In a calmer state, they even might have noticed the genuinely problematic implication of that ad, and the Lexus “December to Remember” campaign, and all the other holiday spots built around the idea of hubby wowing his wife with an ultra-lavish gift. I speak, of course, of the suggestion that he has some source of funds to which his wife does not have access — because otherwise, this is a “gift” akin to your sister grabbing your credit card so she can “give” you a washing machine.

That implication should appall the left and right alike. One explanation suggests that the wife is a slightly taller child rather than a fully self-supporting human being who has equal ownership of the family funds. Since she has no authority over the money, she is excited and surprised, rather than anxious, when the family patriarch decides to shower her with extravagance. I don’t have to explain the problems with this demeaning atavism.

An equally plausible, and equally troubling, explanation is that the couple has substantial separate “his” and “hers” bank accounts. Which reduces marriage to an arm’s-length joint venture rather than commitment so deep that it is metaphysically impossible for one spouse to have access to significantly more resources than the other.