Sunday, June 10, 2012

Right Hand Rings - AHHHHHHHHHHHH

     There are many things that Americans and Germans do differently, and most of them are really six of one / half a dozen of the other, type situations.  One of them is what hand people wear their wedding rings on.  Traditionally, Americans wear their wedding rings on their left hands, but Germans, traditionally, wear wedding rings on their right hands.  It's soooooo not a big deal. 
     I know an American woman who wears her wedding ring on her right hand because she doesn't have a left hand.  I know a German woman who wears her wedding ring on her left hand because it was messing up her tennis serve on the right hand.  I have another friend who wears no wedding ring at all because she's a hospital social worker, and she's in and out of patient rooms all day and night, washing her hands 45 thousand times, and she thought better to just wear no ring.  It's all ok, everybody still loves everybody else.
     But this topic of conversation came up between some Americans and some Germans last week, and one young American woman explained that a diamond ring on a American woman's right hand is a power symbol, one that denotes that she is independent (financially and socially) and that she wants to treat herself. 
     Forgive me, but Crap on Cheese - that right hand ring hogwash is nothing of the kind! 
     There was no such thing as a Right Hand Ring until 2003, when DeBeers decided it wanted to find a new way to sell diamond rings to single women.  It, and very successfully I might add, came up with the concept of the Right Hand Ring with the advertising slogan: 

Your left hand lives for love. Your right hand lives for the moment, your left hand declares your commitment. Your right hand is a declaration of independence.

 Are you serious?!!!  I remember thinking at the time, cynical college student that I was, that nobody would fall for that shit.  Little did I know that within a few years, one of my friends would say to me, "You know, I think I might buy myself a right hand ring.  I really like the message that it sends."
      Ok - the message that it sends is not, "I am an independent woman!"  The message is, "I am such an idiot, I let a corporate advertising slogan convince me that buying its products would declare my independence!" 
      Yes, there are many things that a financially independent woman can do to declare that independence.  She can pay off any debut she might have, buy a house or condo, donate money to a cause she believes in, save for retirement, and, of course, also buy herself something pretty and luxurious - just because she wants it.  But for goodness sake - let's not actually internalize a marketing slogan.

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