Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spend your way to a better life, Part 1.7 million

Here's another Spend Money you Don't Have and Achieve Happiness and Popularity ad.  Yeah, I know- I pretty much described every commercial ever made, but this one is even less subtle than most....

One night, Cute Girl told her boyfriend that he's boring.  That wasn't quite enough, however.  Apparently, boyfriend is either A) Deaf or B) has demonstrated an unwillingness to absorb negative things about himself, so Cute Girl feels compelled to repeat the charge several times. "You're boring.  Boring. Boring."

At which point, Boyfriend really needs to reply "so, this dinner is Dutch Treat, right?"

Instead, Boyfriend decides to change himself for the better by-- using his credit card more.  To take cooking classes.  And to go to Alicia Keyes concerts.  And never mind that whether he's tasting some sauce or making eye contact with Alicia Keyes,  he's still just standing there.   Because he's put himself into debt, he's no longer Boring.  Mission accomplished.  Where's Cute Girl?

Here's my problem- in the opening scene of this ad, Boyfriend has taken Cute Girl to a nice restaurant.  Seems like he's already proven himself willing to spend some money.  How exactly does getting a particular credit card encourage him to suddenly start doing Not Boring things like taking cooking classes and attending concerts?*

I just don't get it- if Cute Girl thought that Boyfriend was "boring," why didn't she suggest that he do something with his money other than take her to nice restaurants?   Hey Cute Girl- how about suggesting fun activities- like cooking classes and concerts?  You know, stuff you could do that involves something other than sitting on opposite sides of a table, eating overpriced entrees, and rating your boyfriend on some arbitrary excitement meter?

Let's be generous, and concede that she's tried this- she's tried to drag him on hiking trips, the theater, sporting events, and other stuff she considers fun and Not Boring*, but he's resisted each time.  So she's put in her time and now is cutting Mr. Boring loose.  Did Boyfriend simply not "get" that she thought he was boring until she finally came out and said so?  Because he sure responds as if this is a real revelation to him.  He's instantly inspired to turn around his life and do all this stuff that Cute Girl probably would have loved to do with him,  if  he's only managed Clue One before she dropped her You're Boring bomb.

So let's jump ahead and imagine that in a year or two, Cute Girl bumps into ex-Boring Boyfriend on the street, and they agree to have an impromptu coffee . Over the span of thirty minutes, ex-Boring Boyfriend tells Cute Girl about all these great concerts he's gone to, how he's become a gourmet chef, and how he is a volunteer docent at the art museum in his spare time.  Cute Girl asks "where the hell was this side of you when we were dating?"  Ex-Boring Boyfriend replies "apparently safely hidden, waiting for a much nicer, much less cruel girl to come around."  I hope he doesn't mention the new credit card, because that's something she probably would have been happy to suggest, if only she'd thought of it first.

*Coincidentally, these are activities I find fun and Not Boring.  Cute Girl should give me a call.  Because in my experience, Cruel is usually trumped by Cute.  For a while, anyway.

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