You might have heard about a contraption called the fidget spinner, which was all the rage amongst youngsters earlier this year. The three-pronged toy is flat and contains a bearing in the center. When you want the fidget spinner to spin, you place a finger on the center and give one of the prongs a good twirl.
Then you watch and/or listen to it spin.
That’s the gist of it.
Try as I might, I couldn’t understand the appeal of this fad. But kids played with the fidget spinner so much that many schools and colleges banned the toy. Obviously, I’m not included in the manufacturer’s target population, so I decided I was simply too old for fidgeting fun.
That was before I came upon two ladies – one of whom is the same age as I and the other of whom is just a few years younger – spinning the fidget spinner like their very lives depended on the toy’s constant movement. The ladies implored me – practically in unison – to join in the “addictive” activity.
Although it didn’t look like something I would enjoy, I said to myself, “Self, you didn’t think you would enjoy ‘American Ninja Warrior,’ either, and now you can’t get enough of that.”
So, I picked up a fidget spinner and gave it a twirl.
I didn’t feel an immediate need to keep giving it a twirl, but I’m known for my stubbornness. I was determined to become addicted to twirling that fidget spinner, so I persevered. Thinking that any second I would become overwhelmed with an urge that would ultimately destroy my life and ruin my relationships, I kept giving it a good twirl.
In spite of my persistence, I failed to develop a dependence on the fidget spinner. Indeed, several times it fell victim to the volcano of papers, books, and gadgets that dominate my life. Every time I found it lying under something, it looked so out of place that I had to remind myself that it was supposed to have taken over my life.
Actually, the only thing the fidget spinner did was remind me of when the air conditioning in my first car quit working. It would have cost more to fix the AC than the car was worth, so even though it was summer, I drove that car with only a 99-cent hand-held fan to keep me “cool.”
Every time I gave the fidget spinner a good twirl, the spinning reminded me of that fan. At least the fan had a purpose.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.