Friday, January 07, 2011


This is an ad that was placed in bus shelters all over Toronto this past holiday season. The jeweller is a local, discount business. The moment I saw it, I was offended. (For a little background, I used to always say/think that it took a lot to offend me [still true], and that I had no pet peeves. Over the years, and especially after my 40th birthday, I've started compiling a list...just to remind myself that there is much out there that boils my blood.)

So, what's the big deal? Sure it sucks to be alone, if you're a social butterfly and enjoy the company of others. What offends me, though, is the automatic assumption implied by this ad that getting a diamond ring - therefore, getting married - is the antidote. Don't get me wrong: I think that entering into a committed relationship is a beautiful thing when entered for the right reasons, like, oh, love, trust, companionship, all those good things of which my list is not exhaustive. But, doing it just so you won't be alone? That's crazy. I ask myself: what about those of us out there who are/were in committed relationships, marriage even, who are still alone? To have an expectation of togetherness provided with the arrival of such a ring and then when the togetherness doesn't happen, well, that sucks more. I blame Disney, and the diamond industry, for corelating and intertwining these ideas of togetherness with expensive jewellery. (Insert mild sarcasm here.)

As a single woman in her early forties, the reaction to this ad could come across as bitterness. Not true. I just find the further meaning implied by this ad is that those of us who are single, regardless of our calendar ages, are lonely and sad. Again, not true - at least, not in my experience. I don't feel the need to defend or justify my singleness, only to state that being single is just as wonderful as being in a committed relationship.

When I see this ad, I think of a quote I read a long time ago, said by Queen Latifah. She was speaking about this huge fancy diamond ring she was wearing, and this is obviously not verbatim, but it went something like this: "When I meet the person who treats me as well as I treat myself, I'll take off my ring and wear theirs." I like it: the modern symbolic twist of a ring meaning commitment; the respectful treatment of oneself and others, especially in a romantic committed relationship; the unapologetic tribute to singleness; the unapologetic patience for a positive union with a life partner. Nothing sucks about that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree - a very offensive ad - they should be ashamed of themselves - I would not buy anything from them.
It was a very well written blog! I'm so proud of you.
Love you, Love Mom