Gentle readers will never have heard of Ann Barnhardt and may cry if they read her posts about Pope Francis, so be warned about reading anything further than this excellent piece on diamonds and her link to The Atlantic. I read the Atlantic piece last night, and all I can say is that it proves my mother's attitude towards advertising right yet again.
My mother brought her children up to be anti-consumerist not because she is a Sixty-Eighter but because she is a Catholic. And she always said that if some toy was advertised on television, we would not get it for Christmas. This was a perfect way to make us shun and distrust advertising--which can be difficult to do as advertising often looks fantastic.
You should see the ads the British supermarkets have on television right now, preparing us all for Christmas. Food, food, glorious food. Forget about baking your Christmas cake or mixing up your glorious Christmas pudding. You can get them, and everything else, from Lidl and your very large and happy family will think you bought it at Marks and Spencer (cue angel choir) or Waitrose (awed hush, all fall to knees).
(Incidentally, Polish Pretend Son thinks I am obsessed with the British Class System. Well, I would not say obsessed, but you have to admit that it is fascinating how people define themselves by their choice of supermarket. My dear husband, being caught by a co-worker with a reusable Waitrose bag, by-product of some visit to Morningside, found himself having to explain it away, lest he be thought a snob or a class traitor or whatever it is co-workers might think you for having the wrong shopping bag. Crikey, on the Toronto subway, if I see someone with, say, a Chanel bag, I don't think "A la lanterne les aristos!" but "Oh, lucky GIRL! I wonder what she got!"*)
Anyway, I love glittery ads for diamond rings as much as the next woman, but I am very proud of B.A. that instead of going into hideous debt at a jeweller's for a diamond solitaire engagement ring, he went to an antique shop and got emerald-eyed Ringzilla. And now that I know the history of the advertising of diamonds, I am even prouder. Apparently we could all bring the diamond cabal crashing to its knees by glutting the market with our grandmother's engagement rings. What a hoot!
Update: If you are young and beautiful and were planning on financing your old age with diamond jewellery thrown at you by besotted admirers, all this will come as a terrible shock. Yes, Marilyn Monroe lied to you, for diamonds are most assuredly a girl's best friend. But fear not! There is still hope, and it is gold. Gold is stable. If you are among the very small minority of women who get expensive presents just for being fabulous, try to influence your suitors towards gold. Or silver.
*That said, I have been disappointed by the Chanel window on Bloor Street West for years.