Monday, August 9, 2010

The Evolution of the Signs of Friendship

In the beginning (early 80's) were friendship beads. The less sense they made, the better.

Then came the friendship bracelets. Actually, they came before the beads, but I didn't really know about them until my friends and I were old enough to master the art of making them. They were handmade and took a lot of time, the level of difficulty in the pattern conveying the depth of the friendship. To honor the hard work of it's maker, the recipient was expected to wear it until it fell off naturally, and even then, it was usually displayed on an overcrowded bulletin board in the recipient's bedroom.

And now we have the aptly named "silly bands." No labor required, except perhaps to untangle them. I'm not sure what this suggests about the quality of young friendships these days, but I think Lewis Hyde would have a thing or two to say on this subject.

Yesterday at the pool, Olivia gave away two and came back with three, one of which broke before the end of the day. And today I'm not sure that she'd be able to tell me the names of any of the children involved in the exchange. They're cute, but I think it's time to pull out the beads and the yarn.


Rebecca Martin said...

I'd heard tell of silly band and had been wondering just what they were. Thanks for enlightening me!

And oh, the friendship beads - but more, the friendship bracelets!! I was such a pro! You've brought back fond memories. Thank you.

jamie said...

Bring back the friendship bracelet!!!!

amy said...

the nature of children's friendships today is something i think about alot. thanks for this perspective.

Smitheys said...

Liz- if you re-start the friendship bands craze I will happily follow you and leave those silly bandz behind.