06 July 2010
Day 101: Sweet and Vicious
Well, this is a nice change of pace from The Holy Thief. Unfortunately it appears to be what we call "airport reading." Airport reading is what I call novels that are not particularly incriminating in your tastes (aka you can read it in public without being labeled a reader of fruity romance vampire novels), fast paced so you don't find yourself trying to focus on minute plot points while the three-aisles-over toddler's scream is trying to stab your brain into pudding, and despite the fact that there is interesting stuff going on, it still doesn't really seem to matter.* People who can write these kind of novels astound me. It really takes some genius to write decent fluff.
Having said all of that, since there's not a whole lot of depth to this novel (at least not 100 of 250 pages in), I'm going to have to write about the obvious today. The main plot device is a set of seven diamonds fashioned into planets (when they were created Neptune and Pluto, which is no longer a planet anyway, hadn't been discovered). Anyway, diamonds, they are pretty and sparkly. I like looking at them.
Other than that.
I honestly don't get the appeal of owning/coveting diamonds. They're nice, it's true. It's nice to own something that is beautiful and genuinely pleasing to look at. But you know what, you pay taxes on that every year: it's called a museum. They house things in it. And they are pretty. And you can pay a small fee to go look at them without incurring any of the risks or obligations of ownership (i.e. insurance, restoration, cleaning, etc.). Hell, sometimes it's even free.
The thing is, diamonds are common. They are so terribly common that the only reason people still buy diamond engagement rings for exorbitant prices is because diamond companies are so good at marketing. Also, they price them at "sentimental values." In other words, they're making it up, and the only reason your ring is worth anything is because other people are still willing to pay for it.
Did I get a diamond engagement ring? No. Did I want one? Not really, diamond accents would have been nice, but I'm really happy with my garnet ring. I don't need diamonds. I don't need to fill my life with jewelry and sparkly things to enjoy my life. To be honest, I don't wear jewelry often enough to justify having a wide selection of shiny things to wear. I sure as hell do love to look at jewelry though. If it wasn't for the fact that the sales people always try to get me to sign up for a store credit card I would probably spend hours just looking. There's something in my brain that just screams, "Yay!" when my eyes fill up with glints and glimmers from gemstones and precious metals. But there's no way I'm paying a major car repair fee to take that chunk of shimmering coal home with me.
Besides, there are plenty of local craftsmen who work in sterling silver and other metals who need the money more than big diamond/jewelry companies. I'm just sayin', is it really the diamond that makes your engagement ring special?
* I am terribly sorry about the Faulkner sentence. At least there's some punctuation in there.