Ribbon Barrettes by
(133 Stories)

Prompted By Fads and Trends

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It’s 1984. Spools of thin ribbon, a variety of colors, small containers of tiny beads, and plain, open barrettes inhabit several rooms of my house.

My pre-teen daughters spend hours weaving the ribbon in/out of the barrette, creating colorful patterns that match every outfit they own.

My pre-teen daughters spend hours weaving the ribbon in/out of the barrette, creating colorful patterns that match every outfit they own. Green and white for Girl Scouts. Brown and orange for Brownies.

Pink or purple combined with a rainbow of colors. Beads are added at the end and sometimes throughout. I slip on tiny pieces of discarded ribbon and plastic beads on the floor.

Years later, they find the barrettes, try them on, and laugh.

RetroFlash — 100 words

Profile photo of Laurie Levy Laurie Levy
Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.

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Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written


  1. John Shutkin says:

    A great RetroFlash combination of words and pictures, Laurie! (Query: Is there any limit on the number of pictures allowed?) I really loved reading and looking at this.

    Oddly, neither of my daughters were even into ribbon barrettes. Just loads and loads of ordinary barrettes for a time. Next time I talk (i.e., Zoom) with them, I will have to ask them about that.

  2. Charming story, Laurie…a colorful little bubble of time, and then you nailed the ending. Pretty amazing that you have the perfect photos…brava on your first RetroFlash!

  3. Marian says:

    Aww, how cute. Ribbon barrettes were a fad I missed, not having kids, so I enjoyed learning about them.

    • Laurie Levy says:

      I actually tried to revive this fad as party favors for one of my granddaughters’ birthdays. It was hard for my old hands to make them as she lost interest after creating a couple of them. I think they were a hit as party favors, but the fad did not catch on. I think her peers had moved on to friendship bracelets.

  4. Wonderful, and so lovely to have daughters!

  5. Suzy says:

    Laurie, this is a wonderful RetroFlash! You didn’t think you could do it, but you have excelled, which doesn’t surprise me. It actually seems much longer than 100 words, perhaps because of the pictures (each picture=1000 words, right?). I never knew about ribbon barrettes, I wonder if they were a local fad. Your daughters are adorable!

    • Laurie Levy says:

      Thanks, Suzy. Yes, I kind of cheated by adding so many pictures, but I was determined to find the one when they discovered their childhood stash of barrettes and tried them on again. Maybe it was a Chicago thing?

  6. I never knew that barrettes are forever!

  7. I will admit it: the photos are so fetching as to make the text almost an afterthought! Who wouldn’t run in front of a truck for those two! (But I did read the text and enjoyed all the details.)

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