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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, November 27, 2022

Commercialist V-Day stifles romance

This Valentine's Day, I was sitting with my ex-boyfriend, watching a documentary on the History Channel about the Playboy Mansion. It's a long, boring story why I chose to spend the big V with an ex, much less watching a three-hour festival of boobs. The shorter, more interesting story lies in the commercials we saw that night. 




Early on, we saw that damned diamond ring commercial. I bet you know the one--it's where the man and woman are in a courtyard in Italy or something (they're clearly on vacation), and the man tells the woman that he has \something to do."" Then, he proceeds to yell to the passersby, ""I love this woman! I love her, I love her!"" All the while, the woman is shushing him, looking around at who's watching, and seems generally embarrassed by the whole deal. Then, the man presents her with a ring that has three big, fat, juicy diamonds on it. She throws her arms around him and whispers, ""I love this man. I love him, I love him..."" 




Later, we saw one for a jeweler, in which the company said that they would take a woman's original wedding ring, pop the diamond out, and replace it with a bigger, fatter, juicier diamond. They'd make the old diamond into a necklace, so you can ""wear it closer to your heart."" 




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So yes, my Valentine's Day bit the biggest ass. It was boring, I was lonely and there was no lovin' to be had, if you know what I mean. And maybe I'm a wee bit bitter about it. But these ads have got to go. And not for the reason you may think. 




Let's deconstruct the first ad, shall we? Here's a clearly wealthy couple on vacation, having a great time. The guy decides to be whimsical, and proclaim his love to the general public, which apparently shames the hell out of his girlfriend. But that ring makes her light up, alright.  




Truth be told, I'd be flattered as can be if my boyfriend wanted to shout from the rooftops how much he loved me. I mean, think about it: You're willing to make a fool of yourself for someone. What an amazing show of love. How much guts or creativity does it take to buy someone a ring? What pisses me off the most is that it buys into our culture's dumbest, most basic and most harmful gender stereotypes. When it came down to it, that guy (tool or not) could keep his whimsical show of love to himself. All the girl wanted was the rock. 




And the second ad's just as bad--worse, maybe. When people get married, they're supposed to buy those rings as a token of their love. Those rings are supposed to mean something, be it a platinum pressure-set marquis-cut 4-carat diamond band, or a Spiderman decoder ring. It sounds so corny and obvious to say it out loud, but it's not supposed to matter how expensive the ring is. That's why it's called sentimental value, folks. Imagine the new advertisement: ""Because a diamond is forever. And by forever, we mean until you get rich."" 




So yeah, the big V was less than spectacular on my end. But not because I wanted a ring, Lifesavers, doughnuts or any other object remotely resembling a ring shape (okay, maybe the doughnuts). No, like everyone else, regardless of whatever crappy, consumer-driven holiday those commercials are trying to cram down our throats, I wanted love, pure and simple. Now that's forever. 




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