A Diamond in the Rough

Advertisers are notorious for being too subtle for their own good. Someone eats this jerky and is then is brave enough to tease Bigfoot? What are you trying to tell me? A guy sprays some mist on himself and every nearby woman races to rip his clothes off? What does that have to do with chopping down trees? Don’t you wish someone would take the time to just lay it out for you? Well, you’re in luck, my friends. Because you’re reading This Is Conlan, and I’m here to help.

Of course there is advertising all year long, but The Holidays™ are a special time. This is when most retail businesses make most of their money, so it’s also when most advertisers spread their ambiguity around. And nowhere is it more ambiguous than jewelry commercials.

Take a moment to go watch a little TV. Not long, just enough for a set of commercials to come on, and you’ll see a jewelry commercial. It doesn’t matter which one; they’re all equally confusing. What are these jewelers trying to tell us?

Now I’ll break it down. Here is what jewelers are telling you, by demographic.

Women: You’re a whore. You know it, it’s no big deal. Maybe you’ve been married for 20 years, it doesn’t matter. You care about one thing: diamonds. You have to care about them, because they are the only possible symbol of love from your man. If he buys you something else, he’s basically calling you trash and wishes you would die. And he’d be right. If a man won’t buy you diamonds, you are worthless. But don’t worry, if you drop enough hints, he’ll get the message that you need this kind of reenforcement (and that he’ll never get laid again if he doesn’t give it to you). Additionally—and this is very important—if you have children (especially little girls) make sure they’re in the room as you sigh and moan in rapture over that necklace or bracelet. Make sure your daughter learns how to judge her self-worth.

Men: Come on, guys. You know what you have to do. It’s expensive, sure. But if you don’t buy that diamond, she’s going to be pissed. You want to sign her up for that adult education class she’s been thinking about and offer to take care of the kids one night a week while she paints pictures of fruit? Wow. What are you, retarded? OK, fine, I guess you can do that too. But you don’t need to. You know what she wants. Buy that necklace. Listen to the way she gasps with ecstasy when she opens it. She’ll makes sounds she doesn’t even make in bed. And speaking of which, later she’s going to do things for you that you haven’t seen since your honeymoon. Maybe not even then. We’re talking anything goes. She can’t say no, because you bought her something sparkly.

Everyone: You are so gee-effing stupid. We can’t believe this shit still works after all these years. Sure, we dress it up new. Maybe this year we make the chick deaf and the guy has to use sign language. Whatever. The point is, you’re still buying it. Literally. No matter how much we insult your intelligence, your sense of decency, your very existence—I mean, we can’t even put into words the disdain we have for you. Maybe you really are as idiotic as we make you look. I don’t know who gets the worst of it. The women, who we portray as sexually aroused at the sight of something shiny, or the men, who are just bumbling fools who can make up for their utter cluelessness with a couple rocks and some metal. Frankly, you make us sick. But you’re the ones we need giving us your money. So keep it up. And remember: every kiss begins with your kredit kard.

I hope that cleared things up for you.