May 29, 2011

Diamonds are forever. NOT: Part 1

So how many of you are proud of our generation?
Proud of the education we have been given, the structure of thinking this has stimulated?
The level of awareness, understanding of life and logical stream of thought we have all been endowed with?

I'm going to blow this belief into smithereens.
Smithereens, I tell you. Smithereens.

I like saying 'smithereens' and following up with an evil laugh and imagining loud thunder in the background.

That's what happened to me a few months ago.
My belief blew to smithereens.

I see a new trend emerging. Okay maybe it's not new, but it's new for me, because I just noticed it. With a whole bunch of people my age getting married, I'm constantly being bombarded with pictures of diamond encrusted engagement rings. In emails, on facebook. They are EVERYwhere.

Talking to an old high school friend, a prospective bride, is the same as reading 'Diamonds for Dummies'. Either that, or I can't really hear her over the clinking and clanking of the jewellery shop she seems to be wearing for our coffee date at the mall.

So, it got me thinking.

What's the BIG DEAL about diamonds and engagement?

I know diamonds are pretty, but honestly, (and I'm really NOT lying here) I like the other stones just as much. They're nice and colorful. The blue sapphire sends my heart racing just as much as the deep green of the emerald.

And isn't RED the color of L-uuuu-hhhh-ve.
Shouldn't engagement rings be ruby encrusted?

So as usual, I began painstaking and elaborate research into the origins of the allure of the diamond to women-kind.

I got lame explanations:

When a woman wears a diamond, she wears a link to ancient history, a valuable partnership with the miners who toil night and day to come up with a diamond harvest, a “cutting-edge” relationship with expert cutters who treat their trade with reverence and an investment connection with reputable retailers.

Yea right. So when you're giving your fiancé a diamond ring you sold your house for, she's thinking about the poor guy who lost his eyes cutting and polishing the diamond.
Call me an idiot, but I think I'd have a problem with that.

A woman loves diamond engagement rings because it symbolizes an endless and indestructible commitment. It is one reason why it remains to be a popular symbol for an engagement.

I don't want to be a party pooper, but you need to ask Eva Longoria about the truth of that statement. She wore a wedding ring which featured an impressive two rows of 80 brilliant-cut diamonds and 27 square-cut diamonds, complete with a romantic French inscription on the inside. That symbol of endless and indestructible commitment didn't stop Tony Parker from straying.

I could go on, but I couldn't be bothered. As usual, I have a theory of my own.

A long, long time ago when scientists were coming up with new inventions- color televisions, radios, automobiles, and measuring equipment like the weighing scale and the thermometer- they realized they've got nothing to measure the love in a man's heart.

So they convened a convention in an underground laboratory somewhere in Siberia and worked day and night to come up with a gauge to measure love. They tried and tried but failed over and over again. Finally, baffled, beleaguered and  defeated they declared that:

'the size of the diamond on the engagement ring is directly proportional to the amount of love in a man's heart.'

If you skipped the last two paragraphs, after 'theory of my own', I don't blame you. I would've too, if I didn't write them myself.

But this theory explains a lot. When you ask the beaming bride-to-be why she chose that diamond ring, she gushes, blushes and insists:

'He surprised me, honest!'   or
'This one was the prettiest there!'   or
'He wanted to get the biggest one there!' 

Another theory, (this one is not mine, so you can read it) is this:

Women love diamonds because of their exorbitant value. This may sound crude, but psychologically and honestly speaking, cost somehow can compare to the value-added component in a love affair.

Can you truly blame a woman for cherishing the diamond not only for its beauty but also for its value? It’s her pride and joy and it's an insurance policy for the future.

This makes a little sense.
I guess.

Diamonds are a status symbol. That I cannot deny.
A sort of rite of passage.
And status symbols give joy. And pride.
And the fact that it's so expensive, it serves as an insurance policy that says he can afford you.

So basically by asking for a diamond engagement ring, the girl is saying:

I care about what the people watching us think. I care about how much you earn. I care about how much everyone thinks you earn. I care that everyone knows how much you earn.

When all she should technically be saying is:

I care about you. 

And by giving a diamond engagement ring, the boy is saying:

I care that you care about what the people watching us think. I care that you care about how much I earn. I care that everyone knows how much I earn.

I would be as critical of the men as well, but I'm not sure they really get it.
I think they just buy the diamond because it clinches the deal, it guarantees  a 'yes'.

Sad but true.

And you know the punch line in this joke of a "tradition"?

In the years before and during the Great depression, DeBeers experienced a sharp drop in diamond sales. So it launched an aggressive advertising campaign to pin a social status to the stone, getting Hollywood scripts to include scenes of jewellery shopping.

Yup, when that angelic blonde actress of yesteryear would look at a diamond and exclaim in joy and dazzle us with her beautiful smile and throw herself in a loving embrace, DeBeers had paid for the scene to be squeezed in. Little by little, the diamond began being injected into our life as an indispensible part of courtship and marriage. Then, a female copywriter, Frances Gerety, (who never got married, ironically) conceived the slogan 'A diamond is forever' and that was that. And love began being measured in carats. And, apparently, is still being measured in carats.

What was that you were saying about our generation?!?
Logical thinking? Understanding of life?

Smithereens, I tell you. Smithereens.


This is NOT over. There's more.
Creative Commons License
The Pious Hippie by Ms. Pious Hippie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.