“I wanna be the one to walk in the sun!”
Ah, the timeless words of Cyndi Lauper, and they still ring true for me today.
Yes, I am a child of the 80s, and I remain a huge fan of 80s music. I give credit to my big sis for introducing me to music at such a young, tender age. My four-year-old self was quite hip to the “New Wave” of music.
My sister’s walls were covered in Duran Duran posters and impressionable me followed suit, though my poster wallpaper consisted of Cyndi Lauper, Boy George and Michael Jackson images.
What goes hand-in-hand with 80s music? Why 80s fashion, of course!
Neon colors, jelly shoes, and an armful of black plastic bracelets up to one’s elbow.
I loved those classic black bracelets, made popular by Madonna in her “Like a Virgin” era! You could link two of them together to make that cool shape thingie or just pile them high up your arms. They came in various colors of course, but I always loved the basic black.
Those bracelets stayed with me as I grew up out of my 80s childhood and found punk rock in my teen years. Those classic black plastic bracelets continued to adorn my arms, intermingled now with 50 cent metal chains from Home Depot.
Yeah, I was pretty bad ass (wink wink). I grew up a little more. Don’t worry, I’m still punk as f*ck, but I ditched the chains and went about my business.
The bracelets had a home on my arms through college, my first full-time job and the birth of my son. (Yes, you could spot them on me as I held my newborn in the hospital pics.)
Some of you may ask—what was a 25-year-old woman doing still wearing plastic jewelry?
That’s just how I roll, yo.
I’ve never been the type who adores fancy jewelry. Sure, I have some “nice” jewelry; it’s pretty and I like it, but it usually sits in my jewelry box, as I can’t be bothered with putting such things on and off every single day.
I prefer low-maintenance accessories for my day-to-day, which is why these 80s style plastic bracelets have suited me for so many years.
They can just stay on you all the time! You don’t have to do anything! Leave ‘em on when you are swimming. Leave ‘em on in the shower. Leave ‘em on when you go to bed. The water doesn’t harm them, and you’re not going to scratch your face off if you drag your arm across your face in a sleepy fog. They are perfect!
Okay sure, they do eventually break over time, but it takes quite awhile.
When it happened, I’d just replace with a new batch. That’s what I’ve been doing for years! I turned 33 a couple months ago, and I was still rockin’ my plastic wrist adornments.
However, my last batch had been dwindling. I just had a couple left on one arm. Then just one, on my left wrist.
The bracelet broke this week. “Oh, there goes the last one,” I thought. “I’ll have to make a stop soon to buy a new pack.” Then I paused. Something didn’t feel right. I looked at the broken bracelet I had tossed in to the garbage can and I thought, “That’s not good.”
I recalled the story I had read recently about the deceased whale that had washed ashore in the Netherlands.
The whale had died from ingesting so much plastic, his intestines became blocked. I remember how sad I felt when I read that story. I felt sad and distressed that such a huge, beautiful animal could suffer such a death due to our human negligence.
I strive to do my part. I try to remember to bring my re-usable canvas bags when I go to the store, and when I forget I ask for paper bags. That’s a step in the right direction, but there is always a little something more we can do.
A little something occurred to me as I looked at my discarded broken piece of plastic jewelry in the trash; I don’t need to buy any more of those plastic bracelets.
So I won’t.
I don’t need to wear unnecessary plastic jewelry that will eventually break, be thrown away and wind up disposed of in the ocean (or sitting in a landfill somewhere). I will figure out something else when I feel like accessorizing, or I’ll just face the day with bare wrists.
It’s something so very small, but every little bit makes a difference.
If every one of us does something small, it could add up to making a really big difference. That’s what I’m hoping for.
One last throwback to my 80s childhood—and I know The Lorax has gained a great deal of popularity due to the recent film adaptation, but the book has always been my all-time favorite Seuss book, since I was four-years-old, no joke.
So, I’ll leave you these timeless words from Dr. Seuss,“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
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Assistant Editor: Jes Wright / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons