Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Little Thing Called Kisses


There was this little, fragrant, colorful, plastic, bead-like shaped thing that I used to take care when I was still a kid. That time, children believed they have the ability to procreate. Usually, I put them in a matchbox with cotton wet with water. I was in my early elementary grade (perhaps grade 1 or 2) when my friends introduced it to me. Actually, when I was a child, I have no idea where my classmates get them. I think, some of you, especially those who were born in 1990s, have figured it out - the thing I am talking about. Well, for those who don't know it, we call it Kisses. I'm not referring to the delicious, chocolate, round-shaped pyramid kisses that the Hershey's Company produce.



The Kisses



Kisses (or Aroma Beads) are small translucent plastic beads that absorbs up to 30 to 40% of their weight in fragrance oil. Its smell can last up to 6 months, depending on the kind of fragrance used. It is typically used as fragrance in houses (in closet, drawer, luggage or bags, etc.), cars, and even alternative to candles. When you buy odorless, white aroma beads, you can customize their color and scent depending on your preference.[1]

To make aroma beads, you need the following items.

Ingredients needed:[1]

  • Unscented Aroma Beads - 1/2 to 1 lbs.
  • Fragrance Oil - 2 ounces
  • Liquid Candle Dye - 1 to 4 drops
  • Glass jar with lid (for mixing)
  • Packaging - jar bowl, organize bag, etc.


  • But you can also buy ready-to-use aroma beads in the market.



    The Urban Legend



    The story I'm about to present is not an urban legend, but based on a true-to-life story. Also, this story will be our basis for how some kids play with it.

    [Taken from Internet:[2]]

    These things grow and multiply!

    Or that's what we were made to believe way back when I was still in first grade. I remember my sister and I had a squabble over these fancy beads. She incubated a couple of kisses in a cotton ball soaked in alcohol and placed it inside OUR drawer. I had no idea that it was something sacred so I threw it away. She got furious when she found out about it. She said that she had kept it for two days and that I should never throw anything that's not mine (a soaked cotton ball, people!) and lastly she ordered me to search for it in the trash, I did find it. When she checked that the kisses didn't bear any child, she blamed me for it. And I was guilty for days.




    I would like to credit whoever the author of this. It made me laugh very much!

    Anyway, I can still remember how my girl classmates argued because of this tiny things, and even fight each other. I don't know what really happened why they got into it, but the main reason is the Kisses.

    My uncle, that time, questioned me also why I was taking care of them. He inspected it, and smelled each color I have. I told him, they reproduce. (Nanganganak sila.) Then, he just guffawed. I felt insulted, so I kicked his legs. Whenever I remember that scene in my memory, I really miss my innocence and my childhood.

    The reason why I create this article is to debunk my belief of it when I was a child. The real urban legend here is the ability of the kisses to reproduce. They compare it with gremlins - whenever it is drenched with water, it eventually multiplies, but kisses are not as dangerous as the gremlins.

    The Varying Belief



    There are many ways on how to make them multiply continuously. According to some children, and some adults who played it sometime in their childhood, these are the following things to do:
  • The kisses should be put in a cotton.
  • All or most of the children approved this requirement. They really believe it is needed. The reason? I don't know.

  • Their should be a baby powder in the cotton.

  • The cotton should be soaked with water or alcohol.

  • Some children believe it should be kept in a dark place.



  • Conclusion



    Many adults right now can still recognize this toy. Of course, this became popular in their childhood days, especially those born in 1990s and early 2000s. (One of them is me.) Actually, you can still see present kids right now playing it. (One of them is my cousin.) You can still buy it in some sari-sari stores and/or gift shops, but for wholesale, in the market.

    When we say reproduction, it is the ability of an organism to create a replica of themselves. Take note of that.

    The truth behind the belief of its reproduction ability can be traced to its ability to expand whenever it is put or got contact with any liquid. They absorb liquids like alcohol and water, thus they inflate. So if you put it in a transparent container with a line equal to the height of it inside, with water mix to them, you will notice after an hour ago that it increase.

    They really don't multiply. It just give some kind of illusion. Of course, you will not notice the truth if you have a hand full of them (like having grains of rice). That way, it could be impossible for you to count it one by one, except if you keep an inventory record. But if you have few of them (like 10 or less), like in my case when I was a kid, it became obvious to me. I started to be doubtful to what my classmates believe about it. I count them everyday so I found out it didn't reproduce. (But actually, what I believe that time of why it didn't increase in number is because I failed of taking care of them - that they died.)



    As an afterword, I would like everyone, especially the adults, to just put this truth in secret if the youngs ask you about it. Have you experienced telling many people a different view of something and they don't believe it, thus resulting to what they called bullying just because you are different and many people don't like your difference? What I mean is, if this kid tells his friends that they are telling a lie, then they will start to, somehow, hate him.

    What I want you to do is to just play with their imagination. Explain the truth later if you think they're in the right age, only if needed. As this kid becomes older, he will start to realize what is the reality, like some of you right now. You know, the Santa Clause Belief Effect - you believe now, you don't later.

    Sources:
    [1] http://www.cajuncandles.com/aroma-beads.htm
    [2] http://thatssonineties.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/aroma-beads-aka-kisses/

    Image Source:
    http://www.buzzle.com/img/articleImages/577342-4223-48.jpg