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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

08055, Medford — Goodbye, Old Fads

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Maybe I didn’t have a set of Multiples and I thought my parents were holding me back from being really in style. But a lot of the crap in my old room showed that I couldn’t really get away from some of the fads.

Fad 1: Cabbage Patch Kids and Popples

I’d say, except for the Cabbage Patch Kids and Popple, these stuffed animals could be in any grubby little kid’s room these days. I had three Cabbage Patch Kids that I adored: Adela, Lyda and Adam. I kept the adoption papers that came with them and the “one-year birthday” card the Cabbage Patch folks sent. You’ll notice there’s a poor man’s Cabbage Patch knock-off, too, on the upper right. And then there’s the green Popple, the Murphy bed of stuffed animals: the creature that folds into its own pouch. Remember how they even had their own TV show?


Fad 2: Trophies and Awards for Just Showing up

OK, I actually earned a few of these — I think I bowled a 135 in 5th grade to get a “High Score” trophy and the first year our high school had a girls’ volleyball team in 1994, we tied for first in our division. But then again, every year I did after-school bowling at elementary school, I got a trophy. Every year I played pee-wee soccer, I got a trophy. Every year I played in the band, I got a certificate of participation. And now what do I do with trophies? You can’t donate them because why would someone else want this awkwardly-shaped object with your name on it? They’re probably not even salvageable for the marble they’re screwed into. I was sad throwing these out, but I was actually even sadder when my dad threw away the trophies he won at company ping-pong and tennis tournaments and the plaques he got for a good job at work. It felt as if he was throwing away all the hard work he did at the office and on the courts. I joked with him, “Do you feel less important now?” He shrugged — there was no difference for him between the moment before and the moment after.

Prom dress IMG_2798

Fad 3: Velvet Party Dresses

That all-black dress is my senior prom dress. I even wore it in June because I loved velvet so much. The purple polka-dot dress is the first “party” dress I got as a 12-year-old. I think I wore it once, to a wedding. But man did I feel special matching it with a scrunchie and doing a Molly Ringwald-inspired dance.

Sigh. All of that is going now to Goodwill, where someone is going to find the right goods to make  a banging 1980s Halloween get-up.

Today’s random bonus is drawings from my tween years. Glamour apparently meant crazy eye make-up, fingerless gloves, jumpsuits and side ponytails. This is how I really wanted to dress if my parents let me.

Fashion! IMG_2819 IMG_2810  


Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

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