everything's fine with Jenny Yang
everything's fine with Jenny Yang Podcast
you ever find something you lost?

you ever find something you lost?

oh what a feeling

Back in March I was squeezing in a networking event happy hour before heading to a comedy show. I was excited to finally see this group of people in real life for the first time since we all locked ourselves at home. I circulated from one end to another at this rooftop Hollywood bar.

A woman in this new group I chatted up had an eye-catching gold necklace. It was so unique I was like, ooh may I ask where you got that? It’s gorgeous. I love gold jewelry. And as I said that I instinctively reached for my own gold necklace. Except it was gone.

The group saw my face go from everyday ease to instant panic. WHERE’S MY NECKLACE? Oh my god. I’m so sorry to stop the convo. But I wore my gold necklace and I’m Chinese so that shit was real gold and I cannot lose it. Everyone became concerned. I’m like dude sorry to bum everyone out. I will try to retrace my steps. They all looked around on the ground near us but nothing. I was like don’t worry about it. I’ll walk around please carry on. Honestly, this was not the time to turn a free cocktails event into WHERE THE FUCK IS MY SOLID GOLD NECKLACE?

Are you sure you wore it tonight? Yes! I had it on at least until I got in the car to drive here. My social media ass took a photo of my outfit and I made sure that gold was shining. 

The necklace was both valuable because it was meaningful to me and because that shit was expensive! My ass drove 50 minutes down to Little India, basically aka the city of Artesia, just so I can go and get me some 24 / 22 karat gold gear. I went down with my dear friend, comedian and writer Shantira Jackson because for the longest time we were both like we need to get us some solid gold chains. This was something we wanted since 2018 when we both were staff writers for a late-night talk show together. That was my first official TV writing job and Shantira’s second. She was establishing herself financially and I was able to stop the grueling standup comedy show touring and show producing that had been the backbone of my living. Being able to get that job and become friends through the experience was such a huge milestone for us. We vowed at that time that some day we will get enough bread to go and get ourselves a legit gold chain.

no we did not coordinate our outfits and yet here we are. lol. shantira and i fresh from the gold store. Artesia, CA.

And finally, during the pandemic, we made that a reality. Shantira was prepping her outfit to attend the Emmy’s for the first time as a nominee and it felt right to mark this other career milestone with the gold chain we had both wanted.

So off of a trusted South Indian friend’s referral, we went to this smaller but highly reputable jewelry shop in Artesia and negotiated our way to a couple of identical 22 karat gold chain necklaces. We commemorated that shit with a delicious meal, and a full-on photo shoot with our iPhones in the lush traffic medians in the center of the street. That necklace meant a level up to us that we’ve always wanted and finally had. We were both no longer newbies and well along into our careers as professional comedy humans.

i mean when the traffic medians look this good you gotta do a photo shoot. Artesia, CA.

Back to this rooftop bar. I went into search mode and let the event organizers know that I was looking for my necklace in case they managed to find it after I left. As we walked around staring at the ground, I tried to numb out the self-critical voices creeping in. Why did you not reinforce that soft-ass gold clasp? You knew that necklace had a tendency to lose it’s grip on itself! Thousands of dollars down the drain. You’ve never bought anything that expensive before what were you thinking?

I hoped for a glimmer of anything as we retraced my steps. Nothing. I told my partner Corey that I am going to prepare myself for heartbreak. What are the chances that someone in this crowded place would see a necklace and give it to the staff in this building of two bars and a huge restaurant?  You could get hundreds of dollars at a pawn shop for this. The chances were looking bleak.

We took the elevator down while I tried not to think too much about the loss. As we made our way out of the lobby, we passed by two front desk hosts. A woman and a tall dark-haired uncle looking man in a black on black suit look. His earpiece made him look important and of the security staff species. I told them that I lost a necklace tonight and it’s a long shot but maybe you saw something? Even before I finished my sentence, in one continuous motion, the security guy’s eyes snapped to alert, he said one second and made a beeline to the front of the building. Not even a minute later he walked back to us with a little pile of gold chain nestled in the palm of his meaty baseball mitt hand. The moment I saw the necklace, I looked into his eyes and tears just started welling up. WHY AM I CRYING? How is this necklace RIGHT HERE? 

Thank you so much oh my god how did you have it? He said we found it in the street and saved it up front at the valet. I was in complete shock. I was ready to mourn the loss of my necklace and I was kicking myself the whole way down to the first floor. But there it was! In the palm of this very honest man’s hands. What’s your name? This is amazing. I thought I lost it forever, while tears kept rolling down my face. He handed it to me and it was really there. My necklace. He said, you are so sweet. My name is George. George. George you don’t know how much…I said through choked tears I couldn’t finish my sentence. He said, this must’ve been so meaningful to you. I’m glad I could help. And him saying this made me cry more! Thank you so much, George.

I’m clutching onto this little pile of gold in my hand while we wait for valet to get our car. And I’m still dumbfounded. How did this happen? This could’ve so easily gone horribly for me. But instead almost as soon as I realized it was gone, it was back in my hands. George is his name. We should thank George. I grabbed cash from my purse and Corey was like nah that’s not enough. So he grabbed some from his pocket so we could double it. I went back into the lobby and handed George the cash. Here’s something to thank you for everything. George, right? George. We will come back here and say hello. Thank you again.

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As I’m writing this story out for you I am still in shock. How? How in my good fortune was I able to recover this necklace? I’m the kind of person who has never put a lot of meaning in physical things. Possessions. Because, for one, growing up in my household we didn’t have the means to acquire many material things so why become attached? But this necklace was one of the few things I had that symbolized something special. For a moment when I lost the necklace I thought, that’s why you don’t get attached to things, Jenny. Because they can be so easily lost or taken away from you.

But somehow, this necklace came back to me. 

I texted my friend Fawzia who was still at the event to let the organizers know that George was a champ and that they had found my necklace for me. She said “This is truly one of the absolute best stories ever of recovery. This is a beautiful sign.” I told her that I totally teared up when he handed it to me to which she replied,

“There are good people in this world. You are not alone. And there is protection for you. And someone is watching over you.”

The moment I read those words I thought about my dad and started to ugly sob. The grief over dad’s death in November feels more like a distant hum now rather than a hard drumbeat. But the tender heart still comes out in strange times. I thought about all the times even before my dad died where I had been helped and protected when things could’ve gone so wrong in my life. Fawzia has an ability to reach right into your soul with her words. And damnit she got me.

I’ve learned my lesson. I thank the protection i’ve been given every single day. And I’ll need to insure my gold necklace and fix that damn clasp. No more tempting fate and relying on better angels. My tired pandemic heart can’t handle the stress.

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P.S. if you’ve been feeling down because of our latest shtstorm of bad news just letting you know that you’re not alone and we are in this together. let’s take care of each other while we fight. i’m trying to practice hope and see where i can help. let’s start by donating to National Network of Abortion Funds where we can.

everything's fine with Jenny Yang
everything's fine with Jenny Yang Podcast
everything’s fine with Jenny Yang is your weekly reminder to find joy in an unjust world. jenny’s thoughts and stories about love, grief, weird shit, and doing what we can to feel okay. this thing may morph into something else. who knows? i hope to touch your heart and tickle your sphincters. and if you like it, please share this with a friend and subscribe and comment.
<3 jenny