Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Back to 1980.....

I saw this story last night. It makes me a little sad. (I didn't even know Bonne Bell Lip Smackers were made in Cleveland!)

Lip Smackers were HUGE when I was a kid. (Consumerist talks about "kids of the 90s," but trust me - girls of the 70s were into them as well). I remember getting one in a secret Santa exchange at a school and I used it sparingly and kept it for a long time (probably far longer than was safe, considering the bacteria that can grow in makeup)

I didn't have any others. Part of it was that I had very little spending money, so I couldn't feel like I could "throw it away" on stuff like that. And part of it was, I guess I felt somehow my mom would disapprove, that it would be kind of like wearing makeup, and I was way too young to wear makeup.

(Heh. And a few years ago I wondered aloud if I was too old to wear lip gloss. Missed that window....)

I don't know. This is one of the things where I look back, and maybe as the Sterns wrote in "Square Meals" that childhood, no matter how dismal it really was, looks better the farther away you are from it, but it seems to me that there was a lot of simple stuff that made me happy as a kid - lots of simple stuff I aspired to. Back then, getting a Lip Smacker as a Secret Santa gift was HUGE. (It was strawberry flavored. The fact that I remember that more than 30 years later says something, I think) Or getting a Hello Kitty pencil out of the "treasure chest" at school (prizes when you did something particularly well). Or, or, or. Now, to be excited about things, I need stuff like getting a manuscript accepted....

Everybody wants a rock to tie a string around, but the rocks are harder to come by the older you get.

I wonder if some of my purchases - the blindbag ponies, the Monster High dolls* - are an attempt to try to recapture some of that childhood feeling, that ability to be simply happy over a simple thing. And to try to crowd out the adult cares and adult concerns. (Hm. I wonder if that's a reason why people who drink, drink....because the yammering cares get to be too much and have to be silenced).

(*I finally tried my hand at making clothes - a knit dress. Hopefully it will fit; I misread the pattern and knitted the top in the round and it should have been knit flat with a closure. I think it will still slip on from the feet upward, and on some of the dolls, you CAN gently remove the heads and put them back on....If it doesn't work, I can probably rip it back and restart, or I can just make another one out of another scrap of yarn)

I mean, there was a lot I hated about being a kid. I totally couldn't navigate the whole social landscape, I was too unworldly and immature and perhaps even too honest. I didn't always pick up on social cues as a kid. And I couldn't deal with all the talking-behind-backs that happened. But there are also things I miss: being able to immerse myself into a detailed fantasy world with multiple characters and storylines, being able to create an entire kingdom on the family room floor using blocks and tiny plastic animals, being able to make stuff and see it as simply good without the mature eyes of the critic being able to see the flaws....also, to an extent, as I've said before, the uncomplicatedness of making friends (when I did make them). It was easier to plan a play-date for an entire afternoon than it is to make arrangements to go get coffee as an adult.

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