Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rubber Bracelets and Silly Bandz

I grew up in the 80's.  It was a great decade of hair, music, and leg warmers.  My kids actually choose the 80's channel on our Sirius Radio to listen to, but I don't expect my daughters to attempt to replicate my super high bangs.

Back in those days, Madonna was on the tape deck at my friends' houses.  We would create dance routines by the hour to her songs.  Her style also had an impact.  While I wasn't excited about wearing bras with pointy tips on them, I was in awe over her jewelry.  She would load bracelets up her arms.  Soon the girls at my school were showing up with 50 rubber bracelets on their arms.  They were cool, and I wanted to be cool too.

I blew all of my birthday money that year on rubber bracelets.  I wore them with pride for about a month before they became "uncool."  All of a sudden my fascination with Madonna's style was gone and my money went with it.  That was a good lesson for me on buying fad items.

Fast forward 25 years and you will see my kids having the same fascination with Silly Bandz.  If you are not familiar with them, here is a quick description.  They are basically rubber bands that kids wear on their wrists as bracelets.  When the kids take them off, they form shapes - cartoon characters, flowers, baseball bats, or whatever the company came up with.  My kids used their allowance money to buy these things up so they could wear and trade them at school.  It was just like what I went through as a kid.

I chose to let them learn the same lesson as I did.  I shared my bracelet story to them, but it was not what they wanted to hear.  I find those silly bands under their beds and tend to suck them up in the vacuum from time to time.  They no longer decorate my kids' arms, and have gone back into the fad vault.  They learned the lesson I hoped for, and now they tend to save for items that they know they will enjoy for a longer time.  I wonder what the fad will look like once their kids are ready for the lesson.  Time will tell.

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