Over the years, my parents, in other words my Mom has gotten weirder and more random in her Christmas gift giving in order to give me things that I will actually like. Last year it was workout clothes, I think this was more a subtle hint than a gift, but I love that she really does try! My brother on the other hand gave me a card filled with tips on living and gift cards to various restaurants, some of which still haven’t been used. Work gave me money, boyfriends gave me nothing…since I don’t have any, and I gave myself shoes. I don’t remember what shoes exactly, but I am sure I gave myself shoes, I always give myself shoes! So this year, a year when I bought the Barbie Dream Townhouse and sold it off for some extra moolah, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and catalog “The Best Gifts I Never Got”. These are the gifts I wanted to find under the Christmas tree every year, and never found, and now, they will forever be known as the Christmas gifts that got away!
– Numero Uno: Umbrella Set from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Okay, no, I am not old enough to remember when people called Sears “Sears & Roebuck” but I do remember when Sears had a catalog, and in this catalog they had this dark pink umbrella set with white polka dots matching gloves and some sort of hairbrush I believe, but it was the umbrella I remember. Complete with frills on the edges, I think it was more of a parasol, but whatever it was I wanted it. Year after year, I would flip through the Sears catalog and there it would be, unchanged, and I would wish that umbrella set would be waiting for me when I opened my gifts.
– Numero Dos: Dooney & Bourke purse. Eventually, when I was about to enter my very important sixth grade year I got a Dooney & Bourke bag, it was my first really special, non-plastic handbag and I loved it. But for years before that what I wanted more than any other purse in the world was this Dooney & Bourke “all weather leather” purse where the Dooney & Bourke logo of a duck was literally used as the front flap of the purse! The front flap, and so the duck, were SOOO big, they probably could have put a little notice on the tag “duck shown in actual size”.
– Numero tres: Corning Ware mini tea set. Growing up, I was a child whose light bulb was permanently “off”. I believed I lived in or around Washington State because Jamie said so and the news always talked about “Washington (D.C.)”; I also didn’t realize dishes came in sets where everything had the same design until I spotted the tea set one day in a Corning Ware outlet store. Spending what felt like my entire life at the time in Corning Ware outlets, when I spotted this tea set it was like the heavens opened, angels from on high sang, and everything became clear. This was it. This was the toy to make all other toys obsolete. This tea set with matching plates and saucers and cups was everything I needed to give Barbie, that multi-talented doctor/rocker/princess Bitch a run for her money!
– Numero quatro: Shoes like Mary. It was the day of my cousin’s wedding and my cousin Mary and I were flower girls. My Dad totted me over to Mary’s house and when Mary’s mom saw my shoes and I think she realized they were just not wedding appropriate, so she offered to let me wear some of Mary’s shoes, and oh how I wanted to. Just one glance at Mary’s shoes told me everything I needed to know, that they were better than mine. Mine looked like some midgetized version of old men’s shoes. They were the Dexter’s of the post-toddler/pre-first grade set. They were from Stride Rite and they were the only shoes Stride Rite had to accommodate my stupid wide feet. They were black or dark blue, they had laces, they were sturdy, they were well made, and they were ugly. Mary’s on the other hand were shiny and black, they were in my little mind the kid version of Manolos. Unfortunately, heartbreakingly, my Dad wouldn’t allow me to change out of my shoes and into Mary’s. I was forced to wear those atrocities on my feet to a wedding where everyone would comment on my brother looking “soooo handsome and soooo cute” in his Bible boy tuxedo and Mary and I in our peach dresses with green sashes didn’t get one compliment. We were cute dammit! I blamed the shoes. I really wanted shoes like Mary’s for Christmas, I spent nights thinking about those shoes, I wanted those shoes, and they are the shoes that got away!
– Numero cinco: Socks like Margaret’s. If you’ve gone to a smallish church school then you know that getting new classmates isn’t a regular occurrence, but one year when I was in elementary school there was a new student and her name was Margaret. I don’t remember how Margaret and I became friends, all I remember was that Margaret’s Dad drove a VW Beetle, and my Dad drove a beat up old truck and we were both old enough to be sufficiently embarrassed by our parent’s “ride”! LOL! I also remember Margaret had these awesome socks. These weren’t any old regular socks, nope; they were knee socks with ties at the top part of the socks with these poof balls hanging at the end of each side of the tie. I wanted those socks, I COVETED THOSE SOCKS. I don’t think I ever even told my parents about these magical and wonderful socks, but gosh did I hope they would somehow see some just like that and think they were as perfect as I did and buy me a pair. A couple of years ago I got some socks from GAP with poofs on the back of the socks, they just weren’t the same, after all they weren’t exactly like Margaret’s!
So this year, when I open my gifts, I will open them knowing there is no Sears Umbrella Set, no Dooney & Bourke purse complete with logo that could be seen from space, no Corning Ware mini tea set, no black shiny shoes like Mary’s, or no socks like Margaret’s…but a girl can always hope!