This is a rain-soaked, soggy week in San Diego, but that won’t stop me from creating a costume to wear for my weekly creative fun. Today I’m dressed as a giant Rubik’s Cube. If you grew up in the 1980s, as I did, you’ll remember the cube, and how big the Rubik’s craze was. Everybody was Rubiksing (yes, a new verb courtesy of yours truly). We had one, as well as a 1” version on a key chain.
The Rubik’s Cube was tricky. Yes, I know that was the point. But even within that context, let me tell you this: it was maddening. You got your brand new Rubik’s and on each of the six sides were square stickers, all the same color on each side. You were supposed to turn parts of the cube to mix up the squares and then turn it again and again and again and again and suddenly the cube would be back to how it was at the beginning: all the same colors on each side.
Except that it was tricky. (Did I mention that before?) I recall turning the sides only a few times and somehow all the stickers were mismatched beyond repair. At least it seemed that way to me. The solution? Keep turning! But turning didn't make it less mixed up, only more mixed up. It seemed to involve the same logic as making more and more knots in a rope, so as to un-knot your rope. Say, what?
Needless to say, I never mastered the Rubik’s Cube. Eventually it must have been donated to our local thrift store, where for a bargain price of 25 cents, some other kid could pay to be frustrated.
Fast forward three decades or so. A few years ago Hubby got it into his mind that he wanted to master the Rubik’s Cube. A few clicks on Ebay and he was the proud owner of a pre-owned cube. It came with a book about how to unlock the secrets of the cube. A hush fell over our household as he picked it up for the first time.
Fast forward a few days. Hubby solved the cube. He’s an analytical guy, and I think this puzzle really appealed to the side of him that likes planning a few moves ahead. Me, I’d rather create a giant Rubik’s Cube to wear. In case there was any doubt about that.
Would you like to know just how hugely loved this toy is? As of January 2009, 350 million cubes have been sold around the world, making it the top-selling puzzle game on the planet...
Wondering why the Cube costume was created this week? A few days ago I sat scratching my head, wondering what kind of costume I could wear this week during what was forecast to be the storm of all storms. My usual sleeveless costumes would not suffice. Anything made from paper would be turned into papier mache gluey slime within minutes. What to wear, what to wear?!? Clearly, I needed something durable and something that could be worn over other clothes (for warmth) without completely ruining the effect. I needed a costume that was easily identifiable. Eureka! The Cube!
I decided to fashion the cube out of plastic needlepoint mesh, which holds a shape but also is lightweight. I planned to use colorful felt for the different stickers (inexpensive, and it won’t fray). I’d wear Hubby’s Rubik’s Cube as a hat, not as a defense against the weather but because I’ve been wearing hats nearly every Wednesday for the last nine months. Nobody wears more tiny hats than I do—except maybe Kate Middleton. Hers are usually quite a bit more traditional than mine, but other than that, we’re nearly indistinguishable…
So there you have it, folks. A little pop culture history lesson. A costume. A crazy hat. Once again we’ve spent a few fun minutes together on a Wednesday. I’ll let you go now—I know you’re itching to go through your boxes of stuff from the ‘80s, and I’ll bet your Rubik’s Cube is nestled inside, right next to your Cabbage Patch Doll (oh, it was your sister’s? Sure, okay.), your Walkman, Polaroid camera, a can of Tab, your Stray Cats cassettes and an industrial-sized can of Aqua Net…