This post will only be appealing to Gen X girls. And actually I was only at the very tail end of Gen X, so am not even sure how accurate that assessment is.
When I was in elementary school, it seemed like there was a new fad every week. I didn’t always understand them at such a young age, but I tried to keep up anyway. I’m sure I mostly failed.
I remember in first grade people had something called “friendship pins.” They seemed to consist of beads on safety pins that you hooked on your shoe laces. I think this was just before the majority of shoes switched over to velcro closure in the mid-1980s. I still have some of the beads I got from them, although I can’t imagine who claimed to be my friend at that time.
I also remember stickers. It seemed as though they lasted longer; long enough for me to fill up five books full. (My favorite was always the scratch’n’sniff cinnamon roll. Yum.) Our local mall had a little store that sold only stickers–rolls and rolls of stickers hanging off the walls.
I remember Garbage Pail Kids. I participated, but didn’t like them as well. They were harder to get because I only knew one place to buy them and my mom had to make a special trip there so that I could purchase them. And they were more expensive than regular stickers. I had some cards from series 1-4, having the most for series 2, but never a complete set. I had a mother who convinced me that I never needed a complete set of any toy–it was her way of not having to buy me so much stuff. (Pretty genius on her part, actually. Doesn’t seem to work as well on my own child.)
There were friendship bracelets and jelly bracelets. But I think my most favorite fad was charms.
They were these little colored pieces of plastic, shaped into everything you could imagine, that hooked onto a necklace. It was very popular to trade them. I don’t think I traded much, because I liked the ones I had and didn’t want to part with them.
The chains were plastic too, and came in small links and large links and every color of rainbow, sometime on the same chain. Once again, it seemed like stores at the mall were the best place to purchase charms; whatever was the equivalent to Claire’s at that time. Charms came in the shape of radios, headphones (non-functioning, of course), roller skates (this was pre-roller blades), and shoes. I had one of the iconic Coca-Cola bottle. Rumor was that it contained real Coke (for sure it contained a brown-colored liquid). I felt fortunate to have some that were thought to be hard-to-find, such as a toilet, with opening lid and seat, a baby bottle, and a clear bottle with colored pills in it. Ya, seeing as kids were buying these, I never thought the pill bottle was age appropriate. Or the bottle with the Old Grand-Dad whiskey label. But they were fun to possess anyway.
I still have my charms. I have hauled them from my childhood home to my first apartment to my first home. I keep my charms in a shoebox. I know they are silly junk I should have sent to the landfill decades ago. But they are all so pretty and colorful. Some have little bells on them that jingle when you lift them out of the box.
And it is a good thing I still have them so that I can provide pictures for this post.
Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish For – AVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It – CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a Bug – WHERE IT ALL BEGAN!