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Dreaming of Adidas: The Trends Back Then

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When I think back to the things I begged for from my parents, I cringe at my youthful stupidity. What was so appealing about a pair of shoes that flashed red lights when you stepped? And why did I pout in my room when I didn’t get the Topsy Turvy hair stylist that all my friends had? But when you’re a kid, you only want acceptance, in whatever tangible form it takes. 


At the time I thought my mom enjoyed seeing me in social hell, but really, she was—is—infinitely smarter than me and recognized them as dumb fads. She knew, as I would come to know, that even when you get what you want (or think you want), the result’s never as perfect as expected. 


When I was young, everyone socially relevant sported an Adidas track jacket. Preferably black with white stripes, but there was room for slight variation (read: navy blue with white stripes). When Christmas approached, I pointed it out in every store we visited. I couldn’t wait to show it off come January. 


On Christmas morning, there was a big box under the tree for me. My mom tried to look blasé, but her eyes twinkled excitedly. I opened it and pulled out … the biggest, puffiest, glaringly whitest Adidas jacket I’d ever seen. It made me look like a marshmallow ready for a day of skiing. It was all wrong, but my mom looked so happy, I wore it immediately. It wasn’t the jacket I dreamed of, but seeing how much my mom loved giving it to me made it one of my favorite childhood gifts. Plus, Adidas fell out of fashion soon after, leaving me with a cozy winter house coat! 


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