My first memory of velcro is not a good one. I was in 6th grade, and my family was described as poor. My dad would say "broke, not poor. Broke is temporary. Poor is a state of mind." Either way, it wasn't rare for me to wear hand-me-downs from various kids in my ward. One of the things we never got handed down were shoes. Except for once. They were from my friend's brother, older by 3 years and heavier by many, many pounds. I got his shoes. They were electric-blue with two chunky velcro straps across the top of the foot that curled up due to much use. Ugly, blue, hand-me-down, too-big, boy sneakers.
They weren't the cool velcro Reebok hi-top shoes of the day. They were the generic kind you might find on a 43-year-old man who doesn't know how to tie shoelaces and wears brown polyester pants up to his rib cage. These shoes were certainly too big, but I still wore "them things" nearly every day.
I would not have remembered those shoes after all these years, except for one 10-second interchange in Home Ec class. I overheard Mike Mazolli ask his friend Raul Lara, my crush of the year, "what do you think of Adhis?" And cute dark-haired Raul said, "she wears ugly shoes." And that was that. My whole being was being judged on those shoes. At that age, I allowed that judgment to be my entire opinion of self. Stupid, stupid velcro. Well, and stupid electric-blue fake suede.
(Of course, as adults, we're too smart now to ever let our general opinion of ourselves be based on someone else's judgment about the cars we drive, the callings or jobs we hold, the bodies we have, and the ages we're at. Right?)
Velcro has redeemed itself over the years, and I cannot help as a mother but herald its reinvention. Velcro used to be reserved for crafts and fabric stores (and ugly blue shoes). But Vavy, look at you now!
Disposable Diapers-- Back in the day, we had sticky tape on plastic diapers. You'd smell something suspicious from the baby's bum, attempt to peel the sticky tab up only to tear the diaper to shreds. Then you'd find that baby only had gas and you had destroyed a perfectly good diaper. At this point, the options were to throw away a clean diaper or reseal the thing with duct tape. Today, because of velcro tabs, we can open and close a baby's diaper as often as we need to check it. And should we find offending matter within, we can close the diaper up, lie the baby back down, and innocently ask the husband to "check" the baby's diaper.
Baby Bibs-- In days past, we tied those things on to a squiggly, squirmy, hungry baby. Without trying to choke it. Today, because of velcro necks tabs, we can get the bib on quickly and off quickly. (Warning! Always fasten these closed before throwing in the laundry! Unless you want bibsocks, or bibdresses, or bibtowels.)
Kitchen appliances-- In days not-so-past, we shoved our electrical gadgets and their mass of wires into the pantry or allowed their cords to snake around the kitchen counter. Today, velcro ties keep the wires in place and make storing kitchen appliances easier and tangle-free. I found these in a pack of 50 (in case I decide to open a kitchen appliance store).
Let us all hail the frizzy self-involved invention!
What are some other vonderful uses you've discovered for velcro?