Last week, the New York Times featured a surprising editorial from a former jewelry store owner, Clancy Martin, who confessed he wasn’t a huge fan of many of his customers. He particularly dreaded the Valentine’s Day holiday, when last minute shoppers would grab any old bauble, throw it in a box and hand it over like it was anything but a special occasion.
“What upset me more was the ordinariness of the choices. You can give a pair of gold earrings to anyone. But Valentine’s Day is the one day when a present ought to express adoration. Valentine’s Day is for special gifts of intimacy.”
Now before you start to complain that times are tough and folks can’t afford more than a simple pair of gold earrings these days, Martin’s point isn’t that you should spend tons of cash on an expensive diamond or gemstone piece – it’s that the jewelry gift should have meaning.
Buy a pair of gemstone earring to match the color of her eyes, he suggests. Putting thought into jewelry gift giving is, as he wisely points out,
“…the opposite of conspicuous consumption, because it has nothing to do with showing off for others.”
I know I’m always pushing jewelry on every poor bloke who comes within earshot when it comes to gift giving, but I don’t mean that you should grab your nearest pearl strand and call it a day. There is a time and a place for baubles that don’t mean much. But more often than not, putting thought into the jewelry purchase couldn’t mean more. Especially on a day like Valentine’s Day.
Does the guy have a heart, or is he just pushing more product?