Actually, All She Wants For Xmas Are Diamonds

Or maybe a luxury vehicle.

I jumped to conclusions last week about what “she” wanted for Christmas, apparently. What she truly wants, and what men want to give so they don’t have to say “I love you”, is a diamond necklace. Maybe a bracelet, a ring,  or possibly earrings. Doesn’t matter what article of jewelry, as long as it has a mongo diamond(s) on it. Sapphires won’t do. Rubies? Forgetaboutit. Those don’t equal love, so guys would have to say it, too. Diamonds do.

Don’t worry if you can’t spring for diamonds. I’m sure “she” would adore being told she’s loved (without words) with a Lexus, or maybe a Lincoln. Apparently those, too, are what women really want, and it’s very convenient that they also enable a man to give without having to say the words.

Of course, I’m talking about the proliferation of commercials from such companies as De Beers, Kay Jewelers, Jared, and Lexus around this time of year. I doubt they realize they’re saying, pretty blatantly in some cases – one has a song sung in the background about not knowing how to say the words “I love you”, that women’s love can be bought by shiny and expensive things. Sure, who doesn’t like the pretty? I’m cool with giving diamonds and cars as gifts, it’s just that bloody implication that these things equal love…like they prove the amount of love felt in some grandiose way. I also resent the implication that women should expect these things as representations of love.

I just happen to think that’s not true.

 

Comments

  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    I don’t even like diamonds. Actually, I’m just not crazy about gemstones. I prefer more artistic jewelry.

    That’s not the point, of course. The point is, spending lavishly doesn’t necessarily mean love. It could even mean you’re an unloved trophy wife who exists mainly to model your husband’s taste in finery and show the world what a great guy he is.

  2. scarlett says

    I commented on that in my LJ a few weeks ago. This whole ‘if you love someone, buy them something REALLY expensive’ annoys me something chronic. Over the years, I’ve got a few REALLY thoughtful gifts for birthdays and Christmases which happened not to cost much and they are the most memorable gifts I’ve been given. Personally, I’d rather a card which someone’s taken the time to fill in completely about how much I mean to them then an expensive piece of jewelry.

  3. sbg says

    I’m not big on jewelry. I have a nice sapphire and (very small)diamond ring I always mean to wear…and never do. I have diamond earrings that I hardly ever wear (honestly, earrings are just very strange things – I just put them in and they look weird). I have several bracelets that I’d probably wear if I thought about it.

    It’s not just diamonds for me, but if anything I prefer colored stones. Sapphires are my favorites. I always wanted to be born in September. ;)

  4. sbg says

    One year I really wanted one of those single-serve coffeemakers. The guy I was dating at the time bought me a four cup automatic grind and drip machine, five pounds of beans, a thermos and about a million filters. It didn’t make me like him any more, if anything it made me very uncomfortable. Two weeks later, we were kaput.

    And I still just want a single-serve coffeemaker. I don’t need the four-cupper, which is collecting dust.

  5. MaggieCat says

    And I still just want a single-serve coffeemaker. I don’t need the four-cupper, which is collecting dust.

    This reminds me of my dad, who frequently thought ‘more expensive’ equaled ‘better’. I remember one year when I wanted a Celtic cross, and although I’ve always worn silver he bought one in gold because it was better following that logic. But it’s the thought that really counts, so it means a lot because he went far out of his way to find the one that he thought was the best.

    In general though I’ve always thought jewelry was overrated as a gift. Probably partially because I have very specific taste in it which makes no sense to anyone else ;-) ,but it’s often struck me as rather impersonal. The best things I got this Christmas do not include the jewelry- a huge box full of dishtowels and kitcheny things because I’ve been on a cleaning/cooking kick lately, and a set of She-Ra DVDs from my aunt who just happened to see them online and remembered how much I loved that show 20 years ago. That means a lot more to me than a pair of earrings.

  6. Pat Mathews says

    That post set off a string of popular culture firecrackers in my mind.

    “Greed is good” Gordon Gecko, 20 years ago

    “Santa, baby, a ’52 convertible, too, light blue, I’ve been an awf’ly good girl …. come and trim my Christmas tree,with some decorations bought at Tiffany’s …”, 50 years ago.

    “A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl’s best friend….”

    Portable wealth, baby, portable wealth.

  7. Jennifer Kesler says

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard women complain about men buying them not what they asked for, but something the man determined through Man Logic to be better. My dad did this – then got incensed that anyone dare criticize him for it. He could not comprehend that sometimes less features are better – that it’s like giving someone who hates cheese a cheeseburger when they asked for a hamburger because it’s more expensive.

  8. sbg says

    Beats everyone assuming your birthstone is turquoise. Turquoise is a relatively recent add for December. I prefer the other options. ;)

    In any case, if anyone ever gets me jewelry as a gift, it tells me that they don’t know me very well at all.

  9. sbg says

    In general though I’ve always thought jewelry was overrated as a gift. Probably partially because I have very specific taste in it which makes no sense to anyone else ,but it’s often struck me as rather impersonal.

    Yes. It’s like “Oh, snap, what should I get for her? Women like shiny things, right??”

    I’d rather have something the gifter really thought about.

  10. Jennifer Kesler says

    Well, fortunately there have been some other cultural memes for men to choose as their influences:

    “Money can’t buy me love…”

    “All you need is love…”

    “My riches cant buy everything
    I want to hear the children sing
    All I hear is the sound
    Of rain falling on the ground
    I sit and watch
    As tears go by…”

    I remember a day at work when a guy my age was explaining that he wasn’t getting his wife an expensive present for their first anniversary because she’d made it clear she preferred a downpayment on a house to a gift. Several women in the 40′s and 50′s told him urgently that his wife was lying: she was “just saying that”. He’d better go buy her something expensive and flashy right now, or end up in the doghouse!

    I spoke up and said I believed his wife – that my values were similar. Just to be bitchy, I added that it wasn’t the same for our generation as it had been for theirs: we’re the first generation lectured in high school that we’d have to work twice as hard for half the money as our parents did. We just can’t afford to have the same values as our parents had.

    I’m sure there are plenty of women my age who think a man’s purpose in life is to give her gifts – and the richer the gift, the better. But that’s not love. It may make for a very decent partnership – I don’t share the romanticized view of love ‘n’ marriage that most people hold – but I don’t think it’s really about love. It’s financial security.

  11. Jennifer Kesler says

    Total sidenote here: scary coincidence… my grandfathers were both coal miners. That’s just not something I run into every day.

  12. MaggieCat says

    Well in my dad’s case at least it wasn’t Man Logic, it was Engineer Logic. ;-) But if you explained the reasoning behind it, he’d usually catch on. One year I asked if I could return the gold bangle he’d bought me for Christmas to buy a new winter coat I’d seen (and actually needed) and he had no problem with it. (I hope I didn’t sound like I was criticizing him too much.)

    Jewelry was the one place this sort of thing kicked in for him, and I think it was related to the conspicuous consumption issue that sort of defines jewelry purchases- he grew up as a coal miner’s kid, so the cachet of buying gold or a diamond was probably a reflex. Which kind of comes back around to the problem with thinking of expensive jewelry as the ultimate gift- in many cases it doesn’t say anything other than “I can afford this”.

  13. Christian J. says

    Edit by BetaCandy: I think it’s nice that mental institutions grant inmates computer privileges, but not on my site.

    I ask my missus what she would like for christmas and she said “jewelry”, sort of puts paid to your moronic rantings, doesn’t it.
    Personally I believe that women are incapable of not moaning and bitching about any and everything.

    We should have a competition, nay, a real life one where we have women not actually saying a word and the one that lasts the longest, wins. A diamond ofcourse.

  14. sbg says

    Different strokes for different folks, dude. Congratulations on the flame, by the way.

    If you’d read the post, you’d have seen I said it was cool to give diamonds and cars as gifts, but equating those things (or the size of those things) with love was where I objected.

  15. scarlett says

    For my 21st, my best friend couldn’t afford to get me a gift – all her mates birthdays were around the same time of year so she was broke, and promised it was coming. Instead, she filled a card on three sides with how much our friendship meant to her. Even after the gift came (something quite meaningful in itself) the card remains the only gift I can remember recieving from that birthday.

    For my last birthday, a dear friend, who had helped me through some crappy times in the month before that, gave me a ribbon which was meant to symbolise his gift of friendship. Seriously, he can’t have paid more then $5 for this thing but it lives in my glove box so it can be close to me while my other gifts gather dust.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Holly refers to this as “character development”, based on a standard screenwriting rule that film students learn very early on: as soon as you introduce a character, give her some little action to perform that reveals something about the sort of person she is.  In the commercial, it’s an act of thoughtfulness – which suggests that the jewelry company is recommending diamonds as a gift for someone you love, rather than a replacement for love (as other diamond commercials struck SBG and some of the rest of us). [...]

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