“I married the wrong woman,” he said, sighing. “Princess loves sparklies.”
This was an actual conversation. My co-worker, who’s wife loves jewelry, has diamond dealers on both coasts, and in Antwerp. He makes a pretty penny, being one of the top of his department, and I’m guessing a good deal of it goes to old lumps of rock. If only all women could be so lucky.
I wonder why we have a fixation on “sparklies,” as he so eloquently put it. Society dictates that we should receive these trinkets on certain occasions, such as engagements (I’m hoping I get one that looks like the picture), holidays, birthdays, and so forth. But why? Why does society get to tell men that they have to pay what it would cost for a used car, for a tiny piece of ancient coal?
What is it about diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, all the precious and semi-precious stones that make women oooh and aaah? Why do my eyes immediately pick up on the jewelry of the women around me, in restaurants, stores, and even sometimes at work? Why do I say I would hate to know that someone spent a down payment on a house on a ring for me, but part of me secretly wishes he could?
It doesn’t mean that we’re loved any less if we don’t have one, but why does it feel like we’re loved more if we do? I sometimes wonder if we want these commodities to compete with other women, as in “My diamond is bigger than yours, so my husband must love me more than yours loves you,” or “My jewelry is far bigger and finer, and therefore I lead a more extravagant life full of riches.” Kind of like men and their cars or boats. I couldn’t begin to tell you why I want one, except that it signifies that I am indeed getting married, instead of just talking and planning.
Despite the uselessness of gemstones, I think we’ve all got a bit of Princess in us, and we women can all be wooed with something shiny. And despite what I say here and now, I do suppose after the initial big diamond purchase, I’ll want more sparklies. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, anklets (are those even in style anymore?)…the possibilities are endless. And I know that I will want some of each. Because they’re like a drug, and they become an addiction. Much like alcohol, cocaine, shoes, or bags (and they all even out price wise, too-hmmmm). But unlike alcohol or drugs, and exactly like shoes and bags, you can never have too many.
There’s always justification for more sparklies.