Ever since Marilyn Monroe famously sang it on the 1953 classic film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the phrase “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” has been etched in our popular culture. It may also be one of society’s biggest myths, according to a national survey published this month.
The Skinny Cow, a subsidiary of food giant Nestle (VTX: NESN), reached out to about 2,000 women in the United States between the age of 25 and 54. Responses showed that women would prefer “a good laugh session with their girlfriends to a new piece of jewelry, a manicure, or even a new pair of shoes.”
Women prefer laughter over a new pair of shoes? That’s earth-shattering news to a hot dog-eating cave man like me. For us, females appear to be a hypnotized bunch in the presence of a shining diamond ring, like a group of 15-year-old boys huddled around a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Thus, it’s surprising when “the best things in life are free” seems to be a more accurate cliche.
In order to remove any rural-urban bias, about half of the female respondents belonged to major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and Atlanta. According to Skinny Cow’s findings, 66 percent of women preferred laughter over a new piece of jewelry. About 65 percent chose laughter over a new pair of shoes, and 75 percent over getting a manicure.
Want to find out how you rank? Take the Skinny Cow Candy survey, see where you fall on the LOL-O-Meter and receive your own customized infographic.
Here are more results:
- Nearly 2 in 5 women want to laugh with their girlfriends more in the New Year
- 61 percent of women say it’s been a few weeks or longer or can’t remember when they last had a good laugh with their girlfriends
- 92 percent of women want to encourage others, not just to type LOL, but to take time and actually laugh out loud in the New Year
- More than half of women feel that life would be a lot less fun without chocolate
- 82 percent of women feel that girlfriend time is important
- Nearly 8 in 10 are highly likely to laugh when they are hanging out with their ladies
- More than 3/4 of women who are sharing chocolate agreed that laughter is contagious, especially when the girls are together
- 86 percent of women use LOL but the majority are using it in texts (84 percent) and emails (56 percent)
- 42 percent of women couldn’t go longer than a week without chocolate, while 45 percent of women can’t live without their chocolate fix
Neanderthals across the country are scratching their heads, discovering they need to take a shower, and wondering how to make use of the above data. The conclusion? Men who make women laugh are more successful in the dating scene. That’s great. Because in this economy, tickets to the local comedy club are a heck of a lot cheaper than buying an elegant pearl necklace or Paris Hilton-inspired high heels.
Perhaps it’s the pursuit of happiness that explains the results of the LOL study. We seek material items because we think these are the means to happiness. When we get bored with such items, we seek comfort in the company of friends. If the ultimate goal is happiness, then a simple (and less expensive) route gets us there.
Unfortunately, women become shopaholics as a way of coping with depression. According to a 2009 study conducted by British researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, 79 percent of women say they go on a spending spree to cheer themselves up.
Good for the economy. Bad for our wallet. And bad for our long-term emotional well-being.
In Sonnet VIII, Shakespeare posed to us this powerful query:
Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
Why lov’st thou that which thou receiv’st not gladly,
Or else receiv’st with pleasure thine annoy?
That is, how can such a beautiful lady express sadness when listening to music? Well, perhaps she’s a princess who’s gotten trapped in her own selfish castle.
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Further analysis of William Shakespeare’s sonnets can be found on Marv Dumon’s Quotes Examiner page.
Copyright 2013. Marv Dumon All rights reserved.