Fidgets, such as this one, are the newest craze among kids. They are marketed as a device that helps kids relieve stress and helps with their concentration. PEG DEGRASSA — DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA

Every once in a while, just for fun, I step back to look at new trends that have popped up around me. Take, for example, The Fidget. Who hasn’t seen the kids — and even some grownups — playing with one of these new little gadgets that appeared in the last few months? It’s a little plastic gizmo with three to eight prongs that spins around a bearing in the center pad. It rotates when the pad is pinched between finger and thumb.

The kids love them. I told my out-of-state young grandson that they sell them here in the dollar stores, and he went bonkers, exclaiming how lucky we are because, he said, they sell for about $6 in Walmart — if you can find one. Apparently, they are flying off the shelves.

According to a recent article by CNN, the spinners, along with fidget cubes (I haven’t seen one of those yet, only in pictures), held the top 49 of 50 spots in Amazon’s rankings. They are supposed to relieve kids’ stress and help them center and concentrate. I guess it only helps kids, not adults, because I tried one a few times and my stress remained without relief.

However, children with autism and ADHD, and other children who are constantly “fidgeting,” are supposed to really be helped by the calming device, so who am I to say? If they are valuable in that regard, Fidgets are truly a device that will probably be around for years to come. If not, they’ll run their course and then have a resurgence somewhere down the line in the next generation of kids, just like the Rubik’s Cube and the hula hoop.

I talked to a teacher friend of mine, and she said the fidget gadgets in themselves are distracting to the classroom and she makes her students put them away until recess and then they can fidget to their hearts’ content.

I am not sure if this new calming tool will last or is just a fad, but this summer, expect to see them everywhere and, hopefully, a lot of de-stressed, calm children as well.

In food, I have also noticed trends. Nothing is basic or normal any more. Everything is made out of cauliflower or zucchini, with chia seeds, coconut oil or truffle oil. Artisanal butchery, artisanal bread and artisanal cheese are all the rage, although I am still not sure of the “artisanal” meaning. Speaking of food trends, whatever happened to good-old basic coffee and iced coffee? It was tough enough to navigate the choices of dozens of lattes, cappuccinos and espressos offered, but now we have to contend with whether we want cold brew or nitro brew. To top off all the crazy food trends, there’s the unicorn- and mermaid-themed foods that seem to be coming onto menus.

I saw there was even a restaurant that opened in California (I know, California — that explains it) called The Mermaid Café that only serves mermaid-style food. What’s that you ask? I asked the same thing. Apparently everything is turquoise, sparkly, fluffy and pink, or at least that’s what they highlighted on their website.

My kids call me “a pill” because I just want my basic, normal food and not all the crazy, trendy concoctions that seem to monopolize every menu these days. I don’t care about being “trendy” and trying all this newfangled fare, with dozens of international spices and side dishes that were imported from a forest in Peru or derived from the sea off Japan.

In fashion, has anyone caught a glimpse of the rompers supposedly in style for men that are in stores and on the internet? I haven’t seen a local man around here actually wear one yet, but I will have to see who’s the first brave one.

Just when we thought the fad of bright pink, purple, fluorescent green and blue hair was slowly winding down, guess what is hot this summer? Rainbow hair! This trend really and truly makes me feel old. Other trends hot for this summer are apparently beauty products with activated charcoal to make your teeth whiter and your skin healthier.

Another trend that I’ve notice of late are the online subscriptions for everything from monthly food plans and kids’ toys to cologne-of-the-month and wine-of-the-week.

I enjoy going to the boardwalk at the shore each summer where every trend of the year comes to life. Usually, all I can do is shake my head, thinking that I am surely getting old because the trends seem to get crazier and more out there with every passing year.

In the last year or so, I’ve been to a gender reveal party, watched a promposal, ordered and watched a Netflix series, learned how to use a Snapchat filter and create a meme and used Uber and Lyft as transportation. I try to keep up with some of the new things that come along, but I often feel that the world is changing quicker than I can keep up with it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grab my fidget and relax.

Readers can reach Peg DeGrassa at

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