I tell you, my oldest daughter is something else. Last summer she'd wake up at the crack of dawn and ride her bike to the mall. It was only a short distance away and she'd ride with friends so it wasn’t so much a safety concern I was having. Rather how uncomfortable I felt about her hanging out at the mall all day and not doing something more constructive with her time.
When she started coming home with new shoes, Ipods and various trinkets, I really began to worry and confronted her one nite demanding she explain how she was acquiring these things on a five dollar a week allowance.
To my surprise, she calmly stated that she didn’t “hang”. Around the mall all day. She was actually hunting for diamonds in the parking lot, both there and at the Wal-Mart nearby.
My daughter is the only person on this planet who can leave me speechless and as I stood there, unprepared for this explanation, she said in her most grown-up voice, “Perhaps I should explain.”
She then proceeded to give me a science lesson coupled with deductive reasoning and I've to say I was once again left speechless.
She told me that changes in temperature have an effect on most material things, especially metal. Different metals have different rates at which they respond to these changes. This is the basis of how old mechanical thermostats work.
A length of coiled metal is attached to a bulb containing mercury and winds and unwinds back and forth as it expands and contracts according to room temperature, making and breaking electrical connections thus controlling the heating and cooling equipment.
On a hot summer day most folks, especially those that can afford to do so and therefore can also afford to wear a lot of jewelry, run their car AC at full blast whenever they go somewhere…that includes malls, shopping centers and so forth.
When they get out of their cars and step into the summer heat magnified by a black asphalt parking lot, the metal in their jewelry rapidly expands and diamonds sometimes pop out of their settings.
Now I've certainly lost my fair share of diamonds, albeit very, very small ones nearly invisible to the naked eye. My daughter figured this was possibly how I. Therefore many others, inexplicably lost diamonds and jewels, (she also claims to have figured out where the lost sock in the dryer disappears to).
Anyway, after a little practice, my daughter told me it’s relatively easy to discern a diamonds sparkle to that of the glass sparkles of your basic mall parking lot. She smiled a devilish smile and said that's what keeps them hidden in plain sight!
In exchange for a small commission, her best friend’s older brother then takes the diamonds to the pawn shop and gets what he can for them. The money is divided equally amongst the prospectors and they spend the rest of the day shopping.
I was floored! How dare she not turn these jewels over to her poor single mother who, by the way, just adores diamonds! A pawn shop…are you kidding me?
I asked her if she'd considered the feelings of the people who lost these diamonds and perhaps she should've turned them over to the mall’s lost and found department.
She then asked me if I'd ever gone to the mall’s lost and found department looking for any of my lost diamonds and I admitted I'd never thought to do so, until now.
She looked at me with a measure of satisfaction and said the mall folks would probably just take them for themselves anyway and she'd be considered an accessory to a crime at that point. I was too tired to argue her reasoning and too proud of her constructive thinking to punish her.
I asked her just how many diamonds had she found to afford all of the clothes and shoes and electronic gadgets she'd acquired over the summer.
She explained that a lot of what they found were fake stones with no real value. However, after exploring eBay awhile, she realized people would buy just about anything unique and unusual.
Cubic Zirconia is anything but unusual. A Cubic Zirconia with a captured magic spirit in it that'll bring fortune and fame into your life is quite the find. A little creative writing and a made up Great Aunt who'd practiced the dark arts. Poof, you now have a stone with value that desperate people are only to eager to buy.
The shocked look on my face made her quickly recant her story and she claimed to be pulling her momma’s leg. I don’t know. I worry about my daughter sometimes. I hope she knows where that very thin line between creativity and dishonesty lies. Actually, I’m quite certain she knows exactly where it lies and I should be more concerned with how often she's consciously chosen to cross it.
I'd a long talk with her about all this. To be honest with you, I now find myself parking as far out in the parking lot as possible now, diamond hunting on my way into Macy’s!