Remember a time when our range of emotions was so limited that a single piece of jewelry could interpret our feelings? Yes, friends, I am recalling the era of the mood ring. A simple time when one needed only look at her ring finger to know if she were truly cranky or merely suffering from hunger. Of course, Magic 8 Ball skeptics and Ouija Board naysayers are likely to interject that the mood ring reacted to body heat and thus it’s color change had nothing to do with emotion. All I can say is that mine was always shockingly accurate. It stayed red for the whole time I wore it—and I am always happy, invigorated, and adventurous.
Like the slap bracelet, body glitter, stick on earrings, and other childhood adornments, our generation has abandoned mood rings for more sophisticated accessories like nose piercings and tattoos. But I don’t think that the age old model, with colors for an emotional range of satisfied, excited, anxious, bored, fear, dramatic, and romantic would do justice to the complex moods of the 2010s anyway. Thus I announce my plan to develop a new mood ring sensitive enough to monitor the complex hearts of the Facebook generation. Here are just a few of the substitutions I plan to make:
Neon yellow for over-stimulated: Get your mind out of the gutter…there’s nothing E.L. James about this emotion. Instead it signifies that you need to log off Instagram, stop sharing BuzzFeed articles, wait to respond to your next text, and press pause on your Netflix account. Go find an activity that’s not rooted in technology. Look at a bird or something.
Taupe for broke: Did your credit card just get declined in an attempt to buy ramen? Did you think your part-time job at Urban Outfitters wasn’t going to be a long-term thing? Do you only pretend that you love to knit and make your own clothes in order to save some coin? Are you living in someone’s guest bedroom? You’re feeling taupe, my friend. I feel it too.
Black for ironic: If you do not regret the finger moustache tattoo you got in 2008 or vow only to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon, your mood ring may have a hard time showing any other color.
Clear for idealism: So you just donated 25 dollars to Kiva and you’re pretty sure that those world peace headlines at the top of tomorrow’s paper are going to mention you by name. You should start shaming your friends about their lack of commitment to change right about now.
Rose for primed to hook-up: You don’t feel the “romantic” or “sensual” emotions of the classic mood ring. You just got a text at 11 pm that says: “Wanna come over?” and you’re planning to respond: “;)”. You’ve logged on to your OkCupid account 6 times in the past 12 hours hoping for new messages. You would feel comfortable admitting that you just need to get laid.
Grey for ennui: Sometimes life is just the worst. It’s really exhausting to never live up to the potential your parents and kindergarten teacher predicted for you. You spend a lot of time wishing you’d studied Economics as an undergraduate or taken a chance and moved to LA to explore your talent. Bonus—when you show your grey mood ring to a psychiatrist, you automatically get a prescription.
See what I mean? Our generation is so much more complex than the creators of the mood ring could have ever predicted in 1975. Of course, if I were to wear a newfangled mood ring, I imagine it would still read me as happy, invigorated, and adventurous.