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Crazy Ideas From the 1980s

2 December 2009

As I was walking this morning, I continued an internal conversation* I was having the other day, about crazy consumer goods we thought were a good idea in the 1980s. I’m not talking about hairstyles and clothing styles (vivid colorblocks, I’m looking at you), because everybody talks about those mistakes all the time.

I’ve thought of two of these in-hindsight-they-are-pretty-dumb-but-at-the-time-Oh!-how-we-loved-them items:

Erasermates. Remember their smell? It was unique to them (or perhaps no one else is as obsessed with smells as I am). And their clumpy, skipping ink (although it was such a brilliant blue)? And the black eraser that came with them? And you know– they still make these (I roll my eyes.)

Tube socks. What a crazy idea! They never fit well, because there was no curve in them, and even though they weren’t made with a heel, one invariably defined itself with the hell-dinginess that resulted from walking around in socks (as we are all wont to do).

Now, I know there are more of these goods, but I can’t think of any right now (sometimes my internal conversations are rather sparse, I admit). If you think of any more, let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

*Surely I’m not the only one who has running commentary going through her mind as she walks.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 December 2009 2:42 pm

    I never owned a pair of tube socks, but Erasermates? Oh yeah. It made me crazy that they never erased all of the ink though.

  2. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    3 December 2009 8:32 am

    Ellie: The Consort wrote an Op-Ed about climate change, and the responses were NASTY! I told him not to look. But he didn’t listen (and then some wacko put the Consort’s email address on a climate change skeptic Web site, and the crazy emails just poured on in.)

    Katie: You never wore tube socks? My mom would buy packs and packs of them and we wore them as gym socks — actually, any time we were sneakers. I can’t imagine never having worn tube socks. Wow.

  3. 3 December 2009 10:16 am

    We wore the kind with two stripes on top. We called them “football socks.”

  4. Three of Four permalink
    4 December 2009 12:26 pm

    Related to erasermates, I loved those two-toned erasers we had in the ’80s. One side was to erase pencil marks; the other, sandpaper-feeling, side was *supposed* to erase ink. It was not very effective, but I loved using that side to draw faces on as a kid (think that one through, btw). Classmates and I would name the erasers and invent little lives for them, like some sort of eraser-meets-pet-rock phenomenon.

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