Posted by Censor Librorum on Oct 24, 2006 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

My sister Sharon and I are very close. We live far apart (she’s in Florida–I’m in New York) and only see one another every few years when one of us makes the trek north or south to visit. I will be seeing her in a few weeks, and we’re looking forward to spending the day together with our mom and Sharon’s family at Disney. We’ll go on the rides, eat junk food, and have a carefree day of having fun together.

One year, when Sharon was visiting New York, we decided we needed to do something to know that we were always connected to one another even though we were apart. We decided to wear jade bracelets, which we would never take off. In keeping with the tradition of jade, I bought her bracelet and she bought mine. We got them in an old shop on Elizabeth Street in Chinatown–filled with jade jewelry, charms and rings; antique chops, and all sorts of pieces I couldn’t identify piled up in the cases.

The elderly shopkeeper lady didn’t speak any English, I knew about six words of Chinese, but between gestures, smiles, and a kind woman customer who stepped in to translate, we both got our bracelets and had them put on. That is an experience in itself–soaping up the hand and wrist in order to push the bracelet over the bones of the hand. It hurt a little – but it was worth it.

The Jade Bracelet Sisters (“JBS” is how we sign our notes to one another) will be back together soon. We will laugh, and kid around, scream on the rides, wave to our mother(!) just like we did at Casino Pier, down the shore at Seaside Heights, so many years ago.

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