Childhood ritual

My informant provided an example from when she was in elementary school, around fifth grade. She described how she and her classmates would remove the blue insert from the inside of soda bottle caps and stretch it out until it fit around their wrists. Children would wear three or four of these bracelets, and according to my informant,  “While you wear it, you were supposed to have good luck, and if someone ripped it off then they could make a wish and it would come true.” She learned this from her group of friends, who were among the first to begin creating these bracelets. My informant enjoyed reminiscing about these little childhood traditions, but did not cite any times in which she had good luck from wearing a bracelet or had a wish come true.

This kind of childhood tradition was prevalent in our discussion, but this one was the only one that I really related to because I remember doing the same thing when I was younger, except with Gatorade bottles instead of soda bottles. It was always a feat to get the inserts out of the caps, so the more “bracelets” my classmates had, the more respect they garnered. In addition, my classmates would trade them (somehow, a ranking system was created, so a student could trade two lesser bracelets for one superior bracelet). The good luck tradition was something I hadn’t heard of, as my school just used them as accessories. The practice of attempting to rip a bracelet off of another’s arm seems to perpetuate the rather childish urge to disrespect other people’s possessions.