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The question

Admit it: Guys don't really notice jewellery, do they?

The answer

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You're right, we don't, unless it's around your neck – and that's only because it's an excuse to look there. And although we may be curious about the jewel or chain on your chest bone, we are sometimes too afraid of giving offence to even glance at your cleavage.

I have a personal penchant for chokers – the throat seems so much more vulnerable than the chest, so troublingly confined by even a black velvet band (and it is safer to look at).

Bangles, rings and brooches are completely invisible to us unless they clatter and clang and knock over the brandy.

The only other decorative item we have trained ourselves to notice is a wedding or engagement ring – and even that I didn't think to look for until I was well into my 30s (it didn't occur to me until then that people actually did things like get married). The only thing we are looking for there is availability – we are neither dazzled nor annoyed by a giant rock on your finger, the depth of your fiancé's wallet being merely a personal peculiarity. Indeed, there was a time in my life when I would have taken it as a challenge.

Russell Smith is a novelist. His recent memoir, Blindsided , is available as a Kobo e-book.

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