I think Florence thought it some form of God or magic elixir. There were many in the house but tucked away in corners reserved for precious things. Even pens were treated more carelessly.
We never bought them. That was unheard of. Rather, on our sightseeing visits to Macy's (sightseeing because we never bought anything there either--I'm not counting that one time my sister and I got a new dress each) Florence would send us off to go collect rubber bands from the nooks and crannies of whatever clothes department we happen to be in.
It was a mission, understood to be taken seriously and to be successful at. So I'd crawl under racks and in and out of empty dressing rooms and collect as many as a child's hand could hold and bring them triumphantly back to Florence who I guess dumped them into her handbag and sent me off again.
What I remember was that on the way home or perhaps one afternoon at home, we'd request a rubber band. pop it into our mouths and chew away, happy for such an approved treat.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.