Sticks and Stoned

Sometimes I feel bad for people with crappy birthstones. If you’re lucky, you get diamond (April), emerald (May), ruby (July), or sapphire (September)—the four most precious gems in the world, in terms of rarity and jewelry-related value. Some people would also add pearl (June) to this list, given its monetary value and cultural significance. Personally, I don’t understand the appeal of spherical pieces of chalk that have festered in some slimy gob’s ass for years on end, but to each her own.

Of course, miss out on the Big 5, and you’re stuck showing off various bits of driveway gravel like amethyst (February), aquamarine (March), and peridot (wtf?—I mean, August). Now I’m sure these are fine, noble rocks, each possessed of a plethora of respectable, useful qualities, but seriously: peridot? Shit, I think I came across some peridot when I was cleaning out my ears this morning. How do you think the dude with the August-born girlfriend fares after he falls for the old “get her something with her birthstone in it” birthday present suggestion?

“Happy birthday honey! Go ahead, open it!” [Hands her a brushed velvet container with gold hinges.]

“Oh Roger, you shouldn’t have! What is it? Diamonds? Emeralds? Rubies?” [Opens box slowly with trembling fingers.]

“No, even better—it’s your birthstone!!!”

[Face falls as lid snaps open.] “My…my birthstone? But Roger, my birthstone is peridot.”

“I know! Isn’t it special!” [Receives slap in face as girlfriend runs crying from room.] “But, but…the clerk said…I mean, you were born in…” [Still talking to himself three days later when men in white suits come to take him away.]


The bottom line is, just as the greeting card industry has invented Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Secretary’s Day, Severe Body Odor Day, etc., to suck up the disposable income of thoughtless idiots too lazy to come up with three lines of insipid cliches on their own, Jewelers of America and other such historically and geographically blood-soaked organizations have arbitrarily compiled a list of precious and “semiprecious”[1] geologia so that forgetful husbands and guilty boyfriends are able to make seemingly considerate—though actually meaningless—gift purchases at the last minute to adorn the necks, ears, wrists, fingers, and (God willing) nipples of their metamorphic-obsessed significant others.

Doesn’t anybody realize that “gem” is just another word for “shiny rock”??? What are we, raccoons? These are rocks, people—inorganic objects you find in other rocks. They may not grow on trees, but trees are certainly growing on them. Can anyone rationally explain why we find the random by-products of naturally occurring, millennia long processes so damn fascinating? And why are they so valuable? Do you honestly think that if you lined up four identically cut pieces of glass, crystal, cubic zirconia, and diamond, respectively, that more than 1 out of 10 women could actually tell them apart? And for those who merely wear jewelry to highlight their own physical appearance, why not stick with costume jewelry? It’s not like you run the risk of walking into a restaurant and being denounced for wearing fake rubies, because nobody really knows what the hell the differences are! If you ask me (and by coming to this site, you have) artificial gemstones created in a lab should be more valuable than ones pulled out of the ground and faceted to within an inch of their lives. After all, these synthetic creations are the intentional product of human ingenuity and a painstaking application of the scientific process, not Mother Nature’s bastard love children.

Oh, FYI, if you’re waiting for me to set the example implied by this polemic by boycotting the purchase of birthstone-based artifacts, may I direct you to my girlfriend’s hand, ears, and/or neck, where you are almost certain to find at least one piece of jewelry adorned with garnet (January) at any given time, bestowed on her by her utterly whipped—but still verbally defiant—wegger boyfriend.

[1] How the hell can something be “semiprecious” anyway? Either you’re precious or you’re not, right? Maybe it’s just me (and it frequently is), but calling a stone semiprecious almost seems akin to saying you had half an orgasm.

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2 Responses to Sticks and Stoned

  1. Todd Ehlers says:

    Good gosh, you had me laughing aloud!

    I am April. My wife is August! You can imagine how much I appreciated your scene, above.

    And as for your last paragraph: ain’t it the truth? Utterly whipped we are, we who love women and their charming/maddening foibles. We’ve got to pay that piper. Say what she will, no woman who says “Oh, you don’t have to show you love me with stuff” actually means it. In fact, it is precisely at that moment when her message is 180-degrees (not 179, not 181) out of phase from reality.

    But we like to buy stuff, too, and I mean for our SO’s. For me it’s like throwing one of those carny rings at the bottle tops, 3 for a buck; too bad I can only score a hit about as often.

  2. Jackie says:

    I am November. Yellow topaz. Gross.
    I’d take Peridot over yellow topaz any day of the week.

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