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I've learned to hide my necklaces under my shirt

by thebrightestfell

Every now and then I get this look from people and I understand its connotation perfectly—I hastily stuff my necklaces underneath my shirt. Whether hidden beneath scratchy cotton or angelic silk they are covered and repressed as though they were not there.

If there was a convenient way to stuff them underneath skin so no one could see them, believe me, I would.

There’s three of them: one carries a testament to my heritage and on another hangs a hand-painted resin character from an alleged children’s movie. The third is the only one with two charms and it bears the heaviest burden. It is solid gold with two ideas about the same topic and it gets twisted into knots quite often.

Four pieces on three separate chains always intertwined anyway.

At the same time I hide these possessions I spread on my war paint. I quickly discover what to and what not to say. It becomes easier to slip into the crowd when my necklaces are covered and no one gives me a second glance.

But cold metal bumps and burns against my skin.

Eventually I get tired of their twisted, tangled mess and unwind them with a gentle hand and furtive eye. They breathe and move more evenly settled against my chest and somehow compliment the t-shirt or evening gown I am wearing. People sneak glances and whisper behind gloved hands and after a while the look gets to me.

So eventually I tuck them back in again.

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122 Reviews

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Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:14 pm
ccwritingrainbow wrote a review...

This is a short piece, but guess what? It doesn't need to be long because everything has been said in only a few paragraphs. I have this same problem with my necklaces, but I don't usually care about people asking what the necklaces mean. The only problem I have with them is the tangling and the almost falling off when I'm on amusement park rides. This is a very well done piece, but I did find a few things that need to be fixed. Just pick me ups:

Every now and then is a transition, so you need to put a comma after it.

"Whether hidden beneath scratchy cotton or angelic silk, they are covered and repressed as though they were not there."

" stuff them underneath skin, so no one could see them, believe me, I would."

" my heritage, and (get rid of the on) another hangs a hand-painted resin character from an alleged children's movie. The third is the only one with two charms, and it bears the heaviest burden. It is solid gold with two ideas about the same topic, and it gets twisted into knots quite often."

At the same time is a transition, so comma after it begins the sentence.

"...are covered, and no one gives me a second glance."

When "eventually" beings the sentence, put a comma after it.

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60 Reviews

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Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:55 am
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queerelves says...

I was wondering, what exactly are your necklaces? I can relate to your piece pretty well, on a metaphorical and more literal sense. For awhile, I had a necklace that I would wear that I had to constantly hide because people would harass me about it ;-;

Thank you for taking the time to comment and share how you liked it :)
As for the necklaces, someone already asked and I have described them (in probably too much detail) down below if you'd like to know. (I'd copy and paste but then I don't know if I'd be annoying others or not XD). And the ability for people to relate in a figurative and literal sense is why I used this metaphor and it, apparently, was an excellent choice and worked better than I ever could have imagined. It's a little sad though to note how many people have been put in this position (either the literal one or figurative) but at least we can all relate and realize it. I struggle with it but at the same time recognizing and acknowledging the problem helps us get over them I think.

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Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:19 am
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brreynolds wrote a review...

This is a really fascinating story. It was honestly the sort of story that needs to be read a few times, because of all the layers. By the end of it, I still wasn't entirely sure what to make of it, but for me that was at least part of its charm. It left me wanting a little more, and yet it did seem to end at a perfect point. I'm not entirely sure what genre of writing I'd call it- it seemed to be more of an extended metaphor than a short story, per se, but it definitely seemed to convey sort of an idea of hiding something about oneself in order to get along in society. This was definitely a very enjoyable piece, over all!

First let me say how happy I am you took the time to review! So thank you :)
Second I'm so glad you enjoyed it and got something out of the piece, even to the point where you read it a few times to glean some meaning. I do enjoy vague writing and I somehow seem to either go really big with novels or what not or write short little pieces like this. I'm still working on my middle ground of describing enough but not too much and making a point that' s not so short XD

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Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:28 pm
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mephistophelesangel wrote a review...

Hey thebrightestfell!

Wow, I really liked this piece of writing! The symbolism that the necklaces bear are really incredible. I've never thought about symbolism like this... Like, being able to be used like this. Wonderful.

Some things I noticed:

"At the same time I hide these possessions I spread on my war paint."

At this part, I'm not sure what you want to say, but I'm sure it's something wonderful. Maybe clarify the meaning of 'war paint' a bit? (Or maybe I'm just a little less smarter than you, who knows? :3)

And at here,

"If there was a convenient way to stuff them underneath skin so no one could see them, believe me, I would."

Something seems a little off here. Or maybe it's just me again. But, I think that it might be a little more smoother if you said something like,

"If there was a convenient way to stuff them underneath skin so no one could see them, believe me, I would do it."

Otherwise, nothing. But those two things I said probably don't need to be fixed anyway... haha.

So, let me attempt to understand this. Is it about being unique? The necklaces are the uniqueness of a person, but if you let the unique part of you out, people would think of you as... I don't know. Weird? Strange?

Sorry. But that's the way I read it... If you wrote it to mean something different, please let me know.

Wonderful work of literature! I hope to see more of your works on YWS!

Keep on writing, Mephis

Thank you Mephis for your thoughtful review and for your praise! :) Really. All you guys are making me blush!
As for your two nitpicks, I especially thank you for pointing those out. The first one I may need to refine eventually (we'll see what goes down) but I was trying to communicate that hiding the necklaces and pretending they don't exist was like preparing for battle and somewhat painful. I also like the irony of the phrase because it worked but at the same time was kind of paradoxical. Traditionally when warriors would put on war paint (in cultures that used war paint) it was to instill fear and draw attention to them while I used it in the piece as a means of disguise and to alleviate fear/attention. So I don't know. I liked it and I liked the fact that it didn't totally make sense literally but could if taken figuratively (which is sorta how the entire piece is). As for your second nitpick (on that one phrase) I hear you and I understand what you're saying. It felt a little wonky to me to but I let it go because that was how my internal monologue said it. I may have to tidy this up a bit heh XD

Now. To understanding. Honestly what this meant to me is different than what it meant to some people but that's why I purposefully made it short and vague. I tried to word it in such a way that it could mean several different things, including a literal description of how some people look at me weird because they don't like my taste in jewelry or they assume something about me because of what I'm wearing! Metaphorically or figuratively it can stand for several things and I tried to make it several things such as who you are, what's unique about a person, the constant battle of denying who we are to be accepted but nonetheless wanting to be unique and carrying our differences with us (in this case I wear my necklaces), etc. For me, personally, it was symbolic of me repressing my emotions as I am a very emotional person (I feel super deeply apparently) and it sometimes weirds people out or makes them uncomfortable. I get excited over the littlest stuff and when I'm in pain it's all encompassing and very pure (same with joy). I had to learn to "rein them in" around certain people and act a bit more stoic cause just didn't go so well. So yeah. That may be TMI and I may have blabbed for too long but since you asked for me to let you know I just went with it. ;)
Thank you once again for reading and reviewing and thank you for your insight on this! Honestly I think I've learned more about this piece just from people talking about what they got from it than I originally intended and I don't know. Art is cool that way. :)

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159 Reviews

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Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:27 am
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GreenLight24 says...

Woah. The cultural concepts of this and the running metaphor of necklaces for a culture or just simply what makes you you are really profound. I love it. Nice one! :D

Thanks GreenLight24! I'm very happy that you enjoyed it and ecstatic that you took the time to comment on it!
Yeah I may just think a tad bit too much heh heh. Which is where a lot of my stuff comes from and definitely where this metaphor took hold. It's nice to know that my deep thinking was caught by so many people and that they got something from it. :)

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Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:35 am
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ThereseCricket says...

Absolutely amazing. Keep up the awesome work! :D

Thanks for taking your time to review. :) I'm pleased you enjoyed it and I shall continue though I don't always promise it'll be awesome ;) You do the same!

lol this was a literary comment, not a review. :P
I'm sure it will be SUPER awesome when you're done! :D Keep it up!

Thank you for your support! :)
And yeah as soon as I posted I sat there and went "...that wasn't a review."
Whoops. ;)

LOL Its perfectly fine! I used to think every comment was a review at first. :D

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:33 pm
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Poopsie says...

*sigh* i have to say, tis a great story although i think that necklace metaphor totally flew right past some of us.

does anyone ever make happy stories anymore :(

First, thank you for commenting and for providing feedback!
I'm sorry this wasn't a happy story :( I may have to work on one just for you! A lot of my stuff is releasing anger/frustration/sadness so it comes off kinda sad or depressing or not happy. :/ Butttt I have some good happy-ish ones too! Somewhere....
And whoops about that necklace metaphor though it could have also been taken as a literal action (cause it kinda is which is where the inspiration came from). You'd be proud though cause most of the time I do strut around with my necklaces flying about without a care in the world ;) But then sometimes I do this win some, you lose some. I once again repeat my gladness that you reviewed. Thank you. :)

Verser says...

for the happy stories thing, i was stating that in general, not just for your story :). I'd like to see one of your happier stories sometime. About the metaphor, that's not a bad thing, it means you're smarter than some of us. Keep doing what your doing.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:20 pm
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Penlorde says...


Thank you. :) And thank you for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it! :)

Penlorde says...

No, thank you for taking the time to write this piece

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:37 am
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Kendastic wrote a review...

This is absolutely amazing. I don't know if the necklace is a metaphor like others have been saying, but either way this is absolutely beautiful.

We shouldn't have to hide anything about ourselves, even if it's as simple as a necklace. We should be able to wear ourselves/things with pride and not be ridiculed by others.

Being a gay teenager, this really speaks to me. I have to hide some aspects of myself if I go out in public, depending on where I go. I went to a Catholic High School, so it was especially hard for me to be myself there.

I love this so much!

Keep being awesome!

Thank you so much for the review and for allowing me some of your insight! I'm so glad you got something out of this and loved it. I mean I'm really glad that it spoke to you and even more excited that you shared that with me. :)
I totally understand your issues and having to hide things as I was raised in a Christian private school for pretty much my entire school career. I had to learn a lot about myself by hiding though and I don't know. I like to think that it helped me but it could be hard at times and I can imagine the difficulties you faced. From your comment about not hiding yourself I sorta guess that you seem to have embraced and become proud of yourself (which is amazingly awesome and you go girl and you're an inspiration for your short message).
I hope you don't mind but I followed you cause I can. :)

Verser says...

Kendastic, you don't have to hide aspects of yourself, i believe we all do it to retain some sort of pride of who we are, because when we do show ourselves we are open to public criticism

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:02 am
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Lava says...

Hi there!

I love the shortness of this. It seems to sit very well with the metaphorical questions and themes you throw at the reader. The vagueness, yet familiarity is well executed.

Keep up the awesomosity. :)


Thank you Lave for taking the time to comment. :)
I'm especially proud a person in green enjoyed it. ;)

Just noticed I spelt lava wrong. heh.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:58 am
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Valhalla wrote a review...

I like this. I would like to know what are on the necklaces that are making people whisper about them. I wear a pagan symbol around my neck and in some company, I also put away my necklace. The necklaces represent characteristics about you that you think other people find shameful, but you should put the specifics of what are on the necklaces even more than you already described them. I especially want to know what the one is with the cultural heritage. It sounds cool.

Thank you soooo very much for taking the time to review this. It means a lot. I'm also very happy you like this. :)

Now to touch base on the necklaces. Since this is technically speaking meant to be figurative (though it is based on literal actions I've done) I decided that describing the necklaces would probably take away from that idea. I felt that if I described them not only would it interrupt the simple moving flow but that it would also "steal the spotlight" from the hiding of the necklaces, which was so much more important than the necklaces themselves.
But since you asked for a description... :)
The cultural heritage one is a sterling silver tree of life pendant with some beautiful surrounding celtic knotwork. I've got quite a bit of Scot and Irish in me (and probably some Norse blood too but I mean they're all Anglo-Saxon-ish anyways) so I decided to buy it. Plus the beautiful meaning behind the tree of life helps me get through my tough days so it's kind of a worldview and an acknowledgment to my heritage in one (though for some reason people assume I'm Wiccan or something?).
The resin character is a hand-painted Toothless pendant from the How to Train Your Dragon movie. I adore animation and have loved dragons since I was a little girl so this movie is def one of my all time favorites. I got the necklace because of the deeper relationship and growing up themes present in the book series and movie series. It's affected me a lot in an artistic and mental way (though I do get a lot of grief for the necklace).
The third is a gold quartz pendant and a solid gold ring I hang on the same chain. The original pendant was given to me in such a way that I did not believe in the notion of all. I wore it as a reminder to not fool myself into believing certain people (it was a dark time in life). But the ring...was given to me in an action and by a person that I wholeheartedly believed loved me. Interestingly matched the necklace perfectly and was given to me to make a "set." I wear both now as a kind of "balancing" thing.

So that may be more than anyone ever wanted to know but whatever. Thanks for the review! :)

Sonder says...

That's really cool. So much symbolism.

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:40 pm
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Lonely wrote a review...

I really like how deep this is. This isn't about necklaces, is it? It's about hiding who you really are, at least in my eyes. It's sad how we have to hide ourselves to save us from the pain. We never escape that pain though. If we hide who we are, we only add to our stress, which would represent adding more charms to each necklace.

After all... it is very well done.

Verser says...

or you can totally not give a flying poop about what other people think. put a smily face bandaid on that pain and walk on with a triumphant smile on your face like you just won the human race :D

^Love the above comment.

Anyways, thank you Lonely for taking the time to review and I'm glad you enjoyed this thingamabobber. I was actually thinking a lot about my emotions when writing this as I am a deep thinker and deeply emotional. A lot of people around me see my pain and it makes some people uncomfortable that I can feel so much for certain things so I've gotten very good at repressing these emotions throughout the years. I tied them to necklaces because I actually do wear three necklaces that pretty much give everyone around me an edited version of who I am. So yeah. It is about hiding myself and hiding feelings and actually also somewhat about hiding the necklaces.
I like your point about "adding charms" due to the stress of hiding who we are. That is not something I originally thought of but it really is something I have to think about now. You may have taken something from this that I never meant to imply but the fact that you made me think about my own work differently is really cool. So thank you for that. :)

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:38 pm
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MyndiIkkoku wrote a review...

This is great. I can relate to this in a way that everyone puts on facades when they leave the comfort of their homes or even minds. You have to pretend you are just like everyone else, otherwise you get strange looks and you are judged for being the way you are. The necklaces can represent one's personality and how you must suppress it when around those that do not approve of it. It's saddening, honestly.

"At the same time I hide these possessions I spread on my war paint."

I cannot get over how relevant this whole thing can be to so many people... My friend once was confronted and patronized over what her necklace held and it made me so angry to hear how horrible these people were to her because what she believed in and they believed was wrong or condemning.

I cannot find anything wrong with this piece. It is very concise, straight to the point, and so very true. I hope you can find the strength to ignore the looks and display your necklaces proudly. People's opinions should never shape the way you live. It's something everyone should learn to do: love yourself and what makes you different.

Great piece.


I'm glad you got something out of this piece in both a literal and figurative sense. :) It makes me very happy!! And the fact that you could relate to this little whatchamacallit at all makes me, as an artist and writer, proud of this thing. I do so thank you for the review and hope that your friend, like me, can eventually get over "hiding necklaces" in both a literal and figurative sense. Once again thank you for your kind words; you have no idea how they impact me. :)

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:48 pm
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EmeraldEyes wrote a review...

I wasn't sure whether to take this metaphorically or literally. Hmmm.

But cold metal bumps and burns against my skin.
For some reason I get the feeling this is about self harm. or at the very least, some sort of self-deprecation. And that's ok in terms of a theme. But it is very dark. and you have a dark portrayal of it here. :)

You have little paragraphs broken up by little sentences:
Four pieces on three separate chains always intertwined anyway.
It's an interesting format for the work, I'm not entirely sure what inspired this or how you went about creating it, but it's easy to read.

The work wasn't very long, so I am guessing it is a standalone piece and not part of a novel? I did notice that this was one of these "faceless" works without any characters. Generally, that makes me assume that the narrator is the character, so that was intriguing to make guesses. XD

Keep writing.

Hey :) First of thank you so much for the taking the time to comment and review. As for some of your questions/musings, the story can be taken both literally and metaphorically though the actual intention is probably to read metaphorically (despite the fact that me actually doing this "hiding of the necklaces" literally is what gave me this idea). It's not specifically about self-harm though I get where you're coming from and who knows? Maybe some of my self-harm issues slipped into this without me even knowing :) But it is a standalone piece and I have no clue where the formatting came from. I kinda just sat down and hashed it out and liked how it looked and flowed (and most importantly felt).

I shall keep writing! You must do the same :)

Defeat has its lessons as well as victory.
— Pat Buchanan