When I was in grade school, a lot of the cool kids (boys and girls) had friendship bracelets handmade by the cool girls. Nobody ever made one for me. I had a sad. Then one summer my mom signed me up for a class at the local community college where we learned Latin roots to increase our vocabulary (this was probably my idea). There was a girl there named Aleca from another school and I was instantly smitten. She was so cool - like alternative and funky (for the time and age). AND SHE LIKED ME. AND SHE MADE ME A FRIENDSHIP BRACELET. I never took it off that entire summer. Slept with it, bathed with it. Entire civilizations of microorganisms developed, ascended, and collapsed on the underside. When I showed up for school the next year GLOWING with pride, one of the cool girls (Cara C.) asked me where I got it, and I told my story, and she said "yeah right, your mom probably bought it" in front of all the other cool girls, and they all laughed. I never wore it again.