There you were. Your luminosity flirting with me. Was that a wink? Your radiance sparkled, beckoning me to plunge my hands into your soft innards. Seducing me with your color-changing properties. How could I resist this sorcery?
I. Must. Have. These!
Gloves, people. They're only gloves.
But, not just any pair of gloves. No, no, no. Instagram data mined straight to my Xennial soul and tempted me with the illustrious, the bewitching, the scintillating...Freezy Freakies!
Now in adult sizes!
You just knew, didn't you Instagram, that I'd been waxing nostalgic for the popping neon puffiness of 80s winter gear. You sly son of a bitch.
"Rad color-changing gloves from the 80s are back." – Freezy Freakies stealing my soul and my money
There was no way I could say no to these plush time machines. The targeted ad sucked me in and before I knew it, my thumb hovered over the screen. With a soft tap, my life changed forever.
Okay, really, they are only gloves.
Damn that sneaky algorithm!
Like practically most humans with a smartphone, I find myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram multiple times a day. Most of the accounts I follow are friends, artists, activists, and local businesses. Yes, my scrolling can be a time suck, but I typically avoid targeted ads...most of the time. I'm more absorbed with important posts like dog videos, Schitt's Creek memes, and what decadent delight my local deli is serving up.
But that day...that day was different.
Deep in the throes of a Vermont winter, the millionth day of the pandemic, and the stress only 12 days before Christmas can bring, I was deep into a common self-soothing routine: sitting on my couch clad in pajama pants and a drug rug. Reading a good book, you say? Watching an educational documentary, perhaps?
Nah. I was voraciously consuming Instagram posts.
Swipe. Swipe. Swipeswipeswipeswipeswipeswipeswipeswipesw—
Bold bodacious neon cheered from the tiny screen.
Did I have a pair of these as a kid?
No, my brain said.
They look so cool! Lookit their bright neon colors! And the cool 80s designs!
You don't need another pair of gloves.
But these kinda remind me of the Punky Brewster boots I had...
Those were some sweet boots.
Oh no, we've lost her.
THIS PAIR HAS UNICOOOOOOORNS!!!
Freezy Freakies—with the help of Instagram—sucked me in with the perfect combo of 80s nostalgia and magically appearing unicorns.
My brain was right, though. I already had a perfectly warm pair of gloves. They weren't Bernie level, but they did the trick.
And it's not like I was gallivanting in the frozen tundra. I don't ski. I hate the cold. I tend to hibernate in the winter as normal humans should. (I really should re-consider why I live in Vermont, then.)
Alright. Sold. Take my money, Freezy Freakies!
I. Was. Stoked.
Unfortunately, my joy was postponed. Being the holiday season with bad weather and slow mail due to the pandemic, I had to wait...a week and a half. Pshaw. I know, I know—the instant gratification cornucopia of our 21st century world decimates patience because it wasn't a long wait at all.
Finally, that fateful day arrived! My unicorn adult-sized Freezy Freakies were here! Second Christmas had cometh!
And, well, that's how I justified my random impulse buy—they were a Christmas present for myself.
Suuuuuure, my brain said.
My fingers quivered as I opened the box. Electricity vibrated throughout my body. I slowly pulled out the bedazzling jewels. The vivid yellow gloves gleamed. I giddily slid my fingers into the soft cocoons of joy. Eagerly, I stepped into my boots, threw on my coat and forged off into...my driveway!
As soon as the gloves hit the frigid zero-degree air, the glorious purple unicorns wondrously emerged.
Then I immediately raced back inside to my warm apartment and threw the gloves on a shelf where they stayed for weeks. Remember, I hibernate.
Sure, I wore them a couple of times. The bright neon yellow blazed against my snow scraper as I chipped off ice on my windshield one morning. And I have to say, these beauties with their microfleece lining kept my fingers toasty warm.
Another time, the unicorns reveled in their glory on a brisk snowshoe outing with friends.
Added bonus: if I'm ever lost in the wilderness, just search for my bright, rad gloves. The fluorescent yellow serves as a beacon.
Now, as the snow melts and the weather gets warmer, my Freezy Freakies rest on my closet shelf again, patiently waiting to be worn. Next winter, my friends. Next winter. Snowballs will caress your shell. Sweat will soak your insides as I trudge through fields of snow. I promise. Next winter, you will shine.
Typically, I like to support local businesses and tend to indulge in retail therapy in my downtown. The Freezy Freakies, though, lured me in with their dazzling neon nostalgia.
These gloves are the only Instagram-impulse-buy I've ever made. Seriously.
But it was worth it.
Now I have a bodacious pair of gloves to brighten future winter days. Plus, I can reminisce about my childhood any time I wear them. And that's totally rad.