(sorry about the lack of pictures, I don’t own a camera)
You’ll have to make my word on both the existence of this wristband, and the, apparent, snazziness of it, but I can assure you that both of these conditions are entirely and objectively true: at the moment, I have a piece of white fabric tied around my left wrist, with the ends flapping loosely down my arm, and it is my snazzy wristband.
The fabric in question comes from an old Quiksilver t-shirt I wore to bed; the bit around the bottom of the shirt, below the stitching, had started to tear off, to the extent that there was a long strip of fabric dangling loose from the shirt, attached at one end.
I didn’t really care about this as you can imagine, but my Dad found it, understandably, irritating and childish, so I tore it off, tied it around my wrist and proudly showed it to him, with the exclusive intention of annoying him further.
It totally worked.
However, I have now worn this thing for about three weeks, and I really enjoy it, not in the sense that I play with it like a cat to a ball of yarn, but in that I find it neat to have it tied there. Perhaps this is what aesthetes feel about having a pretty scarf around their neck or painted fingernails: it offers not practical benefit, but it is simply ‘nice’.
This is the sort of soul-butter and hogwash argument that usually makes me vomit in disbelief, that a member of our, admittedly rather intelligent, species, would feel this a justifiable means to defend an idea, but after implementing it, the logic is clear: any practical drawbacks are negligible, and it makes my wrist look slightly more interesting. Also, it serves as an icebreaker in conversations, just like t-shirts with internet references do: instead of an awkward pause when meeting someone new, I can tell them the equally awkward story of how I tied a bit of old t-shirt around my wrist in a pointless act of ironically unironic teenager rebellion.
I’m also a sucker for unnecessary streaks: I write every day partly to improve my writing, but largely because once I start something, I like to continue it for the sake of continuity; this is largely how I motivate myself to run three times a week, read Dante’s Purgatory every day, and weak a silly wristband for the rest of time.
I have a bit of a history with wristbands too: when I was a kid I would wear thick Tottenham sweatbands, often three on each arm, reaching my elbow and cutting off the circulation to my hand altogether, and recently I’ve worn everything from Livestrong bracelets to wristbands with balls on them as part of a Testicular Cancer awareness event my school put on.
But I feel that this white wristband of superficial insignificance (which gives plus five to nihilist beliefs) is somehow more meaningful: not because it was an act of rebellion against my Dad, but because I chose to wear it myself. Cancer-alerting bracelets are great and all, but I wore it for a cause other than myself; similarly Spurs products are cool, but I wore those because stupid branded sportswear was the epitome of fashion as a ten year-old. My snazzy wristband, however, was a thing that I created, from a bit of waste fabric, and has a bit of a story, even if that story is rooted in being an idiot and is hardly worth the 600-word blog post I’m stretching out about it.
This is hardly an expression of individuality or creativity – I’ll leave that to actual artists and their meaningful creations – but it’s a thing I’ve done now that I’ve not done before, and no-one else I know has. I guess the desire for self-expression results in a universally good feeling, no matter how small.