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Love Is . . . a Cartier bracelet

Love, love, love! The French lady on the Cartier website (at least, she sounds French) says love is . . . freedom. But then she also says love is . . . unique,over what sounds like some Kenny G, which is so confusing, because what love really is—besides some comic strip about two naked 8-year-olds (don't ask)—is a Cartier bracelet. Wait, come back here.

It's apparently a flat, semiprecious metal bracelet with a screw-head design element that Cartier created more than 30 years ago—back when that "modern screw motif" mentioned in the press release meant something else entirely. (This was also when Hugh Hefner's Chicago mansion still had a plaque outside the front door that read "Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare": "If you don't swing, don't ring".)

This being 2006, and, this also not being a media-friendly anniversary—one in a year ending in a five or a zero—Cartier is embroiled in some sort of commemorative-edition Love bracelet for charity. The launch features "a number of notable celebrities including Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Spike Lee . . . " Zzzzzzz.

But what, you say, of love? Does love really have no agency, no driver and no rules? Where—and what—is this love? It, Cartier says, is—pick one: the "love between a man and woman" all over this land; the love between a "mother and child, partners"—must be business partners; "friends," or even—and this is key—"a symbol of commitment with oneself."

"Dear Theo, I love you. Signed, Theo": best sales pitch ever—this is Orange County. We loveourselves and we love buying ourselves little tokens of our love. For ourselves. Because we deserve it. It can't miss. There's even a Cartier in Costa Mesa—the better to tell yourself you love you. Better go get that love. But bring dough. They don't say how much this special, commemorative charity bracelet costs on the website or in the press release. But on certain blocks of Bristol Street, self-love is the most expensive kind.

 
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