I did something I’ve never done this holiday season: I bought The Girl I’m Currently Dating a necklace for Magic Space Baby Day (i.e., Christmas). A silver, heart-shaped locket to be exact. I did this because she has a beautiful, graceful neck and I wanted her to be able to show it off. And I think this necklace does that — it’s subtle. It merely accents something that was gorgeous to begin with. I’m proud of the gift. But I’ve never purchased jewelry before. I was under the impression it was a lame, cliché choice.
But this season, I decided to go for it. I felt like it was a mission, as if she deserved to have something… womanly. Maybe next year, she’ll feel I deserve something manly and get me a chainsaw. Which will come in handy in Queens, especially when the zombies come.
My prejudice comes from years of female friends who loudly rejected gifts they thought were old-fashioned. If they bought jewelry, it was for their tongue or it was found in the back of some dusty thrift store. Earrings, bracelets, and lockets were tacky and this was reinforced by commercials for jewelry, which are hilarious. They follow a simple script: man provides jewelry, woman becomes happy. Simple. They’re like Saturday morning cereal commercials that teach two enduring lessons: number one, nag your parents and they will buy you things. Number two, if you are a parent, buy your child a box of Sugar Squirts and the child will love you, despite your other glaring flaws. Jewelry advertisements have a similar subtext: buy her glittery things or she will leave you. My favorite recent jewelry commercial is a little weirder though — it features a man at a snowy window drawing a heart on the glass, then opening his hand and letting a necklace with a tacky heart-within-a-heart pendant fall out and dangle. It’s a seriously psychotic moment. The woman’s reaction to the man at the window can either be interpreted as “Yay, pretty, pretty!” or “The judge told you fifty feet.”
Regardless, these advertisements tell men that she’ll only be happy if you get her shiny baubles and trinkets. And usually, I avoid the obvious. I was under the impression that most people agree with this. The only women I know who are crazy about jewelry are grand dames in the twilight of their glory and ancient crones who exchange trinkets for potions. However, this year I felt that the lady in my life needed something with a little sparkle.
I was informed by Amelia that this was a chump’s choice, and she dutifully recommended a small, stylish “vintage” jeweler. I was under the impression that “vintage” meant “old,” but what it really means is “expensive” and “not a tacky heart-within-a-heart pendant.”
The kind lady who sold me the locket was extremely polite to me and patient. The store was very small, very quiet, and she knew I did not belong there. “I’d like to see necklaces,” I whispered in an almost faux British accent. She showed me one with a price tag that could barely contain all of the zeroes. I could have put the down payment on a car with the amount of money it cost. I shook my head and decided to lowball: “What do you have for 50 dollars?” She smiled a smile that was just teeth, turned, and walked into a room. When she returned, she showed me something that resembled soggy pasta. We negotiated after that. Eventually, we settled on something that was between 50 dollars and new car.
The Girl I’m Currently Dating and I celebrated Christmas last night. We’re spending the holiday apart for a few days — I’m currently in the Great State of Texas. She’ll be heading off to New Jersey soon, to do what they do in that state for Christmas, which includes decorating a tree with gabagool. I’m catching up on “Dexter,” inhaling BBQ, and watching “The Godfather” trilogy, a DeVore Family tradition. I miss her already.
So she already has her necklace, along with a bunch of other nerd gifts I got her like some tarot cards and a stuffed monster. She surprised me with “graphic novels.” Not comic books. “Graphic Novels” — sequential pictorial art combined with words that form a unique, singular narrative. Ahem. She also got me tickets to a couple of amazing events, including one starring the very first woman to ever give me a boner. Once upon a time, this celebrity looked amazing in a golden bikini.
I give us an “A+” for our first Christmas. I didn’t know what to put in the locket though. I suggested a toenail of mine or a sprig of pubes. Because I’m a romantic like that.