Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Silly Trendz

I’m at the pool, giving the three inmates their guaranteed outdoor recreation time, per state penitentiary laws, and I decided that since the sun is M.I.A. and I can’t work on my fledgling tan, I should at least work on my blog.

I actually thought we weren’t even going to make it to the pool today because my daughter, right before our departure, issued a four-alarm scream from upstairs. I ran up there, ready to pack her severed legs in ice and rush her to the emergency room, or maybe even use my newly acquired and untested kickboxing skills on the team of assassins that broke in through the attic. In the midst of the chaos, there was no time to consider why any assassin would value my family as targets. Perhaps, there is a covert operation underway to rid the world of its pickiest eaters.

But, alas, it was no such emergency. I encountered the offspring in question in her bedroom, red in the face, sweat on her brow, tears pummeling her cheeks, and she said, “MOM! I CAN’T FIND MY SILLY BANDZ ANYWHERE!” Are. You. Kidding. Me?!!!? I’ll come back to the patient and mature way I handled this, later.

First, I want to know how an entire nation (and oh how I wish I was only talking about kids) got brainwashed into thinking it’s cool to accessorize with colored rubber bands. Personally, I didn’t even think it was cool when kids were sporting them on their braces. Is this what they call mass hysteria? Is this the kind of brainwashing that brought Hitler to power in Germany? And if there is anyone reading this blog that has not heard of Silly Bandz and has no idea what I’m talking about, then please tell me where you live, because I’d like to move there.

Let me also clarify that the unfolding catastrophe in my daughter’s bedroom was over the loss of one band and it wasn’t even hers, it was just an article of litter she picked up at the park that happened to be part of a global fad. Because, in accordance with my vow to never get sucked into another ridiculous trend after the tight-rolled jeans fiasco of 1989, I haven’t even considered purchasing them for my kids. I’ve approached this as a good opportunity to teach my children the value of individuality and self-responsibility, and how to avoid the dangerous kind of “group-think” that led to leg-warmers, Hammer pants, and acid-washed denim. (And, by the way, I’m awarding 10,000 meaningless points to anyone that can email me a photo of them wearing Hammer pants.)

What I want my kids to know is that just because the boy down the street is wearing a whole sleeve of bandz, it doesn’t mean it’s cool or even makes sense. And so what if the girl at the park was wearing so much rubber she’d be safe in a lightning storm? We could just go inside for safety, you know. And, no, it’s not a dolphin; it’s a blue rubber band! Dolphins are still, and will probably always be, in the ocean.

And I’m no environmentalist, or an expert of any kind on anything, but I’m pretty sure that this Silly Bandz phenomenon is not in line with America’s efforts to “go green”. I don’t know if they’re made from rubber, plastic, or some other non-biodegradable material, but I know that I’ve already seen enough of them discarded, lost or abandoned to max out an entire landfill. And, I think we were better off as a nation when kids were just trading things from their lunch boxes instead of trying to create so many jobs in the rubber industry.

So, when I found out it was one of these over-hyped ponytail holders that was the source of my daughter’s meltdown, I showed no sympathy. I’m pretty sure I showed the opposite of sympathy, which is, of course, sarcasm. I made sure that she understood that we don’t succumb to suicidal thoughts over the disappearance of a rubber band. Even if it glowed in the dark.

Once we were downstairs, I retrieved the old-school rubber band that was delivered to our house around the Sunday paper, and said, “Here. Stop crying.” She looked at it and said, “But, it’s not a shape!” Um, “Yeah, it is. It’s an oval. See.” She got really excited and was like, “Oh, wow!” And then went to show it off to her brother and sister and I was like, man, what a sucker! Which is exactly what that thirteen-year-old girl who invented Silly Bandz is thinking right now as she lounges on her yacht drinking chocolate milk out of Waterford crystal while enjoying her private Jonas Brothers concert. (Speaking of things that make no sense to me.)


  1. I guess I'll have to be the cool mom and bring them ALL a pack when I come!! :)

  2. You should read "The Wave" by Morton Rhue

  3. Looks like Morton Rhue is a pen name. You may also find it under Todd Strasser. Unfortunately, it is not available from our library system. :(