Is a house a home without a load of rubber bands lying around? I mean, they seem like such useful buggers, so why would you get rid of them? Answer: because – like everything in life – less is better (except for good friends, vacation time, and in my world, cats). Really people, why do we keep so many old rubber bands? Just because it came wrapped around the newspaper this morning or the asparagus you cooked last night doesn’t mean you need to keep it around. It served its purpose, now let it go.
And how long is the actual lifespan of a rubber band? They’re actually not that durable. With a little sunlight, oxygen and warm temperatures, they crack and disintegrate. And now, with the invention of velcro ties, we no longer see the use of keeping around those gross, beige bands. Which is why I now present a eulogy for The Rubber Band.
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to the Rubber Band. Before we wave an enthusiastic hand to the semi-elastic band, let’s pay tribute to the history of the rubber band. The first rubber band was patented in 1845, although rubber itself had been utilized since the Mayans. The versatile loop of stretchiness has many purposes; most important to children is the fact that it is the perfect tool to shoot across the room with one’s “hand made” finger gun. It also has been the go-to tool to hold together everything from playing cards to large sums of cash (who are we kidding, those only exist in Leonardo DiCaprio movies).
But it hasn’t always been a joyful ride for rubber bands. They’re dirty right out of the bag and only further absorb the dirt and bacteria of the things they bind. And no bag of new rubber bands would be complete without several of those rubber bands already being torn. I’ve had my fair share of snapping rubber bands stinging my skin and because of their short-lived nature, they constantly need to be replaced.
And that was the problem with the rubber bands… with one rubber band breaking comes another one… and another one. It’s a vicious cycle that creates a never ending supply of rubber bands that no one wants or needs. It didn’t need to be that way. Velcro ties are more durable, easy to unwrap and wrap again and don’t collect dust and grime. From the moment they stepped onto the scene, rubber bands didn’t stand a chance.
So as we bid farewell, let’s remember the good times and not the bad. Remember how rubber bands held your braces together, or kept your hands occupied when you were bored in class. Remember when it became a makeshift wallet to hold your credit cards together when your leather one broke apart, or when it held together your remote control when it fell and broke the battery casing. Even though the rubber band is gone from our lives, it will live on in the memories of elastic everywhere.
A memorial service will be held in the back of the drawer with the aluminum foil and saran wrap. The rubber band is survived by it’s two children, the binder clip and the paper clip.