I don’t get it. I don’t get it in the same way that I didn’t understand beanie babies and pokemon cards, but that’s to be expected since I wasn’t between the ages of 4 – 14 when those products came out. Ask me about garbage pail kids and cabbage patch kids and I can contribute something positive to the conversation and will attempt a pathetic defense of why those products are better than today’s options mainly because I have to defend my allegiance to ridiculousness, not because cabbage patch kids were the most amazing toy ever invented. Garbage Pail Kids, on the other hand, I will defend as art and I wish my mom hadn’t thrown them out because they were awesome … but I digress.
What I don’t understand is why the 28 year old man I talked to today was wearing a Silly Band. Or the 26 year old woman who told me in great detail how she traded her black submarine Silly Band for a glow in the dark shark after turning down previous offers for a penguin and a multi colored kangaroo. The cross over to the adult market for shaped rubber bands (that people are actually paying money for), amazes me. And no, these aren’t random oddballs or teachers and people who work with kids and thusly feel the need to decorate themselves in the accepted accoutrements. This is common enough and widespread enough that I feel the need to post on it.
Go to a bar and you will see adults wearing Silly Bandz. Okay, maybe not at the swanky I-Banker bars in New York, but most bars. I haven’t checked with the generation above mine, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say they weren’t trading garbage pail kids or wearing slap bracelets any time, much less while out at night. Are we so terrible in our attempts at interaction that we are resorting to the bag of tricks of a fifth grader? It has to be something other than that. And I’m not going to credit the designers of the Silly Band for coming up with something so cool that everyone from age 6 to 60 is jonesing for it.
Maybe by crossing the threshhold of 30 I have decended into the age of incomprehension. Next I’m going to be telling my son how I walked seven miles each way to school with nothing but newspaper on my feet in freezing weather. Or how much an ice cream cost with I was a kid. And he’ll be rolling his eyes and sneaking off to spend his allowance on Silly Bandz.