My son’s first crush has reared its head.
There’s a girl in his kindergarten class that he’s constantly pretending to marry. I don’t know if his proposal involves an engagement ring, he has no money, and he may not even know about that part of the ritual yet. But I’m pretty sure he’ll learn about it soon.
Because despite an ancient screenplay I wrote that flipped the script by having girls propose to guys with an “engagement watch,” odds are the diamond ring will maintain its hegemony for at least another generation or so. So he’d better start saving now!
I learned everything I know about diamonds from Madonna videos and Pink Panther movies and decades and decades of manufactured tradition and relentless female expectation. I unlearned everything I needed to know about diamonds from Kanye West and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Unfortunately, my son is too young to listen to Kanye or to watch Blood Diamond, so he’s going to grow up thinking the same thing as the rest of us: diamonds are a girl’s best friend. So if you want to marry a girl, you’d better pony up!
Thank God there’s someone out there working the middle ground between Sierra Leone and cubic zirconium.
You may read some of my other posts in which I discuss the fun and educational 1 in 100 Million video series. The videos showcase “the personal stories of the people who do the many important and too-often unrecognized jobs we all rely on.” Today, I’m focusing on a job that makes me feel a little bit better about the gift giving in my son’s potential future and in my expensive present.
Jennifer Miller is a Retail Sales Associate MJ Christensen Diamonds. But she’s not a bloodthirsty diamond farmer, willing to sacrifice the limbs of small children for that ice. No, she’s a humanitarian, world traveler, and jewelry sales specialist from Chicago, and she loves the way jewelry brings people together, at least until the divorce. I have no idea if Jennifer is aware of some of the less noble aspects of the diamond game, but either way, she seems devoted to promoting the more positive ones. Ones that make selling jewelry for a living actually seem fun and worthwhile!
Last year she worked as a volunteer in Uganda with the BeadforLife program, whose mission is to create sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty. BeadforLife sells handmade, recycled jewelry in the US and N. America to help raise awareness for the eradication of extreme poverty. Jennifer’s trip there was to work with the women who create the jewelry and sell it to the non-profit, and to shine a mirror on them to say emphatically, “I believe in YOU”.
She makes the profession seem worth aspiring to! The ridiculous and potentially harmful relationship between consumerism, romance, and love aside, she makes it seem like it might be kind of fun to be a part of the jewelry industry, and subsequently become a part of many people’s intimate moments. If you’re into that kind of thing! I personally hate my own intimate moments, so no thanks, but I wouldn’t object if one of my sons made his way into such a career. Especially if it meant I could get the occasional discount!
Unfortunately, Jennifer thinks that to be successful in jewelry sales, it’s important to have a “good pair of ears” and be able to listen to a client. That pretty much rules out Detective Munch, who literally hasn’t heard a thing I’ve said to him since he turned two.