Glam Slam: I Heart Tacky Souvenirs

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 by Irwan K Ch
July 17, 2012

I admit it. I love tacky souvenirs! LOVE ‘em!

As much as I might fantasize that I have somewhat decent taste, the honest truth is that there’s just something about tacky tchotchkes that appeals to me. A guilty pleasure, I guess you could say.

No trip would be complete for me without hitting up a local souvenir shop. Here I am in Folly Beach, SC at a souvenir store that’s been there since the 1950s. My husband, daughter and I spent loads of time in this store, snatching up lots of goodies. Pure heaven — we had a blast!

There was so much to choose from. Shells! T-Shirts! Toys! Bathing suits! Christmas ornaments! Shot glasses! Drink koozies! What? If you have to ask what a koozie is, well, then you are clearly not from these parts!

I can remember visiting Folly Beach as a very young child and our grandpa taking us down to the store and letting us pick out any souvenir we wanted. I chose a figure of a girl made completely out of painted shells. I still remember it to this day!

And on every yearly family vacation we took, my dad would always be on a hunt for “tacky souvenirs” as he called them. The tackier the better, in our book! Cheesy cowboy hats from Nashville. A colonial bonnet from Williamsburg, Virginia, peanut-shaped jewelry from Jimmy Carter’s hometown of Plains, Georgia, “I Escaped Alcatraz” tees from San Francisco and snow globes from just about anywhere. I’ve also had my fair share of souvenir dish towels, pot holders, and beach towels, however, I draw the line at toilet paper covers and toilet seat covers!

Souvenirs often have a bad reputation. And for many years, I upgraded my souvenirs from tacky trinkets to stylish purses from Paris and London or awesome sandals from Ibiza and Mykonos.

But now that I have a small child of my own, I’ve resorted to, or should I say regressed to, my old ways. There’s just something so fun, so summery, so carefree about souvenirs. For the most part, they aren’t usually too expensive, so there’s not much harm in buying a few, but the memories they bring back are priceless.


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Ryan Patterson is a Supervising Producer for Access Hollywood

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