Sunday, December 04, 2005

What Would You Do For Love?

So asks a diamond ad that’s running on t.v. It shows a man snowed in at an airport calling his wife to tell her he won’t be able to fly home for Christmas Eve. He then looks at the diamond necklace he has gotten for her and, as if the necklace were spinach and he Popeye, he runs out into a driving blizzard. The commercial asks you to visit the website to “see what happens.”

So I did.

What happens is I found out that these two people really aren’t in love and this relationship will probably be over sometime before next year’s holidays. In the twelve episodes between the first ad and the triumphant conclusion ad in which the man shows up at home in a snowplow, we follow the man’s journey from Minneapolis to Chicago.

First of all, the trek itself is complete crap. I’m from the Midwest and I’ve been stranded in blizzards so I know that no matter how hard you try or how much money you’ve blown on a Christmas gift, you ain’t gettin’ from Minneapolis to Chicago in a driving snowstorm.

But it’s the holidays so I’ll let that slide. What I won’t let slide is the voicemail messages we hear the guy making to his wife during his odyssey. He tells her he’s walking in the snow with bags on his feet, he tells her he’s about to jump a freight train, at one point he says that his car (a car he bought just that night without consulting his wife) has slid into a ditch. And, no lie, at one point he says “I called 911 and couldn’t get through.” That message ends with the phone getting cut off. If he really loves his wife why is he scaring the shit out of her with every minute detail of his idiotic journey?

“Honey, I know you’d be sad if you spent Christmas Eve alone so I decided it would be better if you were panic-stricken all night. Gotta go, some bears are coming.”

Why can’t their love survive a blizzard? If she loves him can’t she understand that if there are whiteout conditions on the road maybe it’s not his fault for missing Christmas? Is she that much of a harpee that he has to risk his life to make it home?

On the other side, is he so afraid of disappointing her that he can’t rest until he’s face down in a ditch in Baraboo, Wisconsin? Does he think that if she suffers one slight disappointment she’s gone?

And if he is trying to be romantic by making it home against all the odds, for the love of heck shut up about it. If you leave all of those voice messages your wife won’t be surprised and touched when you walk in the door, she’ll be relieved you’re alive and she’ll be angry at you for torturing her all night.

And you’re being kind of a drama queen anyway, wanting to make sure your wife knows in excruciating detail how hard you’re trying to get home. Are you trying to score points? Trying to make up for something? Have you been too flirty with your secretary lately?

Seriously, this relationship is not healthy. But maybe that’s the real message of the ad: “Your wife may make unreasonable demands on you, or you might be so insecure you can’t ever possibly let her down, but a nice diamond gift will gloss over all of those issues and get you through a few more months of apparent happiness.”

Merry Xmas one and all.

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