Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Guilted Age

So I read this piece on Captain’s Quarters blog about a debate over buying diamond rings, and it brought back memories of when I was a younger man and buying the diamond ring for my blushing bride.

Specifically it brought back memories of the guilt trip that diamond sellers try to impress upon you when you purchase a ring. Basically, they say this: “We know you’re poor, but if you really love your wife, you’ll upgrade her ring to get her a bigger diamond and flashier band when you have more money. If you don’t the other women will ridicule her and you’ll look like a mean little man who doesn’t care about his so-called love. Would you like to buy the service plan?”

I’ve heard a variation on that theme every time my wife and I were in a jewelry store for the past 14 years. They don’t give it to you if you’re alone, but if you’re there with your wife, you hear this message: if you really loved her, you’d buy something bigger/better/more expensive, and by the way, have you upgraded that pitiful ring you bought her when you first got married yet?

I’m happy to say I could afford a bigger ring now, seeing as how I’m not a college student any more. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy one from those bloodsucking parasites. I’ll never forget how smarmy they were, how they looked down on me as I tried to plunk down more money than I could afford to buy one of their custom-dictated rings as they told me it wasn’t sufficient.

Jewelry is one of the few businesses where they suck every possible iota of joy out of the purchase and try to make you feel guilty for not buying more, kind of like they’re used-car salesmen who trained with your mother-in-law.

And I never, ever patronize such establishments, unless I’m in trouble. Then I go looking for a diamond the size of a cat’s head, but always on my own. I don’t need the guilt of bringing my wife with me…