Answer to Mystery Object #5

It wasn't hard to figure out (I need to start making these harder) but Mystery Object #5 is gummy bracelets! We officially called them Goomies back then. Thanks Michelle for being the first to guess!  

This chain of goomies was originally five times the length. They've unravelled over the years but I've clung to them because of their neon-like colors and my slight guilt associated with them. During a childhood summer I spent in Taiwan my grandmother sent me to her distance niece's house to learn the abacus (no joke). I had never met this niece and her family, but she taught the abacus for extra income. My cousin and I went for a full day of tutorials when I noticed that one of her kids was playing with a giant pile of goomies. Apparently this family was also in toy exporting, but the toys were the flimsy, plastic Made In Taiwan in the 80s kind. Their were nothing like my die-cast metal robots or pricey video games. I had been pretty spoiled with our toys in the states. I asked if I could have a few goomies and ended up taking a giant chain. I was thrilled. These were coveted by the girls at school! 

They weren't the softer goomies that I had at home. They were hard plastic and retained the last shape they were bent, which was not desirable (see above photo). And they scratched. But I took them just because I could. When we got home I got in trouble with my grandmother for asking for so many. I also didn't remember know how to use the abacus. 

Fashion Friday: Movie Star

In this photograph it looks like the movie star is making her rounds, meeting her fans. 

I've always thought that my mother looked like a movie star. I suppose that's something women say about their mothers because your mom is your first example of what a beautiful woman should look like. When my mother was young she was often approached by film industry people who wanted her to model or act. My grandfather was deeply against it. In Taiwan in the 60s, being an actor was akin to being a prostitute. She never told me if being a moviestar interested her but she'd relay the story to prove that she was indeed more beautiful than others and that her looks deeply affected her life. 

My mother insisted that being beautiful was a blessing and a curse. She was able to charm my dad  and always had admirers. But there was a dark side. She grew up bullied by classmates. In junior high her peers trashed her things and taunted her. No one wanted to be friends with a beautiful girl. It's too much of a threat.

When my father was still alive my parents had neighborhood friends, other couples from Taiwan with whom they frequently ate out and played mahjong. My parents made weekly social calls and went to house parties where the men talked about hi-fi equipment over basketball games and the women gossiped in the kitchen. After my father passed away no one called my mother any more. It was odd at first but she understood. She was a free agent, a beautiful one that nobody wanted near their husband. While my mother just wanted the company of friends to fill her days, she was shunned and heartbroken. It was a familiar feeling and she knew exactly why. 


Mystery Object #5

Know what this is? Tangles of rainbow hair perhaps? Leave your guesses in the comments. First correct response gets a vintage travel postage from the garage! (The garage has seen the world, yo.)
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