Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What Happened to the Fidget Spinners?

They were everywhere.  Kids had them on the playground, unless the teacher had already confiscated them.  They lined the checkout counters at the grocery store and the car wash and the hardware store.  They came to dinner with the grown-ups, a means of keeping the kids occupied, obviating the need to include them in the conversation.  They were a fad.

The Cuters went through a variety of collectibles - round discs and printed cards, saved in plastic sleeves held in three ring binders.  Some were used in a tiddly-winks like game, but most just sat there, being looked at.  The cards were often disgusting, in a fourth grade blood-and-guts way.  As long as it was just yucky, I let it go.  There was no sense in judging a fad that would vanish before permanent psychological damage could be done.

Hula Hoops were a fad when I was very young.  Bubba and Zayde and I went to John's Bargain Store on East 93rd Street in Brooklyn and we each bought one.  Why?  They were rationed.  I remember the cashier looking askance at my grandmother as she approached the counter.  Was she really going to shimmy in the middle of a plastic wheel?  In retrospect, she was probably annoyed that we were walking out with three of them. At the time, I just thought I had a very cool Bubba.

I had to Google fads in the 1950's to see what else constituted a fad.  Davy Crockett - I had a coon skin cap with a tail, I named my bicycle Betsy after Davy's rifle, and I was furious that  my family wouldn't name my newborn sister that, too.  The Mickey Mouse Club - I was in love with a few of the Mouseketeers, wanted Annette to be my best friend, and waited impatiently for Friday's Spin and Marty episode.

I thought I would remember more of the 1960's, but I sat, staring at Lenore the Lenovo Laptop, for a long time trying to come up with what constituted a fad.  I could only come up with one:white go-go boots.

White go-go boots were a fad during middle school.  My family didn't have a lot of extra money, so I must have been exceptionally persuasive to have convinced G'ma to buy me a pair.  I remember her making me promise that I would wear them; the fad ended before I out-grew them.  There they sat, a sad reminder of the folly of following trends.

Google thinks that Rock and Roll was a fad; I think it was a cultural shift.  I'm not including it in this review.  By definition, I think a fad has to have a limited life span.  I'm still listening to Rock and Roll aren't you?

Was being a hippie a fad?  Longing for peace, brotherhood, sisterhood, and multi-cultural understanding, fueled by recreational drugs and home brewed beer, we toppled a Presidency and ended a war.  Was that a fad, or a cultural revolution?

Was marching on Washington or the Dean of Students Office a fad?  Some of us certainly did a lot of it, and then we didn't.  And then, decades later, we were at it again.  That's not a fad, that's a statement.

Was wearing tie-dye and bell-bottoms and my hair in long braids a fad?  I've shucked the pants, but the tie dye is still in my wardrobe.  My long hair fell victim to TBG's pleas that he loved short styles, but I was an adult by then, too mature to be influenced by fads.  Or so I thought.

The Prince scholars are my quick go-to group for that which is trendy among the younger set.  Affirmation T-Shirts seem to be all the rage these days; everyone is Mommy's Best Daughter or certain that I am a Rock Star! or a Hero for the Ages.  In this case, I am an anti-fad follower, as my new favorite tee proclaims:

Like the fidget spinners and the pogs and the Mouseketeers, fads fade away.  They live in the boxes of memories your parents store for you, and then you open the boxes when your mother sends them to you when you buy your first home.  You hold the painted plastic Rat Fink and wonder why????

That's the definition of a fad - years later you look at it and wonder why????

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!