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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Bling isn't the thing with love

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Columnist

I was flipping through a magazine recently when I saw a Cartier ad with a picture of humongous platinum diamond rings.

By the size of those puppies, I quickly figured that unless regular people like me win the Megabucks or take out a second mortgage, such jewelry would be limited to the Paris Hiltons and rap-star girlfriends of the world. Oh, well. I shrugged and started to turn the page.

Then I caught a glimpse of Cartier's tag line for the ad: "What extraordinary love looks like."

Well, excu-u-u-use me.

I know it's just a marketing gimmick five words put together to convince guys (and their women) that the best way to prove one's devotion is by dropping a chunk of dough on a shiny rock.

But I was a tad annoyed.

Now, this column isn't meant to criticize those who buy nice, expensive jewelry for a loved one. Hey, it's your money; do what you want with it. Besides, I'm still a girl; I can understand the mesmerizing effect of shiny, sparkly things, too.

But I'd like to point out the obvious: A fancy-schmancy trinket does not equal extraordinary love. It doesn't even promise ordinary love.

Remember the huge pink diamond ring Ben Affleck gave Jennifer Lopez back in the day? We all know how that turned out. Or how about the "I'm-sorry-I-cheated-on-you-baby" rock Kobe Bryant gave his wife? Blech.

In these times when celebrity and all things flashy seem to upstage true acts of humanity, I'd like to humbly offer my own examples of extraordinary love:

  • A retired couple finding that after their kids move out of the house, they still love seeing each other every day.

  • An electrician with tattoos, body piercings and a goatee wearing a Care Bear costume that his girlfriend made him for Halloween.

  • A man singing to his pregnant wife's belly.

  • A boy who hates the smell of peanut butter making a PB&J sandwich for his little brother.

  • A mother reading to her child every night.

  • An elderly woman whispering fond memories to her Alzheimer's-stricken husband.

  • A dad coaching his son's Little League baseball team after a hard day's work.

    Maybe stuff like this isn't provocative enough for marketing campaigns. You can't wear them on your hand and flash them around for people to ooh and aah. And these seemingly ordinary moments don't cost a thing.

    But to me, they make love extraordinary.

    Reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com.