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Caprice

What car company made the Caprice? Who in the advertising and marketing department thought that was a good name for a car? I suppose it defines an era. Capriciousness does not imply stability but rather a whimsical nature. Was it a popular notion in the mid-1960’s to be silly, frivolous and whimsical?  Could it have been a cultural reaction to the vanilla 1950’s or to Vietnam? My sisters and I were born between 1959 and 1966. Compared to the commercialism and consumerism of today, I think life was much more whimsical and silly. We had some pretty silly snacks, gadgets and do-dads. Slushy cups were a favorite as was straight Kool-Aid powdered mix. Lick your finger and stick it in the foil bag. There was no hiding this kind of larceny, since your fingers would be red for a few days.  Candy, in general, was so much cooler and funky 30 years ago. We had Po-Go sticks and stilts (homemade by my dad). We loved Drakes’ Ring Dings. I learned that Drakes still made the ever-popular Ring Ding. I sent several boxes to my sisters for Mother’s Day. Back in the day, Ring Dings were individually wrapped in foil. Our thing was to stuff an entire cake in our mouths.

When I was growing up, nobody marketed our demographic. We were invisible to the marketplace. I wish my kids were ignorant to THINGS and LOGOS. I love that their school forbids characters and logos. When I was a kid, a kid was cool because they had their own style and flair.

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 Today, culture defines cool and everyone just marches in step. To me, that is not style, that is automation.

My tiny remnant of anarchy is to be whimsical. I went to the bookstore last night to buy calendars for my office. This is a big task since we needs a calendar in every exam room and every work station. I could have bought 25 identical, generic and BORING calendars. Instead, I bought a different one for each space. Why not? They were 50% off. I also HATE drug company propaganda. I refuse to use a “free” drug company pen. So, I buy my own pens, with no logo. I also use metallic green paper clips. Why not? I like being weird. I like being different. Discord is good. It sets me apart.

I kinda hope that in an indirect way, my kids see how uncommon I am, how unusual I am and are brave enough to be their own persons. I would hate to have kids who simply want to BLEND. While I am all for running with the pack, it does not require homogenization. I was one of those geeky kids that fell in front of the Bell Curve. That made me a traget. I would like my kids a little safer, but I would also like them to be a little weird. Tiny rebels at heart.

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