I am a girl, and I don’t want diamonds

…Or rubies, or sapphires, or gold. I am reminded of this because it is now Christmas shopping season. I have only seen a dozen commercials every day telling me that because I am a woman, I will melt in a puddle of ecstatic joy upon the receipt of a little velvet box, no matter what ugly trinket is inside.

The other day, after particularly cheesy Jared commercial, I said to my boyfriend: I don’t ever want jewelry from you. Really? he asked dubiously, probably thinking of my fondness for sparkly things, as evidenced by the sequined skirts, shirts and shoes in my closet. Really, I said. Here’s why:

1) Jewelry is impersonal.

It’s a little like getting flowers or chocolate or lotion or candles or frames or stuffed animals. They’re the kind of gifts that say, I don’t really know you, but you’re a girl, so you’ll want this, right? They’re the kind of gifts you get the second cousin you see once a year at Christmas because you don’t know anything about her. They’re the kind of gifts that you give to your secret Santa at the office party. They’re impersonal and usually useless, unless you’re a stealthy re-gifter like I am.

2) Jewelry is stupidly expensive.

I am clumsy. I lose things. I don’t want to wear the equivalent of $1,000 on my wrist.  I’ll probably get it caught on the latch to a bathroom stall and it’ll end up all over the floor.

Once, I cajoled an ex-boyfriend into buying me jewelry for Christmas. He bought me little diamond stud earrings, which he was disappointed with as soon as I opened them: “They sparkled more in the store,” he said, frowning. It didn’t matter how much they sparkled, though: a week later, one slipped off my ear and I never found it. What if we had taken that money and invested in an experience, like taking a day trip somewhere fun? We probably would have enjoyed that more than the one earring I was left with.

3) Blood Diamond. Watch it. Leo DiCaprio is hot, and the flagrant abuse of humanity for the sake of shiny little rocks is not.

4) Jewelry, like everything else, gets outdated.

But because it’s so expensive, you’re stuck with it. One look at an engagement ring, and you know if the wedding was in the ’80s, ’90s, or the aughts. Lame. I’ve got about a dozen necklaces hanging in my bathroom right now, and I know I’ll be utterly tired of them in six months. So it’s nice to know they cost me maybe $100… combined.

5) Some jewelry trends are FUUUUU-GLY

Like the “Open Hearts” collection. Or the sudden obsession with expensive silver charm bracelets that look like the chintzy BFF bracelets you swapped in fifth grade. I think fashion-unconscious men are easily convinced by smiling salespeople to buy such fugly, expensive things. Which you, then, are forced to wear.

6) “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it.”

Ahem. I am not an “it,” not an object, and I cannot be owned. If you would like to enter into a lifelong partnership with me – full of mutual love and respect – then ask.

–By Tara Cavanaugh

7 thoughts on “I am a girl, and I don’t want diamonds

  1. So glad to see someone else saying it. I despise jewelry commercials…they make women out to be shallow opportunists who equate love with expensive things and way too many people inexplicably by into the myth (many women sadly included).

  2. My specific dislike with expensive jewelry gifts is anything that involves diamonds, especially engagement rings. The monopoly on diamonds = sky high prices, not to even touch on blood diamonds, which are still in circulation. Women are not little soft robots that will giggle like schoolgirls and be “all yours” if they are bought expensive things. Honestly I get uncomfortable when boys I’m dating buy me things. I feel like I owe something to them, and there are a lot of tools that are operating under that assumption as well.

  3. Pingback: Feminine fripperies: our vanities change over the years | Seeing Clarely

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