I hope I will never call names. Yes, I think it is the word baubles that rubs me so wrong and calls so many images to mind. I agree with you that women are more likely than men to like jewelry.
And interestingly enough, especially when you clarify some of your thoughts on quality time, we may well be on the same page on that. I, too, have some objections to how the phrase quality time has been used--often in the context of saying parents don't need to spend quantity of time with kids as long as they spend quality time. Around here, they get both. A parent with them most of the time, and some of that time is the kids off playing with their Legos or a card game or doing homework or visiting with friends, and me doing my think. But I'm HERE. They know they can come to me. But I think it's also important to set aside time to be together.
Tonberry, yes, I believe most people dating are looking for an exclusive life partner--at least eventually. And obviously not everyone is looking for that, but I believe most are. And although I personally have no interest in any life partner at this stage of my life, if I wanted that, I wouldn't look for it in a married man.
I agree there are always conflicts, but I see the husband/wife relationship as something above and beyond other relationships, where they put one another first, obviously not in every detail, as in the instances you mentioned, but in the big things. I see the wants, interests, and needs of two partners potentially competing in a very different way, with greater impact, with deeper meaning, than do the wants and needs of two children or a child and a parent.
I've seen such situations on this board, where two partners want two mutually exclusive things from the hinge, and the hinge must choose, knowing that one person will feel slighted, or that their feelings were put second, or that their needs went unmet, in order to satisfy the other person.
I'm currently watching such a situation play out in real life, and believe because the two opposing desires are mutually exclusive, eventually one relationship or the other will give, out of necessity, because he simply cannot meet both of those competing needs. Deciding between driving your son to sports or your mother to a doctor's appointment is competing needs, but not on the same level as those between husband and wife, the deeper ones I'm talking about.
I have no doubt there are hinges and Vs where these things rarely come up. But I also think it happens often enough that it certainly is worth mentioning and considering on the road to polyamory.