I started wearing jewellery in 2001 after reading a feature in a lad’s mag called “Ice”. The article was part of a “thug issue”, if I remember rightly, describing what kind of tracksuit you should wear during the day and what type of BMW you should drive. Being so directionless, I decided I’d take their advice. There was just one problem (other than their advice being shit): I had no money.
After a few weeks I scraped together some cash and went to Elizabeth Duke in Argos (coincidentally the exact place Ice said I should avoid). I bought their cheapest crucifix on a chain, a silver bracelet and a gold-plated silver medallion ring. The chain was a little long for men’s jewellery and dipped around the neck effeminately.
I looked a massive tool.
I pawned in the ring eventually. The bracelet disappeared: the clasp was fixed to the links with a small ring, which must have bent open letting the item fall off my wrist. The chain also disappeared one day. I never found out what happened to it.
A couple of years later my mum got me another, slightly larger chain and crucifix and I’ve worn that one since then. It’s normally hidden under a t-shirt or shirt, but occasionally I’ll find I’ll have left a shirt button undone or I’ll be in a vest or low-cut t-shirt, or it’ll ride over the neckline when I’m on a dance floor or whatever. People occasionally ask me about my faith. I never really know what to say.
I guess I’m agnostic. I fully understand science, but my understanding of right from wrong was taught at an early age and- through parenting and the National Curriculum- was completely interwoven with the Christian faith. You treat people like you would like to be treated because that’s what you’re taught in the religious-based assemblies. Wearing the cross is more of a cultural thing than an expression of actual beliefs.
Having said that, there were enough arseholes in primary school and secondary school (both Christian establishments), so it clearly didn’t wear off on people. That goes also for the teachers, who were mostly ignorant scumbags who had no consideration for people with learning difficulties (like myself).
But that’s beside the point. The point is, I’m probably being judged by people for wearing the cross. I’ve worn one for most of my adult life. I’m wondering what difference it would make if I stopped wearing it. Would people notice? As dumb as this sounds, would women like me more?