News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 8, 2013

LIZ CIANCONE: If only we could see next fad coming

I’ve never claimed to be a smart investor. In my defense, I would need a crystal ball, or a double deck of tarot cards, or maybe a Ouija board to anticipate what gadget or fad would be the next to tweak the public fancy and earn me a million dollars.

For instance, I would never have guessed that the hula hoop would make it. Actually, I did try a hula hoop to see what was so great about throwing my hip out of joint while a plastic hoop slid slowly down my frame only to land at my feet.

I had minimal interest in dolls — none if you eliminate Mandy, the rag doll Mom made for me one Christmas. I believed then, and maybe still, that Mrs. Claus had made it and entrusted Santa to deliver it to our house on Christmas Eve. Given my disinterest, the lure of the Cabbage Patch dolls escaped me.

I felt a similar disinterest in Beanie Babies, although I surrendered to that fad in deference to my granddaughter who actually played with her collection of them. I suppose she destroyed their “collectability,” but toys are meant to be played with, not resold for profit years down the pike.

I know better than to try to scrape together some investment money in a get-rich-quick scheme — not that any have actually been proposed to me. Still, I cannot imagine how I failed to foresee the lure of glitter as an investment.

I would be lighting votive candles with $10 bills if I had made an early investment in sequins, rhinestones and dust-on glitter. The latter is now being applied to everything from fingernail polish to eye shadow. Rhinestones can be used to decorate a pierced nostril, upper lip or navel, but who knew?

Sequins speak for themselves  and have ever since evening gowns and wedding dresses began to be featured on fashion runways.

If only I had been alert to this passion for glitz and glitter.

The other day I ventured to lift a purse so heavily decorated with rhinestones and other items which fashion experts call “bling” that my arthritic wrists howled in protest and I barely got it off the counter. Imagine what it would weigh when loaded with the essentials of my shopping experience.

I didn’t see this one coming either. I wish I had, I’d be counting big money, if only.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send email to


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