I grew up in a time when mothers didn’t feel obliged to pepper spray other mothers in order to get an Xbox console for their off-spring. It was a time of much more modest expectations. You asked for something you really wanted at Christmas and your mother was responsible for handling the details (because seriously, as much as your father loves you, did he ever buy you a gift? Meaning, go to the store and buy, not give your mother the credit card). And a good mother would do her best. Which, in my day, meant she’d look at all the newspaper ads, drive to malls, and call stores (these were indeed ancient times) and if she got a lead she’d hunt it down. But sometimes, sometimes, the item was too popular and it would not manifest under the Christmas tree despite her best efforts.
Oh, the box that should have been under our tree! This is almost too painful
Someone worked this Barbie over a bit too much with a ratting comb. I would never have been as careless.
I’d like you to meet Barbie Big Head, the reason I’m such a hot mess of an adult. She was the go-to gift of any girly girl in the mid-seventies. I could tell you the exact year but electroshock therapy has erased it from my mind. I whined, begged, pleaded, and more importantly- BEHAVED MYSELF to get this freakishly sized hunk of plastic for Christmas but it was not to be. After the last gift had been opened and my face was getting that wobbly look kids get when they want to start crying but know they’re-too-old-and-they-got-other-nice- gifts-and-shouldn’t-complain, my mother swooped in and explained how hard she had looked and that she had even driven to Denver (two hours away) but everyone was out and they weren’t even doing rain checks. With quivering lip, I said I understood, but really? I didn’t.
Even, I, a pre-teen girl, knew how well and truly screwed I was by not getting this Barbie; this entré into the world of make-up and hair design. Namely, I had no way to practice any of this on something other than myself which I would not be allowed to do for another 3 years and would lead to the tragic multi-hued eye shadow disaster of 1978 and the eyebrow plucking debacle that left me with one line of hairs over each eye and caused my father to take away the tweezers until I could “stop acting like a damn fool”.
The list of mishaps continues all the way through my adulthood (i.e. the perm from hell in 1987). To say I suffered for this lack in my childhood is an understatement. Having had Barbie Big Head to practice hair, make-up, and even accessorization on would have saved me years of embarrassment, disgrace, and eventually, therapy. Perhaps then, this current batch of mothers is right to give into the petulant whining demands of their offspring and act like cage wrestlers at the mall. The character and internal fortitude I gained from not getting what I wanted is nothing compared to the sparkly, narcissistic, entitled beauty queen I could have become. And if my mother had had to do jail time so be it. I was robbed.
Yes, I was rocking my short sleeve knit mini-dress but look at the stringy hair with no style and not even clear gloss on my lips. Sad sad sad.
p.s. that's not a cougar I'm holding just one of the world's best cats EVER.
Was there ever a gift you really wanted but didn't get?