Pros: Bobby Pins, not just for hair holding, they are the undiscovered versatool.
Cons: Not found in every household or toolbox
A long, long time ago our grandmothers stuck double-point wire hair pins and occasionally hair sticks into their fashionably designed hair. They also used wire hair pins as a matter of practicality holding damp hair out of their faces. I’ve no idea when the first double-point hair pins were first worn but apparently it was long before my grandmother’s time. Over the years I’ve read that these might have originated between 300 and 800 AD in China. Today, the most commonly worn hair pin wasn’t named after Bobby, but instead the Bob haircut and that’s the one recent generations have depended on to hold up or hold back their hair.
This two-prong pin has plastic-coated tips that prevent accidental stabbings. Soft ‘n Style Bronze Bobby Pins deserve a brief stroll down memory lane. My mom wore them every night with her head covered with tight little pin curls that, when removed in the morning, provided a soft curly look. (I prefer a soft permanent and a shake-out haircut to sleeping on a head of wire.)
Later, in the 60s some of us walked around with plastic rollers or even orange juice cans secured to our hair with Bobby Pins. (What a strange price to pay for beauty.) This extremely important beauty tool then combined with hair spray to glue our large bouffant hair dos (mine was always a hair don’t or won’t). We (that includes me) would roll hair tightly at the back of our head for special events after teasing hair up on the tops of our heads. Again, Bobby Pins and hair spray were invaluable tools. I thought these had mostly disappeared over time -- they hadn’t.
Bobby Pins are formed from four-inch thin wires folded in half with a plastic coating on the tips. One side of the shank is zigzag (or serrate), the other is straight and the two fit together to grip our hair. I simply can’t imagine sleeping on them and I often asked my mother how she did that night after night. (But then several years later she slept on rollers – argh!) These are often sold on flat cards with 100 to 200 wire pins waiting to be released into a puzzle pile (just like clothes hangers) or, like these Soft ‘n Style Bronze Bobby Pins they are sold in small plastic containers. Many Bobby Pins are also sold in slightly different colors for different hair colors (bronze, light brown, black, and even grey). I seem to always have 10 to 20 floating around in the bottom of my vanity drawers and yes, right before my hair is cut I’m pulling my hair up and securing it in a French braid with Bobby Pins.
Today some are cleverly disguised as jewelry. These flexible little wire pins have other unintended uses – picking skeleton key locks (at least it's done on television) or cleaning ears (don’t try that – besides being gross it’s unsafe yet many still use Soft ‘n Style Bronze Bobby Pins for that purpose). Other uses?
· Pull a jacket zipper that lost its pull tab,
· Pull pulled yarn to the other side of sweaters,
· Temporary moneyclip,
· Ornament hangers,
· Weaving needles,
· Fishhooks (I’ve done this multiple times – slip off the plastic coating and slip on a hot dog chunk),
· Unlocking handcuffs,
· Cleaning fingernails,
· Reusable toothpicks for sampling food in grocery stores (seen it done)
· Spreading glue (and opening the glue bottle),
· Very lightly tickling my blond lab's tummy with the curved end (she has cancer and seems to like the touch), and
· Self-protection (unfold it, remove the protective plastic coating and take a self-defense class).
Bobby Pins might be trivial, but they are not pointless and apparently I’m not the only one who shares that thought.
This might be a pointless or trivial review, but it was fun and refreshingly irrelevant – obviously considered irrelevant by more than me. Join mmcphee’s TRIVIAL W/O