than in the Southern  & Eastern WASP. Portraits and photos of our long ago dead ancestors line our walls. The only real difference  between the two are our reference points when we speak of   ” The War ” , which we do often and with great passion.

One reflects upon the war of 1775-76, the other reflects upon the war of 1865. From those stories, come our First impression traditions.

For the man the pearl symbolizes  power and ownership. For the woman it symbolizes love and perfection. Simply, the pearl can be worn with anything or with nothing.

In the south, pearls can be and are often worn when you work, when you play and at any time of the day. In the east there is a tradition, that pearls should only be worn at certain times and with certain garments, the clothes and the occasion will define the type and style of pearls to be worn.

Now, to the subject of sex. Speaking  as a man, because  the pearl symbolizes power and ownership, when a woman who is in the habit of always wearing them divests herself of them in his presence, we men understand that she is laying down her power and ownership out of love. It is very difficult to have an intimate conversation when one or both parties insists upon maintaining a position of power and ownership.

So to wrap this all up, throughout history both men and women have worn pearls. Pearls have always symbolized power, ownership, position , love and devotion.

Whatever your reasons for wearing pearls, as a modern women, you wear them because you like them and they are natures greatest accessory. My question to you is simple, What is the story of your pearls, is there any deeper meaning. Who or what do you associate with them, and how has the story affected your life ?

It has been my pleasure to bring you my thoughts and musings on this subject. Thank you for reading.

Always, Bumby

Please feel free to stop by my sister site:

The Preppy Chronicles II

The Preppy Chronicles Edition II volume VI

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    The Power Of The Pearl III Second Half

    The Power Of The Pearl III, The Second Half

    I wish to welcome you to this the final piece of the puzzle, in the pursuit of  an understanding of The Power Of The Pearl in the life of the WASP and Preppy. Up till now, I have given you a bit of history, a bit of science, a bit of psychology and of course a bit of humor.

    “My dear, this is something you must always remember. Your bosom can be fake. Your smile can be fake and your hair color can be fake. But your pearls and your silver must always be real.” – from A Southern Belle Primer by Maryln Schwartz

    For those of you that are just joining the conversation, please read the earlier posts to catch up.  The Power of the Pearl, The Power Of The Pearl II and The Power Of The Pearl III.

    My editor suggested to me that I should give you my gracious reader, fair warning that this post will be of some length.

    Admittedly, when it was strongly suggested to me that I take a few posts and explore the subject of the power and place that the pearl has in the everyday life of the WASP and Preppy. I thought ” Well, this will be easy “, I was so very wrong. When I started to look into the matter I found that almost nothing existed on the subject. I had no reference points. I quickly realized that I would never be able to do an extensive treaties on the subject. The pearl and its history could fill volumes, as well as the discussion over the WASP and Preppy. For the purpose of this discussion, I have needed to narrow some things and generalize others. It is the hope of every writer including myself, that when the day is done you have enjoyed the read.

    Now, to the heart of the matter.

    I must remind myself as I begin this last segment, in order for any of this to make sense one must come to an understanding and acceptance of the mind-set of the WASP and of the Preppy. The intertwining,  as well as the separate but equally important responsibilities of each not only to each other but to society in general.

    ” First things First” In order to give you an understanding of the power and position that the pearl has in the WASP and Preppies life I must first explore the relationship between the two. I began this in the first part of this posting with the analogy of the Sun and the Moon. Let me take this a little farther. It is often mistakenly  thought that the Preppy and the WASP are the same or that they are at war with each other. The truth is that they really complement one another and support each other in sometimes bold and sometimes very subtle ways.  One is or isn’t a WASP, there are rituals and experiences that only a WASP goes through, our families our religious upbringing, our schooling  “The Breeding ” To the outsider it may seem as though we are just Rich, Spoiled, Uncaring, Harsh, Boring and Controlling but the most polite people you will ever meet ( as long as we are getting you to do what we need you to do ). All of this ” The Breeding” forges in the WASP  certain qualities as in tempered steel.

    In metallurgy, there is always a trade-off between strength and ductility. This delicate balance highlights many of the subtleties inherent to the tempering process. Precise control of time and temperature during the tempering process are critical to achieve a metal with well-balanced mechanical properties. (Wikipedia)

    As in metallurgy, the tempering process of the WASP  consists of a precise control of time, temperature, the proper mix of ingredients and proper environment.

    In constructing a skyscraper tempered steel is a critical component in the strength and integrity of the building.  The tempered WASP, was a key element in the construction of this nation, as I  stated in my very first post, Preppy To The Bone .

    ” Inasmuch, as we created and continue to create these institutions, we also shoulder the responsibility for them. We have held and continue to hold, for over 200 years now, the foundational underpinnings of power in this country and no matter how far to the right or left that society swings at any given time in our history, we hold that foundation, we are its anchor and its bedrock. That is our lot in life. “

    If you reveal everything, bare every feeling, ask for understanding, you lose something crucial to your sense of yourself. You need to know things that others don’t know. It’s what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.

    – Don DeLillo, Point Omega

    At this point in the post you might be saying … Bumby, what does this all have to do with the pearl ? I am so glad that you have asked. With modern technology it is all but impossible to distinguish a modern synthetic pearl from a Mikimoto cultured  pearl except to some one who knows what to look for. With the 1980 release of  The Official Preppy Handbook, Edited by Lisa Birnbach, it has become almost all but impossible to distinguish a Preppy WASP from just a preppy by choice.

    As there is only one biological byproduct known as a pearl, there is also only one biological byproduct known as a WASP, Preppy WASP or High WASP, and we come in many different sizes, shapes and variations.

    There is the synthetic pearl and the preppy by choice and design and to the untrained eye they are the same as the real  and hold the same power and position.

    THE DIVINE RIGHT

    Throughout history the pearl has been a symbol of divine right to rule and possess. The pearl has also been a symbol of wisdom, as well as a symbol of the right to reproduce to control.

    For a moment let us return to the beginning of this narrative, as much as Kipper, wanted to control and possess Bunny Boleyn, he could not and she went to her death with her pearls.

    The belief in divine right moves us from 1503 to 1630 with the charter for the Massachusetts  Bay Colony. In his rousing sermon, ( City On The Hill ) John Winthrop preaches to those that are about to set sail with him, that  New England was their promised land and that God Himself, had granted them the right to rule over and completely posses all lands and people. The King thought that he was sending them to New England to keep it from becoming  Roman Catholic, the Puritans for the most part were separatists not beholding to the Pope or King. New England was given to them by Divine right.

    The belief of divine right is central to the understanding of the mind-set of the WASP. The Pearl, the symbol of Divine right is part of our birth-right.

    At this point I am going to try to bring this home. I will need to explore other aspects of the Divine right and the Pearl in upcoming posts. But to bring some closure, the Pearl has throughout history  been looked upon as some piece of the Divine full of mystery. We WASPs, believe deep down that we have a soul connection with the Pearl it is God’s perfect gem and we are his perfect people. The Preppy by choice or design is also drawn to this soul connection not really understanding its deep meaning to the WASP.

    I really hate to leave this hanging…but I must for now.

    I will wrap this up by stating that what the pearl means to you; specifically,  is a very intimate subject. I don’t presume to know what that is for you.

    I really thought that I would be able to complete this in three posts, I think that I have proven I can’t. There are many more aspects that I feel need to be explored, the differences between a Southern WASP and a Northern WASP and how these differences affect the wearing of  pearls, then we still have the sex issues to deal with.

    Thank you for continuing to read. Please join me at my sister site The Preppy Chronicles II.

    Always, Bumby

    The Preppy Chronicles Edition II Vol. III Part III.V

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      The Power Of The Pearl III

      Welcome to this edition of The Preppy Chronicles, in this edition I will explore the mystical nature of the pearl and the power and position that it holds in the lives of every day Preppies and WASPs.

      To understand the pearl is to understand its formation

      To understand the WASP and the Preppy is to understand our formation.

      Once you have understood the mystery of the pearl, you will then have the key to unlock the very soul of the WASP and Preppy.

      Nature conceals Her mystery by Her essential grandeur. Albert E.

      What I am about to lay before you for your consideration, is so simple that it will seem overly so but do not be fooled. If you are a WASP and reading this you will no doubt agree with my supposition, if a Preppy, you may or may not agree. For those that are neither, but are just curious to have a better understanding of what makes us tick, please accept what I have to offer as gospel.

      Pearls are found inside a living creäture, an oyster. Pearls are the result of a biological process — the oyster’s way of protecting itself from foreign substances.

      As the oyster grows in size, its shell must also grow. The mantle is an organ that produces the oyster’s shell, using minerals from the oyster’s food. The oyster the creates a substance known as nacre . Nacre lines the inside of the shell.

      The  process of formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritate­s the mantle. It’s kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster’s natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The man­tle begins to layer the same nacre substance over the irritant that it used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl

      So, a pearl is a foreign substance covered with layers of nacre. Most pearls that we see in jewelry stores are nicely rounded objects, not all pearls turn out so well. Some pearls form in an uneven shape — called baroque pearls.

      Thus, ends the lesson.

      There is something about pearls-their air of cleanliness, their close association with femininity, their purity of color and form that is at once very inviting yet imposing, inspirational to the point of madness, yet, given to sentiment and an overwhelming sense of stability.

      Cut the pearl in two and you will discover rings similar to the rings of a tree. The rings or layers of necre refract light, it is this refraction, as the light travels through the layers that gives the pearl it’s luster. The more layers the pearl has the more it glows. Widely spaced layers of necre, a byproduct of warm water, refract the light more than ones with tightly packed layers.

      In an earlier posting, I made mention that I believe that at the core level the passions and ultimately what drives the WASP is fundamentally different and at odds with the passions and drives of the Preppy. The WASP is about substance, the Preppy is about fluff.

      Here is the key. Just as the pearl has layer upon layer upon layer of necre, so does the WASP have layer upon layer upon layer of tradition and breeding. The Preppy merely imitates the WASP such as the Moon merely imitates the Sun. It is the rings or layers that give the luster, each pearl is different and yet all constructed in the same way. The pearl is the only gem that needs no external polishing, its beauty is a direct result of its inner layers.

      The simple fact of the matter is: that without the WASP the Preppy serves no purpose and would cease to matter. The Moon serves no purpose other than to reflect the Sun. So the Preppy exists to reflect the luster or if you will the glow of the WASP. ( The Traditions and Breeding ) Now I know that this is a very difficult pill to swallow if you are a preppy. Again at this time I think that the quote from Tad Friend will be of use.

      The real difference between preppies and Wasps is not couture but outlook. Preppies are infantile and optimistic, forever stuck at age seventeen; Wasps emerge from the womb wrinkly and cautious, already vice presidents, already fifty-two.

      I am stopping this post here.

      I thought that I could put everything I wanted to cover in this the last of the three posts, but I can’t. I have given you a lot to digest. Please, go back and re-read the first two posts and re-read this one. The next part of this post will build upon an understanding and acceptance of the first three, from the very brief history, to  Mr.Mikimoto and how he forever altered the world, to the inherent differences between the WASP and the Preppy.

      In the next part of this post I will begin to explore the timelessness of the rituals and traditions surrounding the pearl in the life of a WASP and a Preppy.

      I thank you for your kindness and patience in allowing me to present this to you in sections.

      Please join me over at my sister site The Preppy Chronicles II


      Thank you.

      Always, Bumby

      The Preppy Chronicles Edition II Vol. III Part III



       
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      Posted by on January 4, 2011 in All that's Preppy/WASP

       

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      The Power Of The Pearl II

      Welcome back to this the second part of The Power of the Pearl.

      The real difference between preppies and Wasps is not couture but outlook. Preppies are infantile and optimistic, forever stuck at age seventeen; Wasps emerge from the womb wrinkly and cautious, already vice presidents, already fifty-two.

      Tad Friend, Cheerful Money.

      I add this quote at this time because I want to plant this idea into your mind as we move forward.

      I hope that by keeping this in the forefront of your mind, it will help you settle your thoughts about your beliefs about the role that the pearl has and continues to play in your life. In my family, pearls have come to mean different things to each of us. The time, the place, the person all  change, what remains is a sacred bond.

      Now, where did we leave off, Oh, yes…

      The years of 1620 through the year 1635.  Outside of any personal journals, we have no idea of the exact items  that accompanied the settlers  on their journey. I stop briefly in the year of 1635  as that is the year of the first record by one of my family members of a set of six strands of almost matching pearls. Through out the successive years to the present we have only managed to lose one complete strand due to theft by the jeweler that was doing a stringing  in 1918, of that strand sixty remained only to be lost when Granny G. dancing a raucous  Black bottom in 1924 managed to whack  her partner with the strand  sending the remaining pearls into the crowed.

      In the 1920s Kokichi Mikimoto, harvested the first commercially viable cultured pearls, forever changing the landscape of the world of pearls. Mikimoto perfected a method of creating and reproducing spherically round pearls. Mikimoto’s method is still in use today. In the 1920s natural pearls were very rare. J.D. commissioned a strand of 63 perfectly matched natural pearls to be strung, it took the jeweler 10 years to assemble them. With the natural supply being so low and Mikimoto’s process being viable the  modern era of the round, cultured, pearl was born with all the gusto and excitement of the 20’s and 30’s.

      Soon it was not just the superrich that could afford these little bobbers but the simple rich as well. Imitation pearls flourished and became a symbol of the age. The 20’s and 30’s were a fun time for the pearl. This was soon to change.

      The time 1935 to 1947 was a time for seriousness, as the country sank into deep resolve, and for the first time since the beginning of the 20th century the pearl the took on new meaning…immense loss.

      Now, let us turn our attention to the 1960’s,  the new First Lady of the United States of America Jacqueline Kennedy. Although not a WASP, she represents to the world what America is all about.

      Jacqueline, like her counterpart Bunny Boleyn, ( we met her in the first part of this series  ) brought the pearl back into vogue with the masses. The love affair, with this outstanding woman and her pearls truly began on the day of her wedding, when she wore a single strand of pearls.


      Through out her life, she and the pearl would dominate the landscape of American culture.

      Kenneth Jay Lane, would go on to design and create many pearl pieces for Jacqueline-Kennedy-Onassis

      The most famous would be a three strand faux-pearl necklace, designed by Coco Chanel and created by Kenneth Jay Lane. This would be her signature piece.

      Every woman needs to have one signature   piece, one piece of jewelry that defines her to the world. For the Preppy and WASP this one piece is a pearl necklace.

      It seems that there are three constants whether one is a Northern or Southern bred WASP or Preppy, Male or Female we are known by our mannerisms, dress and jewelry. Many are the times that a non-wasp will advance our culture. In mannerisms… ( for the men ) William F. Buckley, in dress and jewelry ( women ) Jackie O. she gave us the pearl as well as  Lilly Pulitzer


      I will end this portion of the narrative by reminding you of the fact the until recent times the pearl was the number one gem given as engagement rings, not the diamond. The Pearl is also the gem stone for the month of June, the most popular time for weddings.

      In the next part of this series, I will explore the statement I made in the beginning, To understand the pearl is to understand the very soul of the WASP and Preppy.

      Please also join me at my sister site. The Preppy Chronicles II

      The Preppy Chronicles Edition II Volume II Part II


       
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      Posted by on December 7, 2010 in All that's Preppy/WASP

       

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      The Power Of The Pearl I

      Welcome to this edition of The Preppy Chronicles.

      In this edition I will delve into the world of Pearls and the power of the Pearl in the life of the  WASP and Preppy.  I will at this time concede that I cannot possibly present a complete treaties on the subject. However, with that said, I have decided that to give you my best effort I must break this subject into 3 intertwined posts. The first and second will give you a base of understanding of the history of the pearl in our culture,  the third will explore the mystery that captures the very heart, the very essence of who we are, to understand the Pearl is to understand the soul of the WASP and Preppy.

      As most of you are aware, this blog is not about teaching you how to dress and act like a WASP or a Preppy  but rather, the various physiological patterns behind our dress and actions

      The Pearl speaks volumes about  our belief system and the  world in which we the WASP and the Preppie live.

      The WASP lives by the inner mantra… Love The Pearl… Be The Pearl, Love The Pearl… Be the Pearl, Love the Pearl……

      Now,

      Shall we all hold hands,

      Sing a song,

      Pass the basket and drink the Kool-aid?

      You can laugh now.

      The historiography of the pearl is very extensive and interesting, but given the narrow scope of this particular narrative it is of secondary importance. We shall begin our journey with these two.

      For those that have no clue that would be Henry the VIII and the always effervescent Anne Boleyn.

      For the purpose of this narrative, I will be referring to Henry as Kipper, and I will refer to Anne, as the lovely Bunny Boleyn.

      Kipper came to the throne in the year of 1503, being a lustful and reckless 17-year-old  boy. A most powerful lust, for all that is beautiful, and out of his reach, took control of young Kipper and he lived life with great zeal and abandon [ that is WASP speak for:  Kipper has a problem, he has a strong addiction to Power, Sex, Money, Food, and Collecting ] In his obsessive quest, he amassed a great deal of jewels including Pearls.

      Kipper, very much liked his pearls and was always giving them to the women that he collected. Enter the lovely Bunny Boleyn. Shall we leave it at this ‘ Bunny like her pearls ‘ not the vernacular of the day, but I am the one telling this story.

      Bunny Boleyn did for the Pearl, what Jackie Kennedy did for Lilly Pulitzer.  Bunny was and still is an iconic figure. From all the accounts that I have read, she was well-loved by the population and followed by the paparazzi of her day. She took the pearl, which is the worlds oldest known gem, and made it sexy and classy, truly something to be desired. Bunny popularized the pearl in her life and sealed its fate with her death.

      The Pearl has always stood for Power, Wealth and Position. I think that we all have seen Botticelli’s  ” The Birth of Venus “, this masterpiece from the year 1486, also reaffirms the concept that the Pearl also symbolized Pure love, and that the pearl was somehow connected to the deepest part of a humans soul, connecting us to the Divine.

      And with a swoosh we move forward, first however, we must step back for a bit of information that will be  vital to the overall understanding. The pearl is a natural occurrence, more about that later. The important bit here is that the Chinese have ‘ cultured  ‘the pearl since the 5th century  by attaching objects to the inside of the shell creating what is known as a Blister Pearl. In the 1920s Kokichi Mikimoto created a market for the Akoya or the unattached  Pearl. The overall relevance of this bit of  knowledge will become much clearer in the next installment.

      This will be our starting point in the next edition, I will also discuss Pilgrims, pearls and the present. In the third installment we will explore the mental, emotional and often times irrational connection that the American WASP and Preppy have to this the oldest of gems. We will also explore such aspects as the role of the pearl in the sex lives of the WASP and Preppy.

      Please join me at my sister site  The Preppy Chronicles II

      Always,Bumby

      The Preppy Chronicles Edition II Volume II

       
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      Posted by on November 18, 2010 in All that's Preppy/WASP

       

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