Bling Slave

06 Oct

You know what I don’t get about jewelry? The fact that they are really just flimsier, more expensive, shiny restraints. Unless you’re male, in which case they’re flimsier, more expensive, shiny armor. Just look at them:

The chains for men are thicker, broader and more flat. Bracelets are made of chain links or they’re plaque-shaped. Rings are wider. It brings to mind chainmail, steel cuffs and brass knuckles. Cufflinks (the very name is suggestive) resemble arrow heads, nails or bullets.

Meanwhile, women wear bangles and bracelets that channel handcuffs. Link those anklets with a chain and you might as well be in leg restraints and shuffling around jail. Collars around the neck. Noserings that have cows mooing in envy.

Even the more outre items suggest an end to liberty. Grills, for example. Those awful metal and gem-laden horror shows that people shove in their mouths like they’re suffering from retainer-loss. You’re creating a prison in your mouth. For lots of nasty little germs, probably.

Then there are the materials used to fashion jewelry like amber: you’re carrying the corpse of some long dead bug trapped in resin. And how about wire sculpture? They could probably build a cage for a hamster just as easily as whatever is wrapped around your neck. A really nice cage. On the other side of the scale, I know people are crazy about platinum but what is the inherent message of a wedding ring fashioned from it? At least gold is pliable, gives off a soft glow and an accepted global commodity.

What I’m most unreasonable about, however, are necklaces. I don’t know why I hate them so much. I love them on other people and will exclaim over them as much as the next woman when confronted with a pretty piece. The moment I clasp one around my neck, however, it’s panic-city. Maybe I was hanged in a past life or something, but I can’t have things touching my neck.

Sigh. This is why I can’t have nice things.


Posted by on October 6, 2010 in Personal


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23 responses to “Bling Slave

  1. bhel

    October 6, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    In addition to armor and restraints, two other ancestors for jewelry were as banks and identity managers. Banks – think bead necklaces used as the most convenient way to transport the beads used as an alternative currency. Identity managers – think signet rings.

  2. pitu

    October 6, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    LOL you are neurotic! 😛 Also, I remember when I was lusting over this AWESOME sapphire-diamond ring in the shape of a panther (SO FIERCE! So Cartier like) and you said it looked like a RABID SQUIRREL! Crazy woman 😛

  3. Arti K

    October 6, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Reminds me of an incident involving a couple of watches I own with really wide, thick dials (a characteristic some would associate with male watches, though the watches do have ornamentation, shiny/sparkly stuff and decidedly aren’t male watches) – there’s a male friend that went so far as to gift me a dainty, small watch with a dial the size of a dime because he thought all my watches had very large dials. 🙂 Wonder if he was trying to put me in my place…

  4. The (Gam)bling S(l)ave!

    October 6, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Oh Amrita, you’re a person after my own heart! (Yeah, get in line.) 😛

    I too am not at all a fan of “fetters” — be it the blindingly obvious kind you diss cuss here or the invisible (more nefarious) kind you are blissfully oblivious to until the day that “t(h)ug” from far far away tightens the “noose” you never knew existed around your neck.

    Speaking of, maybe that IS how us neurotic types (as pitu puts it) musta died in an earlier life — by hanging (ourselves?!), LOL!

    But seriously, I’m thankful to be living where I’m NOT required to stack up on jewelry at social events. Coz I remember waiting with bated breath to come back home and practically tear away the heavy silk sari and jewelry burdening my body, whenever we attended weddings or other functions during India trips.

    But luckily for me, when in the US, hubby doesn’t care a whit whether or not I walk around wearing jewelry or jeans (thank god men are the way they are in such matters, coz we wimmins are known to drive one another nuts thru peer pressure when it comes to two things: beauty and bling). Even the mangal sutra (trust me when I say this: “worth its WEIGHT in gold” is no metaphor when it comes to *this* baby…wait, it’s no baby; this be the Mother of ALL Bling!) isn’t mandatory. (Guess men, in general, are more focused on the *other* man-gal sutra huh? LOL.)

    So, it’s safely stashed away only to be whipped out when we’re visited by elderly relatives (go ahead, judge me freely. I *am* pretension personified, but hey only when it comes to good causes e.g. not hurting sentiments/feelings of folks I really respect and care about, deeply). 😀

  5. Unmana

    October 7, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Oooh I so agree! I mean, not totally, I do wear jewellery sometimes (am wearing a big pendant right now, and rarely take off my wedding ring): but I agree with you on what jewellery seems to signify or have derived from. And I agree that it’s uncomfortable too. And even if you ignore the fetters aspect of it that you wrote about, it just seems to lack purpose. As I wrote once, isn’t it weird that we punch holes in our bodies just so we can hang things from them?

  6. sangs

    October 7, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I absolutely hate wearing jewellery too, but ESPECIALLY gold. I find a lot of women these days feel the same. well, with the exception of people like my sister who loves to get all decked-up in “matching-matching” plastic and metal stuff, which is sooooo 80s and 90s style!
    The only gold jewellery i wear is my thaali (because its my thaali) and my wedding ring.Else, ive always preferred to be bare-necked and bare-wristed, much to the horror and dismay of my mom n grandmom. “oh how embarassing! ppl will think we are so poor we cant buy any gold!” ???….!!!

  7. munimma

    October 7, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I will do you a great big favor and take the load off your neck. Just shove them all at me and I will bear the weight of it. I am nice like that.

    (So says the girl who left her taali in a safe place)

  8. Saumya

    October 7, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Ha! This was like reading soul speak – ever the bane of the women of my family, I bear the cross of being an idiot who prefers heavy books to heavy jewellery 🙂

  9. memsaab

    October 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Love earrings (and my nosepin), hate all the rest.

    I am pretty sure I particularly hate necklaces because I was beheaded in a former life. Seriously. I kind of remember it.

  10. pitu

    October 7, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Hmm… you folks with your memories of beheadings. I’m pretty sure I ordered a few. My fingers tingle when I spot nooses in films :mrgreen:

    • memsaab

      October 8, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      Maybe you ordered MINE!

      I will forgive you if you send me jewelry 😀

      • TBS

        October 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm

        (Didn’t intend for the nick to nod to TV’s SuperStation — the channel showing ball games and ballsy 90s movies — but what the heck!)

        memsaab you poor dear! I think I’m beginning to get a sense of what might have happened. The flashback goes something like this: Greta the courtesan finds head in guillotine after making the impertinent gesture of dancing, without so much as a by-your-leave from Louis XVI (or HRH PituSultan, as we currently know “her” — but pliss to not get carried away by the demure and dainty good looks, for the pretty countenance still houses one savage heart…ever seen those pictures of predators adorning her bedroom walls?)… er, I could go on, but Amrita, who’s been keeping time on this session of “Sorkin Says”, just let me know it’s the next person’s turn to tattle on.

  11. Sue

    October 8, 2010 at 3:05 am

    I’m trying not to call you weird but… what the heck, you’re weird, dude.

    I *heart* jewellery. Made of thread, wood, metals, stones, bones, cloth, whatever. It’s another matter that I mostly can’t be arsed to dress up but my love is otherwise deep and true and abiding.

    • Sue

      October 8, 2010 at 3:08 am

      If it’ll make you view me through kinder eyes, I frequently have days, usually in summer, when I take every scrap off me except my gold loha (which rarely even registers any more on my wrist, to be honest) because even the lightest earrings seem too uncomfortable. I still drool over them though.

  12. padma

    October 9, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I don’t get jewelery either. What really riles me though is when people claim that jewelery is a “great investment”. Pray how is it an investment if you’re never gonna cash it? People don’t just sell off their wedding jewelery or jewelery recd. as gifts on special occasions from family or spouses just to cash money do they? I mean I can’t casually tell my parents or in laws that “yeah, those bangles you gave me, I sold them because they were fetching such a great price!” Please! At least admit that it’s fashion/status symbol/just another artifact, anything but investment, because there’s often too much sentimental value attached to it to make any profit off of it.

  13. Banno

    October 9, 2010 at 2:52 am

    I love earrings and sometimes, bangles. Necklaces make me jerk my neck, head, shoulders, restlessly. And I love amber 😦

  14. Reema

    October 10, 2010 at 3:39 am

    I feel the same about necklaces..I just can’t have anything touching my neck..I love earrings!

  15. kay

    October 10, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    haha feel the same way about necklaces, never thought about being hung in past life though.

    Watch latest in indian cinema

  16. dipali

    October 11, 2010 at 2:13 am

    I love all kinds of jewellery, especially interesting things made of clay, wood, thread, beads, and silver. Gold is rarely worn, only for dress up occasions. And yes, I normally remove any necklace once I’m in the car on my way home.

  17. TBS

    October 11, 2010 at 2:33 am

    “ amber: you’re carrying the corpse of some long dead bug trapped in resin” …reminded me — as I was re-reading Vonnegut — that my favorite lines in the book (S-5) were: “Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?…Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”

    PS: BTW here is a talk someone gave last year about the book. I especially love the point he makes (re the writer implicating the (unsuspecting) reader) while explaining how “narrative ruptures exemplify the futility of representation”: Ironically, the process of showing the collapse of narrative invites readers to experience a co-creation of the text.

  18. Amrita

    October 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I do like earrings and rings, although earrings are the only jewelry I can have on all the time because rings are just annoying when you spend your days typing. But necklaces…

    Neurotic is probably the most charitable explanation really 😀 although I’m heartened to see there are others with this same issue!

  19. Sujatha

    October 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I have that ‘panic-city’ situation with turtle necks! Bling, I can wear it or leave it. Don’t really care that much.

    • Amrita

      October 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      Oddly enough, I’m totally fine with turtlenecks. I have one brief moment when it put them on and then I’m totally fine. Yes, I’m weird. I know.

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