Have you ever been surprised that something has become trendy (or the spread of that trend)? Sometimes I’m caught off guard at what catches on.
I’m not talking about following trends, but rather, about not thinking they’d be trends in the first place. I can think of two distinct times when I was standing at the “beginning” of a trend and shaking my head.
Nope, that will never catch on.
My fifth grade Confirmation class at St Luke’s boasted one girl who defies description. I want to say “bananas” – she got in a fight with one guy over something Jesus said (or didn’t) and she threw her chair at him (the kid, not Jesus). I mean, what!? We were eleven.
However, there was something about Mary (not her real name) that drew you ever towards her. She was magnetic. She was crazy, sure, but in a fantastic way. Half of her stories were utter nonsense but you couldn’t wait to hear more. Ah, Mary.
So, Mary went to Paris with her family and came back to West Texas with the ugliest shoes I’d ever seen. They looked like the rest of our Keds, but they had thick platforms. Mary told us that all the girls in Paris were wearing thick-soled shoes and that people in America would, too. Soon, she explained, it takes time for trends to get to West Texas.
I put “you will soon be wearing shoes like these” in the “BS Mary Stories” pile. People wore platforms in the 70s! It was the 90s - fashions don’t come back in style!
And then a few years later I was at Delia’s or PacSun buying super-thick-soled flip-flops. Oh, Mary, you were so ahead of us.
Now, it has to be said that I’m not always up with technological trends. I remember when College Boyfriend pre-ordered an iPod (the very first model – about $500 and the size of a light novel) and I was stuck thinking, “Why would you ever want to carry all your music with you all the time? This will never catch on.”
I had a similar moment while visiting my friend Emily in Spain when we were both studying abroad. It was 2003 and Emily had a Spanish cell phone. She predominantly used it to send texts to friends. It was cheaper than using minutes, she explained, so everyone texted. I remember thinking this odd Spanish fascination would never be big in the US. I mean, just call the person, right?
Now, of course, I text FAR more than I talk on my phone. Like everyone.