I had spoken a few days back about jewelry. People talk about gold. And I was told where to buy jewelry. There are all the big stores as well as some very wealthy jewelry families here in Jeddah. My kids were raised by their mother’s influence to not be attracted to shiny things. It amazes me because I am a ‘hoarder.’ The kids laugh at the things I collect and buy. But they have grown up seemingly immune to shopping and the advertising that accompanies buying.
Growing up the ‘rule of the house’ no commercial TV, Sesame Street and PBS TV were ok. And when the kids finally were allowed to watch cartoons, they were trained to mute the sound whenever a commercial started. The kids were pretty disciplined. I found out when I discovered that David could sing the first five notes of most cereal commercials (the time it takes to grab the remote and mute the sound) but no more than five notes. It really works. My kids did not grow up in any way acquisitive. Buy what you need but it was never about brand or status. For shoes my daughter wore flip flops throughout most of her college years.
So we found ourselves puzzling the mysteries of jewelry. Jewelers like to have brilliant white lighting shining down to show off all the jewels and gold. We speculated about whether the workmanship was local and then looking carefully, some of the labels revealed the countries of origin – India, Pakistan, China. I have been struck by the lack of craftsmanship here in Jeddah. I am sure that I have just not stumbled across local crafts people yet. But still…. So I don’t feel anything compelling about the jewelry displays since they are things made elsewhere on their way to somewhere else.