Some company wants you to wear colored gel bands to show your relationship status. "If this is the future of dating, we're fucked," says Jezebel's Tracy Moore. We are. Although maybe this will be a good idea: it'll automatically mark people not to date, ever.
Let's put a stop to this whole colored-wristbands-to-show-relationship-status thing before it even gets off the ground, shall we? Not because people can't wear what they want. But because it's one of the most poorly thought out ideas in recent history.
First off, the facts: Some guy and girl in London have made up these "singles wristbands" to indicate with a "single identifier" that someone is, in fact, single, "just like a wedding ring shows you are married."
Yes, it's in the Daily Mail, but worth noting that the author did use the excellent word "palaver" in the article, so, maybe I'm softening.
Anyway, if you're otherwise like me at all, this wristband idea probably instantly makes you think:
- What the heck were those other colored bracelets people were all up in arms about (zing!) a few years ago? Oh yes, sex bracelets. Or "shag bands," that were supposed to indicate willingness to flash your boobs or give a handie.
But moving onto the real question here: If simplicity is the goal here, why, then, are the wristbands available in what appears to be SEVEN DIFFERENT COLORS but they all mean the same one thing? And why do they need to be "embossed with the words FATE, DESTINY, and FUTURE"? Isn't this needlessly confusing?
(And no, it's not regional, they are going for global dominance, so even everyone in Leichtenstein can get in on this fun.)
But what could possibly have started the idea of wristbands to indicate relationship status?
Creator Rob says: 'Whilst working at my previous office of 3,500 people, I realised that I saw hundreds of people each day that could potentially be a suitable partner, yet there was no way of knowing their relationship status.'
Especially not by asking them or talking to them, because that would be Creepy. No, let's create the weirdest most ineffectual and frustrating method to approach people ever by advertising in public at all times that we are open to being approached whether at the gynecologist's or the bank. Hey, I know a complete stranger is hovering while I'm withdrawing cash right now at 2:30 a.m. in a sketchy part of town, but I guess they did correctly note my light blue SINGLES BAND! Who said dating isn't risky?
But, so, why isn't anyone pointing out the obvious flaw here? Do the creators have some super-crazy effective viral means of communicating the meaning of the bracelet to literally everyone who could encounter it in the universe? Is it the Amber Alert of marketing announcements? Because that is what this requires to be effective. Because otherwise, you're just wearing a purple bracelet like any one of the hundreds of other purple rubber bracelets on the market right now. Including the ones that also act as fibromyalgia, or epilepsy, or diabetes medical IDs.
Dude, you're hitting on a married mother of four with fibromyalgia who just so happens to not wear a wedding ring.
And yet, even as I ruminate on the absurdity of expecting large populations of people to figure out how seven different colors of rubber bracelets could possibly indicate a singular willingness to be approached for romance this weekend in a way that's not batshit comical, my real concern is that if you're going to indicate singleness by band and color, you should assign real meaning to those colors.
And in that case, seven colors is actually not anywhere near enough.
Seven colors cannot possibly contain the multitudes of relationship statuses within singleness.
Seven colors only gets at the tip of the iceberg of the deeply varied shades of nuance of what it means to be "willing" to be "approached."
So, MY Singles band: Take my advice (and pay me for it). Expand the product before it even hits the shelves by making these bracelets truly educational and revealing by:
- Making the colors mean something.
- Ensuring that a laminated, color-coded guide indicating what these statuses mean is posted on every street corner in the known universe in every known language.
- Handing out these guides to expectant mothers, newborns, recent graduates, the incarcerated, in soup kitchens, in universities, in bars, in nursing homes and at baseball stadiums. Let no one escape the simplicity and honesty of the color-coded system explaining relationship statuses to singletons everywhere!
I have some ideas for the colors! Oh, and before you accuse me of unremitting cynicism, know that the ideas are based in part on a recent survey about romantic relationships that found that:
- 73% of people are settling
- 25% of adults have loved two people at once
- 17% have met their true love while committed elsewhere
- 46% will bail on their current sitch to be with "the one"
- Men are dogs…because of their greater loyalty! 37% would love the one they're with if they can't be with the one they love.
As a favor, I'll define the seven colors that the company has come up with already free of charge:
PINK: Single, but in love with someone else. You're not him/her, so go ahead and approach, but know that you'll never be my "true love," which means we can settle for each other and I will stay faithfully "content" with you, but I will always secretly pine for the one who got away.
ORANGE: In a relationship, but he/she is not "the one." Therefore I will act taken upon approach, but if you are "the one" and we can deduce that with minimal time/effort/risk, it is possible I will leave the person I am with for you. Will not state in writing.
LIGHT BLUE: I’m single, but it's for a very, very, very good reason. (Ahem.)
DARK BLUE: I have a partner, but I am in love with someone else. That's about as likely to happen IRL as us catching a fire rainbow together. So I'm looking for a reasonable facsimile, but with no guarantees of commitment. Will often express surprise when you don't love Thai food or that one Todd Rundgren record like he/she did.
GREEN: Sure, I'm single. I also have zero intention of ever being committed to anyone, including you, though I will totally entertain the idea in every possibly way, literally up to the moment where we have that conversation about how you're wondering why it isn't going forward? (I actually did not just excuse myself to go to the bathroom; I'm halfway to Baja.)
RED: I'm in a relationship, but I love being approached. When you talk to me, I'll reject you politely so that you don't feel bad, but for the rest of the day I will be ecstatically wrapped in the warm blanket of public validation and approval you kind souls have given me.
BLACK: Single? Yup, that's me. Super single. Although I need a few day's notice to get together. You won't be able to contact me on my cell, but you can use this backup number. Let it ring twice, then hangup. Call again but hangup halfway through that ring. I'll return your call within three to six hours, at which point we can make plans to chat online next month.
Image by Jim Cooke, source photo via Shutterstock