Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Silly Bandz -- The Cool and Collected

"I have 117!!" one kid flaunts, wagging her personalized plastic Silly Bandz case right in front of my face. "That's great," I say sounding enthused, then adding, still smiling, "but honestly, honey... I really don't care." I am straining to keep my voice of judgment neutral. I think of how a child in Haiti would be thrilled with just one or two.

We are casually invested. By that, I mean my daughter Sam has begged and bartered for them too, and gotten some. She is not, however, obsessed. I bought 2 or 3 packs for her, and she has spent her own money on a few. This past weekend her daddy bought her a "Sammi's Silly Bandz" box. If i was the present parent, I would have said, "Let's make one instead."

I do enjoy observing this trend. From a business perspective, I commend the inventor and marketers on creating an affordable amusing craze and topping it off with the suggestion that each juvenile collector needs a silly-specific receptacle for safekeeping. From a substitute teacher's vantage point, I understand why certain schools have "banned the band" during school hours. From a mother's perspective, I was impressed with how these stalwart bands retained their shape after countless cycles of washing and drying.

But what's gonna happen when the next tween craze comes along, and knocks the Silly Band from favor? I have a few ideas:

- Sling over wine stems next time my fave cowboy or dog trainer comes for happy hour

- Use them to communicate when my throat is sore. Here I'm saying that I'd love an apple."

- Make art. This fashio-political work is called "High Heel Hell."

- Start "Band Aid" fundraiser. Sell bands and give money to fave charity.
- Add to pile of regular rubber bands and use them similarly in my office, kitchen, etc.

(NOTE:If you have no contact with a person 12 and younger, you may not have heard of or seen Silly Bandz. Closely related to the classic rubber band, a Silly Band is a colorful shape-themed silicone stretchy band bracelet collected and worn by girls and boys.There are 47 pages worth of Bandz for sale on eBay.)

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