I had an eye opening experience the other day, while serving a friend in my shop who was picking out a “no apparent reason gift” for the lady he was head over heels in love with. This was one of many baubles he had presented her in the past couple of months. While my Mom was gift wrapping the piece of jewelry he told me how much joy he experienced just seeing the look on her face when she opened the box and put the new piece of jewelry on. There was a mention of the romantic consequences that usually incurred later that same evening. Too much information!
My first reaction was what a romantic sap! But it occurred to me, Hey I’m a purveyor of joy, I make lots of women and men happy week after week, and if I had more customers like him I would be set for life!
It got me thinking, thirty years ago I was like him; I loved to give gifts of jewelry for no reason to the apple of my eye at that time of my life. You know, it’s true it gave me as much joy as it did her, especially if I made it with my own hands. So what happened to me?
I can endlessly find blame in the overall lack of such romantic gestures in society today. The biggest is… We are all just too darn busy! Heck, I barely remember my wife or kids’ birthdays, let alone my nieces or nephews.
The economy hasn’t exactly put all of us in the greatest of moods; either financially or romantically.
A common gift giving practice during the last decade is “Oh honey, don’t get me anything for Christmas, because I’m not getting anything for you!” This new common holiday ritual has sure played havoc to my bottom line in the jewelry business.
It kind of got me thinking, many other traditions of love have gone by the wayside these pat decades. In the 60’s my Uncle who also happened to be my God-father (Not a mobster, but my guardian) gave all his God-children the most beautiful gold signet rings. Years ago parentsor grand parents presented rings to sweet sixteener’s or engraved gifts during graduation or religious celebrations. This hardly happens today.
Few guys practice random acts of kindness to either their wives or girlfriends… or both? We folks today are just too darn busy.
Ladies, you are not of the hook either. In the past, it was customary to present random gifts for him that could include a fancy cigarette lighter, key ring or money clip engraved with intimate saying to induce memories. More than ever, a jeweler was a vender of things amorous.
I have to admit the greatest generation keeps many of their customs and traditions alive by doting on their grandchildren. The ensuing generation has lost it completely. I find it sad because I still cherish the ring my Uncle Richie gave me in the late 60’s and my sisters still have their sweet sixteen or communion rings my grandparents presented them.
I may sound a bit sappy like my friend in the opening lines, but I’m sure what I’m talking about has jogged some older folks memories out there. I’m not even sure the new generation out there even knows what a florist does, let alone a goldsmith.
So, during the oncoming weeks when you are holiday shopping and considering purchasing that I-Phone or I-Pad or huge screen television, just remember those darn things become obsolete in just months when a piece of jewelry you picked out and engraved: I love you 12/25/12, will bring back fond memories for years to come.
I’m taking note of my friend’s enthusiasm for his new love. Maybe some of it will rub off. So, even if I only have an hour a week I have to get off this crazy merry-go-round called life, I will find a quiet place at the beach or on my boat and make note of the ones I love and what they mean to me by leaving them all a memory in precious metal. Just a little something to remember me by.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!!
Remember to support your Island businesses during the holiday season.
Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith at Island Plaza with over forty years experience at his trade and welcomes your questions about “All That Glitters” 239-394-9275 firstname.lastname@example.org