Swapcard Memories: Bright Girls

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

I still remember the soft slip of swapcards through my hands as a young girl at school. I remember the visual delight of the gorgeous images, the smell of the card, the anticipation of the perfect swap… the pining for a perfect collection.

It was more about the beauty than the set-collecting, really. If you didn’t like a card, you wouldn’t collect it. I was more obsessed with obtaining pairs – mostly baby pairs – than amassing as many cards as I could.

Us girls would bring cards to school in tins, carboard boxes, fabric bags… treasured stacks held together meekly with rubber bands. It was a joy to gather together in a swap gaggle and trade.

I remember we would flick really super fast through the good ones – always at the top of the pile, then slow to a crawl through the dodgy ones at the end, hoping some unsuspecting swapcard novice would fall in love with a skanky old cat or yellow rose if they saw the card for long enough. Professional swappers wouldn’t tolerate this technique and would impatiently egg you on to the next pile - with the desirable cards on top.

Along with baby pairs, these bright girls were highly coveted in my eyes. I only had one and was desperate for more, but they were very high on the Desired Cards list in my time, and it seems I just didn’t have the goods to tempt girls out of their wares.

You can imagine my delight, then, when I found these on eBay a few years ago. I actually gasped out loud and tears sprang. I paid a ridiculous amount for them (seems they’re still popular) but it was a joy to slip them out of the envelope and hold them and stare at them and smell that swapping smell.

It was like my childhood snuck up behind me and encircled its arms around me; a wondrous moment. What is it with this flash back connection to our girlhoods? Such a warm feeling.

Watch this space for more cards… you might see some you coveted as a girl.

1 comment:

moggies said...

Oh my God....I had all of those! LOVED swap cards! I wonder where they are? Maybe I'm sitting on a gold mine!!!

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